From My Sketchbook: Watercolor Project 1

Lately, I've worked on a couple of watercolor paintings that didn't turn out the way I had hoped. They were okay, but lacked that extra special something I had envisioned for them. One was a complete experiment outside my comfort zone, but still, I hoped. I decided that I might take some pressure off myself by revisiting a painting exercise book. I started going through the exercises a while back and abandoned it for reasons I can no longer remember. I want to complete these abandoned learning exercises (yes, plural because I have SEVERAL abandoned endeavors) and thought I might post them along the way as a way to help me be more accountable for completion this time around. I decided that while some of the exercises are challenging learning tools, I am adding my own additional challenges to push myself. So, having said that, I feel like I've fully disclosed that: (i) these are not my original drawings/paintings/ideas, and (ii) some of these may be "failures" to the eye, but leaning experiences for my progress. The book I'm using for this round of exercises is Step-By-Step Guide to Painting Realistic Water Colors by Dawn McLeod Heim. It's a great little book with 10 start-to-finish projects. The first project is a Stained Glass Iris that is perfect for beginning watercolor painters. However, I decided to add an additional challenge for myself. I have never used hot press watercolor paper and have a pretty good stash since I mistakenly bought some when I returned to painting after a 25+ year absence. I've read about how hot press paper shows brush stokes, etc. but I'm one of those who has to learn for herself - the hard way sometimes, but then I know because I've done it and seen it for myself. So here's the first project, with my own little built-in challenge of 140# hot press watercolor paper; uneven washes, brush strokes and all:

WCLesson-2
WCLesson-2