herringbone watercolor exercise from Creating Textures in Watercolor

More watercolor lessons from Cathy Johnson – boulder and herringbone

My studies from Cathy Johnson’s watercolor book Creating Textures in Watercolor continue with a boulder and herringbone fabric texture. These two subjects spoke to me, and I wanted to see how close I could get to her versions. It’s when I try to mimic her paintings when I see the nuances of Johnson’s skills — her paintings look rather carefree and loose, but recreating that is challenging! I keep seeing tutorials that suggest using ultramarine blue for shadows, so I’m trying to get a handle on that technique. Mixing ultramarine and burnt sienna is apparently a go-to combo and I’m starting to see why. The…

Painting Watercolors (First Steps) by Cathy Johnson - moving water exercise

Watercolor lessons from Cathy Johnson

Part of learning how to paint with watercolors is about just doing it and getting familiar with the tools, but I also love learning from experts. I treated myself to two books (print versions, not Kindle version) by Cathy Johnson — Painting Watercolors (First Steps) and Creating Textures in Watercolor. Her loose, confident, and sketch-like style is what I’d like to get to with my own skills. By following her examples, I hope to learn what it feels like to emulate her style as a way to develop my own. One thing I’m struggling with is being patient enough to let the…

Modern Watercolor Techniques - underwater scene

Modern Watercolor Techniques class

When I signed up for Ana Victoria Calderón’s Skillshare class Modern Watercolor Techniques: Beginner’s Level, I honestly didn’t expect it to be so much fun! I figured I’d be getting some intro to watercolor techniques, but she took it way beyond those basics. The class starts with good watercolor fundamentals, like how to become familiar with your paints and brushes, and how to gain control over your brush strokes. After a basic project is complete, it moves onto super fun “experimental planets” where we used a variety of materials to make little circles with varying effects. (This was my favorite part of the…