The Half Month Project pop-up newsletter: learning watercolour painting #1/4
Hello and welcome to the first issue of The Half Month Project pop-up newsletter.
Similar to a pop-up store, this is a limited-time newsletter with a start and end date. It starts today, April 29, 2022, and ends on May 20, 2022. Four weekly issues in total.
I talked about the why and how of this pop-up newsletter in my previous issue of HopeMail. Here’s a summary:
The Half Month Project is a 15 days challenge for me to kickstart learning watercolour painting.
I want to document the experience. And I want to share a weekly summary with you.
Once a week, I’ll send photos/videos, along with some words. You can always respond with questions, comments or even by sharing your very own The Half Month Project.
Your regular HopeMail will resume on June 3, 2022.
Week 1 notes
Totally appreciate this class, Startup Library: Painting With Watercolors with Kateri Ewing. Kateri is an artist and a teacher.
It’s comprehensive yet with just enough content to get started with the foundation in watercolour painting.
I’m a believer in getting a good foundation. As someone doing this both for personal and work reasons, the foundation is a door with a key, to go forth and create—yet, not blindly, not, not knowing what you did and therefore couldn’t repeat it.
I want to have the artistic choice to say: I don’t want to draw/paint this. And—not avoiding drawing or painting something because I don’t know how to.
It’s great to have fun with art, but it’s awesome to harness the power of knowledge and turn it into something sustainable.
🤓 Geek out
Tools: watercolour paint
It’s logical to think about getting a cheaper student-grade watercolour when you are a beginner. So that, you don’t waste paint and money, right? I certainly thought that was the way I’m going. Paints (also good quality brushes and watercolour paper!) do cost quite a bit. How am I going to justify the costs?!
But I found out, thankfully, that going for student-grade watercolour is going to make my learning harder.
Here’s an excerpt from Liz Steel’s blog article about the difference between using student-grade vs artist-grade watercolour. Liz is an experienced artist and urban sketcher.
“It is possible to achieve good results with student-grade paint. However, it requires a lot of work and care when mixing to achieve a nice intensity and pigment load. This amount of ‘work’ would be hard for a beginner, so in a way, student sets are better for more advanced painters.”
It’s hard enough learning something new, tools either make it easier for you or harder for you. - Kateri Ewing
Thus, I forked out the moolah and bought an artist-grade Holbein watercolour set. Comforting thought: a little goes a long way with watercolour paint, so I think I don’t need to spend on this for some time.
note: if budget is a big constraint, by all means, get the student-grade watercolour. Work with what you have. Don’t let this stop you from moving forward! 💪🏻
Tools: watercolour brush
Eventually, I would need to buy a good quality brush like so from Princeton1.
Kateri’s class recommended three basic brushes to begin with. It’s RM156 in total (the cost for different sizes and different types of brushes varies). I’ll buy one brush, the size 8, to start off with. As I’ve said, if there’s a budget constraint, work with what you have first 😅.
Currently, I’m using a travel watercolour brush, which won’t cut it if I really wanna do watercolour. I bought it before taking this class, I wanted something I can sketch and paint on location with. 🤷🏻♀️ Anyway, I’ll still use it when I’m on the move, painting outdoors.
I used to have the warped idea of equating watercolour painting to those childhood painting times.
But—look at this painting.
And here’s a peek at the lovely watercolour paintings from Kateri Ewing’s portfolio.2
I rest my case.
See you next week!
Permission granted by Kateri Ewing to share the screenshot of her online portfolio.