Thursday, March 7, 2024

18 days into the 100 Day Project

With over two weeks into my 2024 100 Day Project, 100 Days of Paint, Paper, Stitch, I've learned a few things already.

Watercolor painting: value exercise

By working through various exercises from the Watercolor for Relaxation workshop with Willa Wanders, these are my initial discoveries about watercolor painting.

  • I've learned that the brush size and the water::pigment ratio is important to get a smooth flat wash. I'm getting better at painting smooth flat washes.

  • I like the subtle color shifts when adding a mixed neutral to a color. It adds sophistication to the composition.

  • Although I thought a tear-out, perfect bound block of watercolor paper would be good choice for this project—so I could easily tear out an individual page for stitching—I would prefer a spiral bound sketchbook for painting. It's much easier to rotate the sketchbook page that I’m working on when the book is spiral bound. Spiral sketchbooks with perforated sheets are available so if I need to tear out a page to stitch, I can still do that.

Choosing thread colors for stitching.

Stitching on paper

My end goal of this 100 Day Project is to take watercolor compositions and add stitching to them. My discoveries with this are:

  • Choosing thread colors to match paint colors is more challenging. I am finding a lighter value of thread matches the paint colors better than a darker one. 

  • At this point in my process, I prefer the thread to add a subtle texture to the painted shapes rather than calling attention to stitching by using a contrasting thread.

Watercolor painting and hand stitching.

In addition to stitch, I’m combining slow drawing with the watercolors. More compositions are planned using multiple mediums.

Watercolor with slow drawing.

Old supplies with a new purpose

I'm using “tools from the past” for a new purpose! This has renewed my excitement for using these tools again. This flat wash exercise uses a quilting stencil.

Color mixing exercise using a quilting stencil.

A plastic drafting template that I used with rapidograph pens on paste-ups "back in the day" was used for this color mixing exercise. 

Using a drafting template for watercolor exercise.

I am enjoying the slowness of watercolor painting. More complex designs and the compositions that require color mixing take longer to complete. This contributes to relaxation and mindfulness of the process in this 100 Day Project.

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