Diving into Watercolors

Diving into Watercolors

I am soooo excited! A few weeks ago I shared an article I wrote oh so long ago for a past blog. It was titled Unrequited Dreams and spoke of my desire the learn how to watercolor. If you haven’t read the blog and would like to, you can read it HERE.

In a nutshell, I’ve wanted to use watercolors for the past 2 decades, got all the supplies from encouraging family and friends, periodically brought out all the materials, fondly caressed them, but never put paint to paper. If you know me at all, you know I’m pretty fearless when it comes to most things artistic and crafty. So, I can’t give any logical reason for why I’ve never done it. I just found the whole idea overwhelming.

Well… the other day I decided to do something about it. I enrolled in Alisa Burke’s online watercoloring class. Major biggie step for me. You can read all about the class HERE. Anyway… it is a five week class, and this week I began. Lesson 1 is all about watercolor materials. I read, looked at photos, and watched Alisa’s videos. She is just so darn cute and laid back, and I thoroughly enjoyed all she shared. For homework this week, we were just asked to gather some supplies, and muck with them a bit to get familiar with them.

So, for the very first time, I opened my watercolors, which I have a WIDE assortment of, wet my brush, and actually began! Here are my first color swatches, getting a feel for the water and paint on my brush.

Now, this might not seem like much to most mortals, but this was huge for me! I actually was using my watercolors. Next, I played with some other colors, and tried using my water color pencils in different ways. I was simply experimenting.

NOW I was having fun! I’ve always wanted to learn to watercolor for 2 main reasons. First, I want to be able to paint pictures of the plants in my gardens. I keep a journal of my gardening, and I always thought it would be wonderful to have watercolor photos of each plant. Second, I would like to write a children’s book and be able to illustrate it myself. (Think Beatrix Potter meets gnomes 🙂 Although I realized this is just week 1 of the class, and all I was suppose to do was gather supplies and introduce myself to them, I wanted to do more! So, I grabbed a tag from some plants we just bought

and decided to give it a try. Here is my first honest-to-goodness attempt at painting with watercolors!

I know it’s not perfect, and I know I’m going to learn so much from my class that will help me, but personally, I was thrilled with my Big Bang Cosmic Eye Coreopsis, and more importantly, I fell head-over-heels in love with watercoloring. It happened that fast!

Next, I found a photo online of a field of coneflowers I used for inspiration. We have bunches of them in our yard and I love them.

I also spent some time looking at other paintings I’ve seen that I have been drawn to. As I started sketching out the flowers, I knew that my paintings will probably always lean to the whimsical, because EVERYTHING I do is whimsical. So, here are my coneflowers, with just a dollop of whimsy!

Looking at the painting up close, I see that I have much to learn about blending colors and composition, but people… I’M WATERCOLORING!!! Holy-Moly! Never thought I’d see this day! So excited to have my first page in my new watercoloring journal.

The moral of the story…And, if you have been afraid to try something new like I was, go for it! I’m just sorry I waited so long. I’ll keep you guys posted on the class. When I’m done with it, I’ll revisit my coneflowers!



  1. You did a beautiful job with your painting. Thank you for the encouragement. We will never know what we can do unless we try.

    1. Exactly, although I'm not a poster child for jumping in… it's only taken me over 20 years to finally give it a try 😉

  2. Very nice for first attempt! I too have all I need to start painting(pencils) with Watercolors. The only thing I have used them for is to color in eyes on an art doll. Someday……you might have inspired me. Love your blog.

    1. Thank you so much. I hope you dig in and start watercoloring, too.

  3. Wow! sometimes we really should listen to those yearnings inside a little more intently!!! You definitely have a talent for water color!!! don’t look for the imperfections – (which by the way only you can see!) The cone flowers are a delight!!! I love them! Wishing you much joy on your journey of discovery and learning.

    1. Thanks! It feels so good to be finally giving this a try!

  4. Love Love Love your talent!!! xoxo 🙂

  5. Wow if this is your first attempt at watercolors you’ll be amazing when you’ve completed the class. This is something I’ve always wanted to learn too. But our area it’s hard to find quality watercolor paper. Plus I need to get better at sketching. Oh well someday I’ll do it, for now I’m quilting.

    1. Quilting is so satisfying… pick colors and patterns and bringing it all together. Make sure you read TODAYS BLOG for my opinion on your sketching abilities 🙂

  6. Very lovely, especially love the Coreopsis! Can you keep us posted on your progress? I am thinking about taking that class and it would be interesting to see if that really helps. I, unlike you, cannot draw, so I am wondering if it will be a waste of time for me. Soooo would love to be able to draw/paint!

    1. I will definitely be sharing more work, because despite the fact that this is a blog and we love to share our projects with our readers, it is also my personal journal 🙂 BTW… make sure to read TODAY'S BLOG. You may not know it yet, but you can draw 🙂

  7. It was so beautiful. I love to work with water colors as they look amazing in the pictures.

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  8. I have always wanted to paint but never thought I could. I have always had lots of fun crafting, now after looking at you pictures, I’m going to paint.

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