Starting out with WatercoloursWhat this site is NOT about.
Yes, let's get the negatives out of the way up front. I am NOT an artist, and I can not and will not attempt to teach people how to draw or paint. There are hundreds of great sites run by great artists that already do that. I am learning to paint and draw in my own way, by trial and error ... but mostly by error. One of the first things I noticed was how I was beginning to look differently at the world around me. Seeing detail where previously I had seen no detail ... appreciating things I had looked at very many times but was now only seeing for the very first time. I find this hobby to be most enjoyable, and I wish to share that enjoyment, and encourage others to have a go.
Who am I?
Just an ordinary working guy in his fifties who was bought a book and a basic watercolour set a few Christmases ago as a bit of fun. The book ? Paintbox by Frank Clarke. Frank claims "Anyone can Paint". Yeh, right!!!
Well, I had a go. I followed his pages as closely as I could and was amazed at the results. Once I had finished the book I tried a few things of my own, interested to see how I would get on without Franks instructions to guide me.
One thing I soon realised was that I had no one to refer to ... no critic to tell me if I was doing good or not so good ... and no samples of work of my own standard with which I could draw comparisons. Students of any subject measure their own achievements by comparing them with those of their peers, not by comparing them with those of the tutor.
Looking on the 'web' tended to only show me the work of experts ... and that only showed me how poor my work really was. So, I made up a few rules of my own, and developed my own strategy. It works for me. That does not mean it will work for you, but if it does, then that makes me very happy.
My approach to learning to paint.
One of the things I decided on right at the very outset was NOT to discard my 'failures'. I have kept them all ... the good, the bad, and the positively atrocious. Why? Because I believe there is no such thing as mistakes in painting ... only lessons. I have learned as much, if not more, from my disasters as I have from my best efforts. For this reason, I share with you some of my worst efforts together with a brief explanation as to what I was trying to achieve, and what I learnt.
You can paint also.
If you are thinking of having a go, then I urge you to do just that. Get yourself some basic (very basic) watercolours, a couple of cheap brushes and a medium size pad of watercolour paper. Ideally, also visit your nearest book shop and find yourself a "Teach yourself Watercolours" book of some description. Frank Clarke's worked for me, but I didn't try any others so I can't say if it's the best. But whichever book you get, follow it from page one as best you can.
This is where I hope my web site then comes into it's own. Regardless of how bad YOU might think your painting is, come back here and share it with me. Let's look at it together ... let's display it in my Visitors Gallery for others to see. Let us understand, in our own amateurish way, what you did wrong and what you did right, and let us find in each painting the encouragement you need to do another.
Whether you are a beginner thinking about having a go, someone who has already tried painting, or an accomplished artist with comments to make about my work or this web site, I am really looking forward to receiving your email, and your comments.
In these early stages of my sites development I have no way of knowing how many budding artists out there will even find my site, let alone use it. In the long term, if it is as successful as I would like, then I will introduce Forums and better ways for paintings to be submitted. For now, we will have to do everything by email and, just like our painting, learn as we go.