I sure love art. I probably can’t name more than two or three famous historical painters but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the traditional medium. I have an understanding of how art started and how it evolved into what we see today. This week, even more so than most other weeks, I was reminded of that.
A few weeks back, I did something I wanted to do for quite some time: I started painting with watercolor. Now, you may feel like that is not directly related to my work on NewCity but I disagree! Watercolor has already taught me many things (including to be careful not to stain your clothes), many of which can be applied to my work on digital art.
When I first started in digital art, I had no idea what I was doing. I am a self taught artist and as such, everything was new to me. I didn’t have a teacher or anyone else telling me what to do. I started already wanting to get a full character done. A full vehicle done. A full…anything done.
But as I quickly realized, I had to start from the bottom. I had to first learn more about color and shadow. More about all the fundamentals that were going to eventually allow me to become a professional artist. When I started painting with watercolor, I had a similar feeling.
I could not take anything for granted. I had never played with the medium before and as such, each brush stroke was a new challenge, a new discovery. Challenges that as I progressed, became increasingly familiar to those I face digitally.
In the first few minutes, I already realized that I needed patience. If I wanted to get any artwork done using this new medium, I had to plan carefully, start with a simple sketch and even after that, not try to jump into a very complex artwork. I’ve painted some trees, simple environments, I played with the reactions of the paint as I added more color into the paper. More water. And each time I did that, I was once again reminded how much this and all other art mediums are connected.
This week I tried the digital medium again, but with a twist: using Virtual Reality. And while that is a topic for a full blog post I’ll keep it short: I had the same feeling. Even on this very foreign and rather new tool, I still felt like I was drawing on a canvas (a floating and 3d one!), and that each brush stroke had as much personality as the ones I used to do on my digital desktop canvas. Or on wet paper.
And independently of what medium I use, I often make mistakes. Mistakes that, once they appear, have me question my skill. More than anything, they make me immediately grab the eraser tool and get it fixed. I can do that on a desktop and I’ve realized that is also very easy on Virtual Reality. But not on watercolor.
So it’s safe to say that even though I have not made any masterpieces using watercolor, it has taught me many things already. And I plan to keep doing it. In fact, every Saturday for the foreseeable future I plan to keep these watercolor painting sessions going and I encourage anyone else that is curious about it to try one of the traditional art mediums.
Probably the greatest lesson I’ve learned so far from this medium is rather obvious if you’ve watched a certain famous painter’s joyful lessons but i’ll still say: It’s okay to make mistakes, since often, by changing your perspective, you can turn it into something truly beautiful.
Have a nice day. Gainos out.
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