Sunday, June 21, 2009


My free bottle of WN medium for watercolors arrived yesterday! For buying the watercolor set of tubes I got to pick a free medium. I thought I'd try Iridescent and add some sparkle to my watercolors one day. I've already heard that you should use separate brushes because you never get all the sparkle out of them--hehe! Heard that discussed in the Everyday Matters group. Oh--the things you can learn online, eh? :)
The last picture went into my recycling bin. Started a new one--and cleaned off the palette--hehe!
At the end of my session yesterday I switched over to Chinese brushes. I'd been using western watercolor brushes on these because they are drawn on western watercolor paper. Since I recently switched over to the Chinese watercolors, I guess I certainly could use the Chinese brushes--duh!
I know using western watercolor paper isn't teaching me how the Chinese brush and rice paper work and dance together--but it still gives me some experience with the brushes. They really do seem to hold more liquid in the belly of the brush. I am learning how to drain some of that liquid from the body of the brush by touching it on a paper towel first--and about reloading the tip. Hints I have learned in the CBP group and on YouTube videos. Interesting and challenging for me. :)

I'm honestly less concerned with if the paintings turn out right now than in learning about the paint and the brushes. I took a 140 lb. watercolor tablet I bought on sale and filled it with tracings of these pictures I found on the web. Very cheap way to learn on my own, right? Back when I traced all of these I had very limited experience with western watercolors, had no Chinese brush painting supplies, and had not found the CBP group on Yahoo or even YouTube, for that matter. I just figured if I kept trying over and over again--even if they all ended up in my recycle bin (for making handmade paper) I would have learned something by the time I was done, right? If any of them turned out decently (a few already have!)--more the better, right?

That was my plan and I'm sticking to it--ROFL!!

Don't worry that it bothers me one iota to put most of these paintings in the recycle bin. I am delighted and amazed when they don't end up there--hehe! I have not put any expectations onto myself--my abilities or my personal learning curve.

I used to stress over the perfection of each project--so this is an exceptionally freeing experience for me. A wonderful lesson for my soul! And I have barely touched my toe in the water when it comes to the spontaneous style of Chinese brush painting. Whew! Talk about loosening me up!!

Baby steps. Baby steps. :):)

No rain yesterday! But very hot--mid 80's I saw once. (Didn't watch the weather on the news.) I was painting inside with the AC on--hehe! Watched The Golden Compass movie again. Puttered about and played with Karma.

One of the things I do--fling her string toy under the dresser--snug up the string--and don't move. She comes and sits there--waiting and twitching most expectantly. Occasionally I tug it forward like a quarter of an inch or even just tighten the string up--just to watch her entire body jerk forward and back at that same moment. Silly--I know. Makes me laugh.
And endlessly fascinates Miss Karma. Talk about cheap entertainment, eh? ROFL!!

Today--laundry. :):)


Serena Lewis said...

well, at least your last attempt will be recycled. lol they do say that practise makes perfect so, whether you realise it or not, each piece you do is a step in the right direction ~ :)

when cody's little squeaky ball rolls under the's funny to see his antics trying to reach it. then he will let out a single bark and look at me with those 'help me' eyes and i then get his toy from under the bed. lol

Rebag said...

Well they say practice makes perfect..Where did you manage to find some photos to print off the net to practice with? I have been looking and can't find any other than what appears to be like kdis coloring sheets, :(

Anxious to see how this transpires for you! Keep up the good work.

Rita said...

Hi Serena!
Hehe! At least it will be used to make something else--yup! And I DO learn a tiny bit more on each painting. True! True!

I can just picture Cody begging for his toy! :)

Rita said...

Hi Rebag!
I actually found the finished works on some website that sold Chinese flower & bird paintings. Saved a few to my computer and then tried to trace the finished paintings the best I could. When they were darker it was hard to see exactly where the lines should be sometimes--but I basically got them traced in pencil. Then I tried to do a final job with black ink and erased the pencil. I have the colored copy of the paintings to go by and then I am trying to color them.

I know a lot of puttering--hehe! But I have more time than money. And my time is limited, so what does that tell you! ROFL!! I need to spend some more time searching around on YouTube for more videos on gongbi with the layering and details and such. Hard to find people painting in that style. I'll just keep playing. Nothing to lose, right? :):)