The Gift of Color

This past Christmas I was on a tight budget for gifts.  My sister told me that she wanted a drawing of a mermaid as her present.  It had me thinking about drawing and painting again.  Especially since it’s a hobby that I had pretty much given up in recent years.  So, I figured there was no time like the present to start practicing and it gave me the idea for gifts for my grandmothers.

Like I has said earlier it had been a few years, so I needed to pick up a few supplies.  I ended up buying a few watercolor sets around my birthday from Amazon.  Those Prima watercolors had been haunting me on Instagram feeds.  I had to see if they were any good!  Luckily for me, they are amazing and I love the two sets I have!  I bought the Watercolor Confections Pastel Dreams and the Metallic Accents sets.

I also picked up a mobile watercolor set from Koi Watercolors.  I figured I would get a few more standard colors in the kit and I’d be able to try out a water brush for the first time.  Sadly, I’ve had quite a bit of a learning curve with mine.  I still have a major preference for the paint brushes that I had originally.  Practice, practice, and even more practice though.  I’ll get the hang of that water brush!  Determined!

I knew immediately that I wanted to begin practicing with flowers.  They’re really easy and I love how much color can be added to them.  I began working on my Abuela’s painting first.  She loves bright colors and I knew right away that I was going to make hers bold and colorful.

Initially I had only planned on practicing flowers, that’s why hers has so many different kinds of flowers on it.  It was supposed to be a practice session!  Whoops, it ended up being her actual gift.  Haha.  Here’s a shot of it as I was waiting for the paint to dry.  I don’t know about you, but I tend to drag the edge of my hand as I paint or draw and I smudge everything.  I regularly have to take breaks to make sure I let it dry before I smear it all.  Bad hand.

After giving it a chance to dry, I started to mix up the greens for the leaves.  I should have mixed up more of the bright green that I used at the top.  I ran out of it very quickly and just had to keep going with another color before the paint dried on me.  Gotta learn the hard way sometimes!  Once I was happy with the leaves and everything had a chance to fully dry I added the final layer of paint: gouache.  Yup, I used M. Graham White Gouache to add some spaces and definition to the leaves and petals.  Maybe once I have more practice with watercolors I won’t need this last step as much, but I just love how it looks!  Here’s a view of the final version of the painting!

The second painting that I made for my other grandmother ended up being a much softer painting.  I used the Prima Watercolors – Pastel Confections exclusively on that one.  I’ve inserted a picture below of the second gift painting I made.

It actually occurred to me to sign this one when I was finished!  Did you make any gifts for the holidays?  Tell me about them!

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