Day 65: An Attempt at Watercolours

Any anime buffs out there recognize her?
Any anime buffs out there recognize her?

So today I finally got up the nerve to take my watercolours for a spin.  As a result I ended up staying up way later than I intended.  Still, it was pretty fun.  I decided to start with sort of a really simple master study.  Basically I just totally copied another artist’s work to see how well I could do it.  So it doesn’t really qualify as fan art because that tends to imply creating original art using preexisting characters rather than just straight up copying something.  It isn’t entirely a full master study either because it’s not a scaled replication and I don’t think I was really being accurate enough to qualify.

Still, I consider it to be something of a master study.  I took a painting by a famous artist whom I greatly admire, Hayao Miyazaki, and tried to recreate it.  It was not easy and I was definitely way off on some of the colours.  Watercolours must be a particularly difficult medium to do master studies in.  I’m probably going to have a lot of trouble with it once I work up the nerve to try doing some proper ones.  It’s just not as forgiving as some other mediums.  It’s a lot harder to correct your mistakes.  Once you get the wrong colour down or even the right colour but in the wrong place it’s very hard to make adjustments.  I also didn’t really get the under-drawing down perfectly and I can now fully appreciate just how much that affects the finished work.  This is why I need to spend soooo much time practicing basic drawing skills and line art.  If the drawing is wrong then everything else will be off.

Nonetheless, I don’t think it turned out too bad.  It’s definitely nowhere near as good as the original but when I hide the original away for a while and just look at my sketch it doesn’t look half bad.  My apologies to Hayao Miyazaki, the artist whose work I copied and who’s watercolour skills I can appreciate and admire even more now than I did before.  I have no idea how he does what he does.  Clearly he is a paint whisperer or something.  Of course he does paint with watercolours all of the time so maybe it’s just years and years of constant practice.  I will strive to improve my own skills so that hopefully one day I can produce work as beautiful as his.

I also did a few rough sketches of people in various poses.  It felt strange not having sketched anything in my regular daily sketchbook so I just had to do something.  I think I may have formed some kind of strange addictive or OCD type pattern here.  It’s not just good enough to draw something, I also have to draw something in the same sketchbook that I’ve been drawing all of my other sketches in.  Also I keep talking about how badly I need to improve my figure drawing skills so it seemed like a good idea to try doing something.  I won’t get any better if I don’t practice after all.

Some Quick Figure PracticeThe top left figure is supposed to be me so I suppose it’s a bit of a self portrait.  I didn’t bother with mirrors or photos or anything though so it’s not a very accurate one.  I was just trying to think of a pose to draw a figure in and thought “Well, I’m in a pose right now aren’t I?  Why not just draw myself in the pose that I’m in right now?”.  So that’s what I did.  The bottom right was my husband again in almost the exact same pose he was in last time I drew him but this was a much quicker and less detailed sketch than that one.  The other two were just made up poses/ones I was trying to do from memory with no reference.

Still a long way to go but maybe if I keep working at it eventually I’ll be able to draw people properly.  That would open up a whole world of interesting things to draw.  Of course at some point I need to conquer scenery and perspective too if I ever want to actually draw anything interesting.  Oh well, I still have lots of time to practice.  I just need to take it one step at a time.


8 thoughts on “Day 65: An Attempt at Watercolours

    1. Thank you. I played around a lot with water colours as a child.

      I also tried to do a painting a couple months ago as a Christmas present for my husband but other than that I haven’t really used them since I was about 10 years old. I’m pretty sure that’s when my paints date back too as well although I used brand new brushes for this one.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you :). I’m glad she’s recognizable although I’m sure Teto helps. I couldn’t quite capture the intensity that Miyazaki somehow manages to imbue in her.

      Nausicaa is one of my all time favourite movies so I had a lot of fun trying to paint her. I have no idea how Miyazaki does what he does with watercolours but I’d definitely like to learn a thing or two from his work.


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