Exploring Watercolors

I have been exploring watercolors intensely for the past few months. Or: exploring water colours if you will, my whole life. Watercolors have always been in my artistic toolbox, never far from my fingertips.

Exploring watercolors a lot lately painted by iHanna, Sweden

Long before I opened up my first art journal or learned about acrylics, I owned a set of artist watercolors. And I have always loved them deeply, even though I used to use them like crayons – for coloring illustrations.

Now – I’m exploring how they want to flow on their own, together, to the side, with the water droplets on the page… I’m falling in love all over again!

Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing. Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors. Every stroke you put down you have to go with. Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing. Joan Didion

Flowing together in watercolors painted by iHanna, Sweden

Since I haven’t gone to Art School – I still have a lot to learn, and right now I’m learning by doing. Pushing paint around on a blank piece of paper. Learning as I go… And maybe we all have a lot to learn, all the time. The trick is to remember that learning is the beginning, the first step.

Watercolor circles flowing painted by iHanna, Sweden

So I keep my neon pink box close, most days. Watercolors are so easy to use, since you don’t have to worry about staining clothes or furniture. All you need is a bit of water, and your favorite paint brush and you’re ready to start exploring. You need no special knowledge, though it might help.

Flowing Circles in watercolors painted by iHanna, Sweden

For me, I find it is hard to stop, once you get going. I’m so used to fill the whole spread of each art journal page with colors, that I forget how beautiful the white in between is.

Watercolor seams to stay more alive if you let it breath a bit. Watercolor seams to listen to your wishes and wants only when you concentrate and stay calm. It’s a bit like meditating.

Flowing together circles in watercolors painted by iHanna, Sweden

I’ve been working on loose paper, in my art journal and in this lovely Moleskine watercolor sketchbook:

Circles in the Moleskine journal painted by iHanna, Sweden

I’ve been exploring watercolors a whole life time, exploring colors, playing and learning and exploring.

I don’t plan to ever stop.

My Watercolor Explorations painted by artist Hanna Andersson a.k.a. @ihanna - Sweden #watercolours

How about you? What are you exploring / diving into / learning about / loving and falling in love with / right now? Please do tell.


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5 Responses to Exploring Watercolors

  1. Valerie says:

    I agree with everything you said about watercolors!! I love how vibrant they can get and I adore how they move on the paper. They can be soft and subtle or bold and bright. My mom bought me a set big set of watercolor markers that can be used for stamping, and I’ve been playing with those lately. I’ll stamp an image in permanent ink, then outline the image with various marker colors, then spray the image with a mini water spritzer and watch the colors reach out in all directions like little tendrils. Lastly I’ll use my water dropper to add color drops everywhere 💚

  2. Beautiful! I love this post for its simplicity. It makes me want to get my watercolours out and paint again. I love the effects you can get from just a few colours and what you can do with those circles afterwards. Thank you so much for sharing with us

  3. Kelley Fewer says:

    After a long time away from them, my threads and I are getting reacquainted. My latest exploration is in embroidery and stitching, “sew” much fun!

    Shine on!

  4. Ilona says:

    I’ve actually been exploring watercolors recently as well! I haven’t used them in forever (think elementary school) so it’s fun to see what I can do with them as an artist.

    Love the pictures!

  5. Annie Peters says:

    You know, I think you’ve captured the essence of watercolor in this post. You have to let go, let it flow and breath for it work. I’ve dabbled in watercolor for years, but never felt truly comfortable with it. I swear that it is because I’m such a controlled person and my fascination with watercolor is because it is the opposite of me and requires different skills. In my case, the benefit truly comes from the process and not the product.

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