I’ve finished my second- and third-ever watercolor paintings. These are both assignments for my “Jump into Watercolor” class. I’m not unhappy with either of them, but I’m not happy either. I liked my jellyfish better.

First up, we were supposed to paint three eggs. This painting was an exercise in the value of light, shading from light to dark.

[a still life of three eggs]

I’ve been learning how to do a background “wash”, and this is the biggest one I’ve tried yet. Basically, you wet a piece of paper, then you gradually apply color to it from top to bottom. Ideally, the wash is even (unless you deliberately want it otherwise).

I can actually do an even wash in small areas, but this was a 9 inch x 12 inch piece of paper with areas “cut out” for the eggs where I didn’t want the wash. It was…complicated. My results are also complicated haha.

Anyhow, I got the wash mostly even here, although I felt like I was racing against time. I had too much water and not enough pigment at first. As I was fussing with things, the paper began to dry, which was problematic. Also, the right side was fussy. You can see where I tried to fix a problem on the right…and only make it larger and more problematic. Oh well. It was a learning experience.

I thought I had a method to shade the eggs — and I still think it was the right method — but I struggled to blend the pigment evenly. My color gradation has sharper lines than I want. I wanted something subtle. Still, not bad for the second painting I’ve ever done in my life.

Next, we have a painting of aspens against a landscape.

[a landscape featuring aspens against a backdrop of trees and mountains

I’ll say straight out that I’m pleased with my aspen trunks. They turned out far better than expected. Best work I’ve done yet with watercolor. Also, I like the wash for the grey sky. That is what a wash is supposed to look like! Even color.

I also like parts of my trees and mountains, but only parts. I learned a lot while putting this together. Sometimes I should have waited for the painting to dry before moving on; other times, I ought to have moved to the next step sooner while the previous layer was still wet.

In any event, I feel like my trees and mountains look kind of big and chunky, as if I drew them with crayons. Plus, my colorful trees in front look as if they’re just evergreens with leaves haha.

Again, though, not bad for painting number three in my “career”.

I’m really enjoying this process. It gives me a productive focus and outlet. I like it so much, in fact, that I’ve bought a small travel palette and some travel brushes. I intend to take my watercolor travel kit to New Orleans next week. Let’s see if I find time to get some practice in!

2 Replies to “Watercolor eggs and trees.”

  1. RJ says:

    I really like the shading in the eggs. It would work really well for river stones or a rocky landscape. The birches are also very nice.

  2. Petra says:

    Nice. And you made me hungry. Now I’m going to the kitchen to prepare some eggs.

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