I wasn’t going to make an update quite so soon as this, but seeing as my internet is currently being rather intermittent and temperamental with me, I thought I might as well share my discoveries thus far.
I recently signed up to a website called Skillshare. It’s where various creatives come together to teach their skills to those wanting to learn them. There’s a vast collection of different lessons to behold and I’ve been very impressed with some of the lessons in the past – particularly the one by Jon Burgerman all about learning how to doodle. (I wonder why I liked that one so much!?)
I don’t know if you recall, but a while ago I was attempting to teach myself how to use Watercolour paints from a book. This adventure didn’t go down to well as I very quickly felt like I became directionless and was pretty much just copying other peoples pictures from the book rather than actually learning anything of any value other than how to get frustrated at paper cockling.
So, when I saw Ana Victoria Calderón lesson on Modern Techniques in Watercolour, I thought why not? And seeing as the Skillshare site is currently only charging $0.99 for the first three months, it’s a right bargain. I’m hoping to be able to enroll in a few interesting courses before the subscription blooms to $10 a month.
The first lessons are the very basics of watercolours, giving a bit of a talk about materials, brushes as well as the different sorts of paints that are available – which is actually all very useful and relevant information. Which rather surprised me, it’s delivered in a very understandable way as well. Which is great, it’s a big change from having to read information in a book and figure it all out yourself. I don’t really want to be spoonfed information all the time, but in this case it was good to have that basic knowledge in a few minutes and easy to digest. It meant that I could go out that afternoon and buy some materials that I knew would be good for the course without having to spend hours upon hours researching on websites about what paper was good!
The next few steps were just as wonderful and easy to follow as well. Again, just the basics of how the medium actually works. Showing how different paints look and their vibrancy compared to one another. Which led me to notice something else – there’s no snobbery here. The first example of paint is a simple pack of crayolas! The range used is really refreshing to see, of course Ana herself prefers and uses a much more expensive range for her work, but it just goes to show that even the cheap paints from poundland can be used to create with. Made my little heart soar!
She goes on to give a few exercises for practice, including how to get more opaque colouration from your watercolours and how to paint some gradients. All very useful stuff. So far, I am getting a lot out of the course and am looking forward to my internet picking up again so I can further enjoy learning watercolours.