Saturday, January 03, 2015

2015 New Year Resolutions

Well here we are in 2015.  How many of you have made New Year resolutions? I’m not sure if this is a North American “tradition” or if people from other continents/ countries also do this.
I confess to not making New Year resolutions and haven’t done so for as long as I can remember. However, if you are inclined to make some, here are some ideas related to watercolours that you might be able to stick to. Yes, we all know that most people do not stick with their resolutions beyond a couple of weeks. We can still hope.

So here are a few ideas to stretch your artistic self:
  • Paint or sketch every day (wouldn’t that be nice);
  • Experiment with new colours that you can mix. Get out of your comfort zone;
  • Try different brushes. Most of us have a preference for either round or flat;
  • Try out a new style (e.g. loose, realism, etc.). This can only benefit your natural tendencies and you may discover a talent for something different;
  • Read more about composition or colours or techniques;
  • Try painting on a different surface, e.g. hot press, yupo, canvas, watercolour ground on board, etc..;
  • Make time to study the work of artists that you admire;
  • Write an article for this blog (wink wink);
  • Exhibit in local art fairs;
  • Volunteer with a local art association; or
  • If you haven’t already done so, start going through the lessons in the Art Tutor Academy. There is so much to learn from that site.
I’m hoping that this list will have triggered some new ideas for you.
This week's artist find is Ray Hendershot.
Ray Hendershot's watercolours
Happy New Year everyone ... make it a great artistic year!


  1. At this point in time I don't get a wink from a lady every day :-) . So that worked Danielle. I guess New Year resolutions are triggered by the expanse of 12 months and the feeling of being able to start on page one as it were.
    Then there is the fact that most resolutions come to fruition when one is consistently sticking to it, much like forming a habit and the purpose of making them is to negate another, like procrastination.

    The list proposed is interesting and all suggestions are really useful and helpful. As a matter of fact most of it I have used to keep me going throughout the year :-) and with this I've taken off another of the remaining few on that list.

    I am most appreciative of the time and effort you've put in putting up and maintaining this blog Danielle and I'd like to urge other AT members to comment and contribute. It need not be a treatise on a particular subject, a shared tip, a learning experience, news on a new product, a technique you stumbled upon, Youtube links to demos, all are good.

    I find Danielle's : "Artist find" a great idea.
    Let's make it what it says on top : "A forum to provide additional resources for Art Tutor watercolorists and others"
    I'd like to conclude by referring to one item on the list :

    Try different brushes. Most of us have a preference for either round or flat

    Most of the time I use and have developed a personal preference for the round brush. This has had me trying sizes and fibers, the features that we differentiate rounds by in general. My observations :
    - loading capacity, the ability to hold water or a paint and water mix is important.
    - pointing ability, a sharp point is something you do want in a round.
    - The two abovementioned points are a natural consequence of natural fibers, pun
    unintended. Sable being the best of the lot but also the priciest.
    - synthetic fibers are relatively stiffer, "have more snap" in painter talk. They also
    are a better choice if you need to "draw with a brush" as they give you more
    control because of a more "pencil-y" feel.
    - It is not only the point of rounds you can use but also the belly and occasionally
    when you press harder and splay the tip, that very splayed tip can give you
    interesting marks or strokes. Try it.
    - I discovered the "Quill" or sometimes called : mop brush. Here the filaments are
    held by a synthetic plastic hose, much like a feather's quill, secured by copper or
    other metal wire, 3 to 4 rows of it, to the handle. These are ideal for big and
    small washes alike. They come in all sizes but differ from one manufacturer to
    another. Check.

    It is the one brush type where one can say it is possible to finish a painting with one single (type of) brush.
    But there is a gamut of brush types, flats, filberts, brights etc. We'll save that for another discussion OK ?

    Happy painting.

    1. Thanks Jen, Interesting comments on the quill. I was under the impression you also used flat brushes. If you don't mind, I could use part of your comments for the next blog. Danielle

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