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Modern Floral Watercolor 3

In this one, I used another color pallet that I planned out before I started. I tried a different flower shape too. I wish I'd added a little variation in the leaves and some smaller flowers, but I'm pretty happy about this one overall.

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Modern Floral Watercolor 2

This is my second attempt at a modern floral watercolor with one of the pallets from my last post. I think the colors and composition are better, but I don't love the shapes of the flowers. Also, I wasn't sure what to do in the middle of the red flowers, so I just left them empty...

Color Pallets

I found that one of the issues I had with my first modern watercolor floral painting is that I didn't think very much about the color pallet. I just used colors that I liked and, unfortunately, I didn't like them together. So, I sat down and just planned out a couple of color pallets that I wanted to try. These are combinations of Windsor Newton paints and some handmade colors from Designs by Rachel Beth on Etsy.

Modern Floral Watercolor

One thing that I see so much of lately is the modern floral watercolors. And they are BEAUTIFUL. Just the simple, gestural flowers and leaves, you know? I love them so much and it makes me sad because I just don't understand. Haha! I mean, they look so simple, but I just cannot make my brain tell my hand to do that and I don't know why. I've decided the only way to figure it out is to just do it-- even if it looks bad-- until I get it. So, don't laugh, but this is my first attempt at a modern floral watercolor. It's bad, I know. But there are a few elements I like.

A few things I learned: think about the color pallet beforehand. I knew I wanted to paint the main flowers in this awesome rose gold (from Designs by Rachel Beth on Etsy), but I didn't think any farther than that. And now I regret it. Also, I think it would have been better if I had thought about the composition a little more. I feel like this one is a little awkward. Lastly, I learned that you just …

Layered Pines Watercolor

Another painting that I see quite frequently on Instagram is layered pine trees that fade into the background. I wanted to give it a try and I knew my handmade Succulent Garden watercolor pallet that I just got from Designs By Rachel Beth on Etsy would be perfect.

I started with a wet background and lightly painted in some pine trees. I let that dry and then layered some more pine trees over the first ones, but just a touch darker. After those dried, I added one more layer of pine trees, but much more saturated in color. I painted hints of trunks on the last layer, too. Then, because it was snowing in the mountains here in Utah, I put some white gouache on a brush and tapped it over the top for a hint of snow. Fun! Can't wait to do this again!

Watercolor Cactus

One thing I've been seeing on Instagram a lot lately that I think is super cute is cacti. I love them because they are simple green shapes with pops of color. I decided to try my own using a little trick I learned at the watercolor and calligraphy retreat I went to a couple weekends ago. With the class, we received two packs of watercolor pencils (from Close to My Heart). My first though was "oh great, watercolor pencils" (with eye roll). I've never been into colored pencils and I've never really had a desire to try watercolor pencils until the instructor pointed something out-- you can use watercolor pencils to sketch your drawing and it will just blend in when you paint your picture. What?! That's one of the best tricks I've ever heard! So, I sketched out what I wanted to paint and just started filling it in:

I added a simple ground color and shadows so they weren't just floating in space:

And then I did something bad... I thought I had a very fine …

Modern Calligraphy

As I mentioned a couple posts back, I attended a watercolor and calligraphy retreat. I was expecting brush calligraphy, but I got modern calligraphy (taught by Melissa Esplin @melissapher on Instagram) with an actual calligraphy nib-- SCARY! But it wasn't really. It's going to take a lot of work and practice... and nibs! I'm so excited to work with it though!

I've only done a very little bit of practice so far. I got almost all the way through the alphabet in lower case before I decided I just wanted to write some words. It happened to be the first day of autumn when I was practicing, so what better words to practice than "welcome autumn" in all lower case letters (because I don't know any upper case letters yet).

I will say... it's intimidating to start but so mesmerizing once you get into it.

I feel like there is a little improvement between the first and second "welcome autumn", but I do need to work on my hairlines (that l... yuck!)