I my teens I mostly painted in watercolour and I dabbled with other mediums. I stopped using it in my early twenties when I was taught to paint in oils in art school. I loved oil paint because it was smooth to work with and I was completely obssessed with self-portraiture from the mirror. The challenge to get my skin tone colours just right is a continuous challenge for me. It is especially difficult to capture the essence of myself and a good enough likeness simultaneously.
Fast forward to early motherhood. I find in myself with a strong desire to draw and to possibly illustrate books; illustrations went well but the story just did not happen alongside. I was using gouache and they were little illustrations of my my best friend and me. Here I was again dabbling with self-portraits!
Time went on as it does and I joined some figure drawing sessions which were really helpful. I eventually received an easel as a Christmas gift from my husband. It did not take long before I started to use acrylic paints. It is an accessible medium for a mom and I guess you could say I have been painting with it for 8 years….until now.
Recently I have been toying around with the idea of switching mediums. I was thinking about egg tempera, oil painting, gouache but it never occurred to me to try using my little watercolour set to paint in the themes I had grown accustomed to exploring.
I had painted one “Mint Chocolate Chip Cone” in acrylics with the intention of producing a series. If I had to go purchase 8 panels and get them ready, it would have been too long to wait. I had the desire to produce the series of cones right away! If I had to wait, I probably would have changed my mind!!! My watercolour set and paper saved the day! It has been the closest I have come to producing a painting a day.
What I hadn’t expected was the sheer joy it was to use watercolour again. The colours are fresh-looking, they pool and accidentally blend. The layers of washes stop me from being too fussy and I find myself embracing the limitations of the medium. Aside from the colour and subject matter they look nothing like my acrylic work. I wonder how this will affect my upcoming acrylic painting? It will be a very large painting of a gown.