The beginning of this video was ridiculous as I simply couldn't open the box of watercolour paints so in a speed video it feels more like a Charlie Chaplin skit rather than an art material review!
So if you buy the little watercolour box from Flying Tiger of Copenhagen then get ready for a struggle just getting it open! I love shopping at Tiger as it's just fun and the music they use to keep us in there is always catchy and leaves you singing it all day! It was so exciting when they opened back up again after lockdown here, though I felt wary of trying to keep social distancing so it wasn't as much fun as it used to be. You half look at the products while keeping an eye out for individuals who don't care about social distancing. Slightly nerve-wracking!
Back to the paint - I used my pipettes to help moisten the paint cakes but it was odd how they became very different colours when wetted. My favourite colour, blue, was so opaque when I added water and then halfway through the video you see my attempts at colour mixing where I tried to mix the primary colours together to create secondary colours. When trying to mix purple, I could only achieve brown so I suppose it's fortunate that they give you a purple paint cake so you don't have to mix it. The green and orange were much more successful though still not as vibrant as other more pricey watercolours I've used.
I used the watercolour paper I also bought from Tiger and though it was nice that it was all in a solid block, as I prefer, it was a bit like painting on a plastic plate as it buckled and slid around far more than my more expensive watercolour paper.
As you can see, I bought some brushes too which I've used before and have used for other types of paints too and aside from them dropping the occasional stray hair, they work very well each time. I've bought them quite a few times now as they're very useful for many types of materials where you need a paint brush.
So I know I started to create a colourful puddle which was fun, especially when I got adventurous and added salt and vinegar! I had just had fish & chips for dinner so they were right there begging me to pour them in! I like using salt often in my watercolour paintings as it creates very interesting textures in the paint as it dries which also helps if you leave it for a few hours or if impatient, you can use a hair dryer or fan or blot it with q-tips like I did. The vinegar did absolutely nothing, however!
I like to paint in this style when I want to exercise my imagination to see if I can pick out shapes in mark making. I do this with drawing too and find it very tough sometimes which tells me I need to keep doing it as it always pays off. This paint doodle ended up being a sort of multicoloured hedgehog with a city on its back! I love it when something really unexpected happens as it just inspires me to keep experimenting when painting, drawing and even sculpting.
So if you want to see the finished "Hedgehog City" image then visit my Instagram to see how he turned out! @FranceskaDrawsTrees
Though the video is a speed video and takes a little over 7 minutes, the actual experiment took just over two hours so I think it's good to realise that the other speed videos you see all over the internet that take seconds or minutes to watch, are so much more involved than the quick glimpse we see - which brings me to my point, that making art takes time!
I had a student several years ago who hired me to teach her to draw but after just 30 minutes, she was disappointed and wanted her money back because she had expected to progress as quickly as the speed videos she'd been watching. We live in this "fast-food" society where we see something achieved in a video or film and then have no patience when it takes us much longer to achieve our own successes. I wonder if it's a generation thing? Or is it easier for someone with dyslexia to understand how long it takes to achieve success?
Eons ago, when I was in school, I remember putting in so much effort to read or do mathematics or understand concepts that felt impossible to my dyslexic brain at the time but now, eons later, I find I can grasp these things more easily and even have learned how to achieve success but via a different path than non-dyslexics and I know it takes time......lots and lots of time.
So why is art seen as something that should result in success in the few minutes or hour taken to study something? Is it because art is not seen as equal to academics in school?
(I wonder.....speculates a former posh school art teacher who didn't actually draw any trees in this post but will in the near future)
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