How to Practice Painting

Circle Painting in order to get your hand and eye coordination in working order. Not all paintings have to be masterpieces.

Get out of your head, that every painting has to be a masterpiece. Just like playing a guitar, you have to learn your scales in order to do so, and do warm up exercises. Every day. EVERY DAY. (I need to practice what I preach, haha).

Using watercolors makes you a better painter, period. Similarly with an acoustic guitar, you cannot lie in watercolors, nor can you lie with an acoustic. Every mistake is evident. But you can lie to yourself with an electric guitar, as you can lie in an oil painting such as blend in, paint over, erase or amend mistakes. In other words, like a pencil, you can erase your marks, but you have to gain confidence to use a pen, because it cannot be corrected or erased easily. I don’t know how else to explain that. 

Now, you don’t have to run out and buy the most expensive watercolor set, particularly since Winsor & Newton always has a bunch of affordable Cotmans watercolor sets, which is what I started with aeons ago, and they are pretty good. There is a difference between student Cotmans and the artist professional, but not so much so that you couldn’t use it for studies in your journal or large pictures. Personally, I use Daniel Smith watercolors, because I consider myself a professional artist, and their products last forever, even if you are liberal with the paint.

Little circles.

In this lesson, it is about exercising your hand/eye coordination with watercolors.

You are going to draw as many circles as you can on a piece of watercolor paper. Then draw larger circles over it. Color the background whatever color you wish. What ever color you choose, the inside of the larger circles must be the exact opposite color. This is also color theory lesson. 

Hand/eye coordination practice painting.

You don’t need as many circles as I’ve got, necessarily. I am doing many circles, because I hadn’t painted in a week or so, and more than a month in watercolors, therefore, am way out of practice, as you can see between these two circles.

The first layer of watercolors, unless done very carefully with the marriage of water and pigment, looks like junior high school artwork. Don’t worry about it. Let it dry and do another layer using the same colors over it. The picture will smooth out. I promise.

Basically, just have fun, no worries, and try to get your hand to cooperate.

Color layout for hand/eye coordination painting.

When you are done with the picture, you can either put it on your fridge, or toss it. It was only meant to be an exercise. Similarly, you can do this in your journal, but putting it on actual watercolor paper ups the ante a little bit, just in case you like the results.

Until next time, happy painting!