Let’s Paint!

I am a self titled amateur artist. Maybe I shouldn’t call myself amateur though because most of my work shows rudimentary skill, but nevertheless, there are moments where I end up impressing myself and that’s what counts, right? Anyway, it’s been over a year when I sat down and wrote in my to-do-list that I had to go buy myself a sketch book, which I hadn’t. To make things more serious, I ended up writing “buy a sketchbook” for one of my 2016 resolutions! So this week, I finally went out to buy a sketch book and try being a little creative.

When I start a project, I treat it like a project. First things come first: gather the materials. For water painting, the materials you need are obvious and not so obvious, like

sketch book
water paints
paint brushes
paint pallet
pencil
eraser
water cup
tissues

Now let me reiterate. While I do call myself an amateur, I am not exactly an amateur. For example, water paints have been my only paint medium and yet I didn’t know anything about wetting the paper, taping it to a surface or washing and creating a background. I only found these out very recently (like several hours after filling up the first page of the sketch book). So now the list adds to

hard surface/cardboard
tape
washing brush

My style of work is how I usually go, first I chose my art. For this trial page, I went through my instagram feed and picked the Georgia Aquarium post from the summer of 2015. It was simple enough to draw a clown fish.

Photograph from my instagram: thelunardescent

While I drew the clown fish, I also checked out a couple of water painting videos from Youtube. The most helpful video I found was this one, which talks about types of washes.So I applied the principles of the video to the clown fish. The technique I went for was gradated wash, which involves painting successive strokes down the wet area to create a fade effect. As you can probably see, it worked well for the orange (vermilion) but not that well for the blue.

I also painted in the white stripes with white paint because the paper itself has a yellowish hue. Another thing to be noted is that I painted the clown fish first and the background later, so that could be the reason for the imperfection. Nevertheless, I am really proud of the orange effect. I tried to reproduce it, but it seems like I need more practice, half of my attempts of replication were not satisfactory.

Are any of you interested in watercolors? If you’ve painted before and have tips for improvement or helpful tips in general, be sure to share! ‘Cause sharing is caring. 😀 Have a nice day!

The pictures I used in this post were taken with my camera. It’s really old (8.1 megapixels) so if the pictures don’t seem very high quality as compared to the previous iPhone photographs, please let me know in the comments! Thank you!
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Author: Kanra Khan

I'm a Pakistani American student of medicine, or more precisely, an almost-graduate of MBBS Class of 2019. I like to write about my experiences in med school and my adventures in life, which range from traveling, to art, to blogging and photography. Like what you're seeing so far? Consider exploring a bit more! The Lunar Descent is endless.

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