Watercolour Tutorials

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m2 Inspiration & Motivation m2
m2 Simplicity m2
m2 Materials m2
m2 Nonfigurative Exercises m2
m2 Figurative Exercises m2
m2 Painting Apples m2
m2 How to Start Painting m2
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Christian Wharton Paintings
Water in Watercolour

How to Paint Watercolour - Inspiration & Motivation

In learning how to paint watercolour, far far more important than any amount of practical advice is the matter of inspiration and motivation. It's the first tool for the watercolour (or any other colour) painter.

I had an e-mail once from a lady with the enchanting name of Zephyr Breeze, who longed to paint a falling leaf but didn’t know how to start - didn't even how to hold a brush.

I could understand her frustration, but she had the first ingredient all right - Motivation.

This is the most important thing.

She has seen something and wanted passionately to express it.

If you haven't done any painting before, you do have to shelve this feeling while you come to grips with the materials and basic techniques.

But if you haven't got any feeling of what you want to paint, just think you would like to have another accomplishment, a bit like collecting girl guide badges, then all you will ever achieve is a sort of illustrative competence.

inspirationGood painting and watercolour ideas come from the feeling level.

You see something which speaks to you.

If you really want to paint and have no idea what, it would be good to give yourself some visual treats.

Look at fruit and flowers, fabrics and textures.

Look at the sky and clouds, the sea and rivers and mountains.

At some point you will feel that there is something that is just for you.

Painting doesn't have to be exclusively about the things I have just mentioned. It can be about all sorts of other things but it does have to have an image, even if it is only a rather vague one.

When the image is completely lost, however, and there is only pattern or ambiguity then the eye is disappointed.

The eye is a very precise organ of perception - from our earliest days, survival depends on recognising friendly or unfriendly shapes. It is not possible to look at something without trying to find an image in it.

We find pictures in rocks or faces in clouds and these discoveries always please us even if they are rather menacing.

If you are the sort of person who wants to paint visions or dreams, you will not need to be told about inspiration and motivation - you are blessed to have them there already.

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