It has been a while since I last painted like a beginner.

It has been a while since I followed what was taught to me over a year ago. After my three-day watercolor crash course last 2013, I continued painting and learning from YouTube videos. I painted and continue to paint once in a while whenever I have sufficient free time. However, since I don’t have a mentor anymore – apart from YouTube – I stopped being patient.

In the crash course, I learned that watercolor painting is a test of patience. I mount the paper, I draw, I wash the parts I want to paint, I dab color, I let the dot of paint fade outwardly, and I wait for it to dry before I start washing the paper again. Adding paint and editing a washed picture means ruining it. It is a process that can take for days.

Finished in less than 24 hours
Finished in less than 24 hours

On YouTube, I watched time lapse videos. Learning was a matter of remembering the techniques when I finally get time to paint myself. I learned to wash the paper, dab a number of colors, turn the paper to let the paint drip, then dab another color wherever. Do I need a drawn guideline? Not really. When do I know it is finished? In two hours tops.

Finished in less than an hour
Finished in less than an hour

My previous paintings were all practice pieces done half-heartedly. I rarely drew something to paint, like I just wanted to produce something to kill time – but only two hours. When an area was too wet – which always happened – instead of letting it dry, I just dabbed tissue on it so that I could continue immediately. I can never blame time, though.

As an apology, I tried to produce something that is not half-heartedly done. Please accept this apology.

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Watercolor painting is not for the OC, said my mentor. It takes patience. Watercolor cannot be controlled easily, so why try? Let the paint move. So I did.

Finished in under a week
Finished in under a week

Personally, painting with patience looks like producing traditionally beautiful images; whereas quick painting appeals to contemporary eyes. Nevertheless, to improve, it is important to have a good foundation and to continue to learn and improve the basic. As for me, I will not find free time to paint anymore. Instead, I will dedicate time to paint.

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