Rocks & Shells


As with sumi-e painting, in watercolor painting, much is to be learned from observation.  Recently, I purchased a video by Birgit O’Connor.  As an artist, she excels in vivid, colorful, large and intimate perspectives of flowers, but in looking on YouTube, she also can do a lot more than flowers.

The video I bought is Rocks, Sand & Sea Glass.  What makes it excellent for me is that she is very clear in her demonstrations, and more importantly, clear in her verbal explanations.  Her voice is nicely modulated, and proceeds at an even pace.  I really like the fact she identifies the brush she uses so explicitly, such as “my number 30 natural hair brush.”  Detailed as it seems, it allows the viewer to hear while watching.  I don’t have to sit and stare at her brush to think about what one she is using because she tells me.

In addition to watching, practice is paramount.  Seriously, you have to sit down and do it.  And do it again and again.  I know this about painting, because brushes vary, papers vary, my mood varies, and colors vary.  Self-control is necessary.  So is practice.  Having something interesting to paint makes it more fun.

Mussel Shells

Brushwork is so critical – knowing how to use a brush, how to load color, how to move the brush, maneuver it for shape, and how much pressure to apply.  How the paper responds is also important, simply because different papers have different characteristics, as well as come in different grades.

These are what I’ve produced.  More will come, as my supplies show up, too!  Thank goodness for Dick Blick and Amazon!


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