Adding Watercolor to my Sketchbook

I was sketching every other day, until recently. I was getting bored and running out of things to draw. I decided to add watercolor to my sketchbook, but first I had to do a little housekeeping. I did what I’ve wanted to do for a while – scrubbed my watercolor palette. I was starting fresh.

Keeping to the arrangement of the color wheel, I added a dollop of paint to each section. I mixed a few of the colors, that I didn’t have in tubes. It’s been a while since I’ve used watercolor. Some of my tubes would not open. The tubes twisted and paint squirted out from all sides. It was a bit of a mess!


I know the sketchbook paper isn’t ideal for watercolor. It will wrinkle, if it gets too wet. But in my mind, my sketchbook is meant to be quick, no pressure, play around, keep the creative juices flowing, and get my skills “in shape.” So, I’m not worried about the paper.

Once I got started I realized I missed watercolor! There is so much you can do! It is fun to wet sections of the page and let interesting things happen, let colors blend. Or add detail to a dry part of the paper, with a dry brush and paint that is directly from the tube. And in between these two techniques (wet on wet and dry on dry), are tons of other options! There was a time that I painted exclusively in watercolor. Here are a couple of my older paintings.

centralpark dogwoodwatercolor

For my second watercolor sketch, I first drew (in pencil) a few flowers and leaves from the Burpee (plant and seed) catalog. There are beautiful pictures in there! I wet the background area, then added in wet paint and let it run. After the background dried, I painted the flowers and leaves, using a combination of wet painting and finally, dry details. It was fun! And “sketching” in watercolor might lead to ideas for paintings – watercolor or acrylic.



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