During my time at Southern Adventist Univeristy, I had the privilege to take a class called Illustration Methods. This class gave me the basic idea on how to use several different types of media. I was allowed me to experiment with scratchboards, color pencils, acrylic paints, and watercolors.
Since then, I have been on this uphill battle trying to figure out how watercolor works, which method is best for me, and trying to discover my style. Watercolors are completely different than all other medias for one reason; the artist has to give up control.
Unlike color pencils, acrylic paint, and other medias, watercolor travels anywhere it wants too within the moisture of the page. Learning to let go of control has been, and still is, the hardest concept for me. I can only direct the color where to go, but for anyone who has practiced using watercolors would know that you have to accept how it appears.
When I sat down to work on these African animals illustrations, I prayed that I would not focus on how great it looked, but to learn something from the experience. I wanted to give up my control, allow the water react with the color and accept the outcome.
Once I was able to do this, I feel like a light came on! I was starting to understand this media better than I had before. This process of me learning to let go seems like a great metaphor for how God works in our lives. When we try to control every part of our life somehow, it manages to crumble. We get frustrated and confused and wonder why life isn’t as perfect as we imagine it. But, if we learn to let go and trust that God has things under control, we begin to see a beautiful picture appearing before us.
Now that I have gained this new perceptive, both artistically and spiritually, I hope that I will begin to embrace watercolors the way they are made to be. Have you ever tried experimenting with watercolors or another media? What was your experience like? I would love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below!
For more comparison of watercolors to life, check out this video: