Friday, 1 June 2018

A new challenge for June

After my disaster with The100Project (I probably lasted less than 10 days altogether), I'm foolish enough to embark on another daily challenge. The 30x30 Direct Watercolour challenge, hosted by Marc Taro Holmes of Citizen Sketcher. 30 days of daily direct watercolour painting. Direct simply means that you don't use a pen or pencil to draw your subject first, before adding watercolour, but instead just paint directly with watercolours. Although, if you need a little bit of help from a pencil first, that's okay too. There's a very lively Facebook group with lots of info and helpful tips, and where you can share your paintings. And it starts today, so there's still time to join :)

So far, if I attempted any kind of daily challenge (and there haven't been many), I usually chose a medium that allowed me to easily work on it during the day, such as 5 minutes during my lunch break at work. In other words, mediums like pen and pencil, and no paints. This challenge means, I will have to do it in the evenings on work days. And that will definitely be a challenge. But then again, my main goal isn't the number but the practice. What I want to do is to practise watercolour, as often as possible. Every day would be great, but if I miss one or more days, that's fine too.
I love watercolour, but I'm still struggling with it, a lot. The amount of water to use, the different techniques, which brushes... And that's why I'm going to try and attempt this challenge. It's a good motivation for practising, and as we all know, practice makes progress. (I read that somewhere a while ago, and liked it much better than the more common version. Perfectionism certainly isn't doing me much good...)

The above sketches are just warm ups, I haven't done the first one for today yet, that'll be my plan for tonight. I've also been busy playing with my watercolour pencils. I went through all my art supplies and got out all the pencils I have (and I've made lots of colour charts, which I will share another time). Watercolour pencils really are a very clever medium. They allow you to draw your subject very carefully, if you want, and when you add water, all the lines disappear and what you're left with is a vibrant watercolour painting. But of course not very appropriate for this particular challenge... As with watercolour paints, you can layer the pencils, but I soon found out that in my non-watercolour-paper sketchbook, that didn't work very well. One or two layers of wet medium is okay, but not more. What works really well, though, is painting a base using watercolour pencils and water, and then add more layers with normal coloured pencils, which gives you vibrant colours and also allows to add more details.

In my watercolour journal, the watercolour pencils work a lot better.

It's also a good exercise to draw the same subject several times, and by using different mediums, you can really explore it, and compare how they differ and what works better or not so good for you, and when and how.


  1. Love the examples. It works great in your watercolor journal.

  2. I applaud you. I just don't think I could do a challenge, not if it lasted more than one day. (grin)

  3. Challenges sure a all tempting and I think they keep us creative and on our toes. Great job with this challenge- your watercolors are wonderful! Good luck keeping up:) Happy PPF!

  4. A lot of detail...lovely.
    One of these days I must try to paint with watercolors :) That would be a challenge for me!

  5. These are WONDERFUL! Your watercolor paintings fill my eyes--which is the greatest compliment I can give.

  6. Lovely!!! oh those tomatoes look delicious

    Happy PPF

    much love...

  7. You're right, it's very interesting to see the same object painted in different ways. Congrats on starting a new challenge! I like the saying practice makes progress :-)

  8. Love your watercolors and I'm going looking at that limited edition tin of watercolor pencils! I use faber castell but I actually find I want an even broader range so I might as well add more!! Hope you enter my giveaway for the 2018 Custom Schmincke Palette on my blog (
    Have a great weekend my friend. Visiting from PPF!

  9. Delicious, indeed ­čŹÄ
    Happy PPF and weekend ­čî╝

  10. It really is interesting to see the same scene/object painted different ways, great way to find out what works and what does not. Your paintings are really lovely!