Watercolor Play

One of the most fun and beneficial things I do is to “play” with watercolor.  You could call it “making abstract paintings”, but that makes it sound like there’s intention involved.  Seriously, when I play with watercolor, I am really PLAYING!  I just start with one color, any color, and then put down another, responding to each color and shape (if there is one) that gets put down on paper.  It is a great way to rev up the ‘ole creative engines for the more intentional paintings, or to learn about how watercolor behaves, or to just have a no-stress paint sesh (“sesh” is a word I’m using a lot lately due to my skateboarding 7th grader!  A skate “sesh” is a skateboarding session: a few minutes or several hours of skating.)

So, if you approach a watercolor play “sesh” with an eye toward learning how watercolor behaves, you can discover all kinds of things: like how hard and soft edges are formed, how colors mingle and mix to make other colors, how blooms are made, how you get drybrush effects, scraping, spattering, drips, etc.  It’s loads of fun too!

I’m headed off to the beach with the fam and the whole extended fam on my husband’s side…we do this every year: the pater and mater familias get a big house on the ocean and all the siblings and their spouses and children pile in for one whole week!  I’m taking, of course, my sketchbook along, as well as this beauty:

It’s a ukulele!!  My parents got it for me for my birthday (which isn’t until the end of July, but hey! This way I get to celebrate all summer long, right? THANKS MOM & DAD!!)  My 15 year old daughter also just got one, so she and i will be strumming by the ocean in true ukulele style!  Seriously, folks, I’ve never played a fretted instrument (only the violin, for years as a child and for a time as an adult) but this will be an adventure in being a total newbie!!  I promise to return from beach/ukulele heaven and continue the portrait journey.  Maybe I’ll even paint some portraits of my daughter and I playing our new ukes!  Hee! Hee!

**I can’t decide whether I’m more excited about learning to play the ukulele or about all the drawings and paintings that will ensue!:)

0 thoughts on “Watercolor Play

  1. Timaree (freebird) says:

    This looks like fun. I’ve never wanted to “waste” paper so haven’t just played like this. I really need to get over that. Maybe I’ll try one this afternoon. Hope you have a great time with your family and new ukelele.

  2. Alex Tan says:

    Fun fun fun! =) Sometimes we just need to do what you do there… having fun while experimenting, and expressing at the same time.
    And what a lovely Ukelele! I really miss my guitar =(

  3. Bridget Hunter says:

    I think ‘doodling’ to loosen my arm/hand is a great activity to do before I draw – just wish I could remember to take time to do it! So think this is such a good idea before any painting.Thankyou.

  4. PAMO says:

    I just love your creative spirit! You do beautiful drawings and paintings and have a love of life. Congrats on the ukulele! I’m sure you and your daughter will have tons of fun!

  5. Stasia says:

    Thank you for the “permission” to play – I NEED to do this with my paints, to get a better feel for them.

    I LOVE to play ukulele!! My husband used to rep the Jim Beloff books – they are awesome for learning: http://www.fleamarketmusic.com

    It’s very easy and addictive. Enjoy!! 🙂

    Thanks so much for your blog!

    • jenpedwards says:

      I’m having a great time with my Lanikai LSM-C Concert Ukulele. It looks like an inlay of mother of pearl. Just gorgeous. Thanks for the tip on music.

  6. nancy t says:

    Seeing your uke made me remember that my mom had one and used to play it every once in awhile. She was always sort of shy about doing it, but she really was pretty good at it. Have a great time at the beach – it sounds just wonderful! nancy

  7. Joann Peterson says:

    Hope you guys are having a great time and that you come home ready for Carnegie Hall.
    All is good hear. We are having a lot of thunderstorms and rain. The rain is needed but I don’t care for storms.

  8. Joann Peterson says:

    Hope you guys are having a great time and that you come home ready for Carnegie Hall.
    All is good hear. We are having a lot of thunderstorms and rain. The rain is needed but I don’t care for storms. I do know the difference between here and hear. Had a senior moment.

  9. delph says:

    Playing with watercolor is really great!
    Your watercolor portraits are so awesome!! Your colors are incredible, and the faces so wonderfully alive and expressive. I’m scared of using watercolor for portraits… maybe I should try to think of it as play…
    As usual, your posts are beautiful AND interesting, thanks!
    Have a lot of fun with the ukeleles!

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