On Painting Freely

All along I thought I am painting in a free, relax manner.
Until I got hold of 3 watercolor books. A gift from my bf.
Wonderful books pack with tips and learning. The artists paint freely in their own style.
I’m eager to learn new techniques.

watercolor books

I started the Atmospheric Watercolours by Jean Haines.
Her paintings are loose, wild, vibrant and screaming with freedom.
I think back on how I paint–
It’s in a manner that I can feel the brush on paper, my hands gripping on the brush handle. I paint like that.

Jean Haines holds the brush in a relax grip.
The way she applies the paint on paper feels like a gentle whisper.
All throughout the first exercise she reminds to just relax and have fun.

I feel a fear of not being able to follow while reading the instructions.
Then as I apply the first gentle stroke trying not to grip the brush too hard–
I quickly read the next step and until I am in the midway that I feel this is not turning out into a loose painting.
I find myself working back on the spots that I feel needs a retouch.
This is a wet into wet technique and it kind of freaks me where all those colors are going.
I do that kind of technique in an abstract way but not in a way that hints something concrete.

Then I inhale and just let go. I keep holding the brush in a loose grip.
Loading more water and fresh paint. Switching brushes.
Tilting the sketchbook. Allowing the colors to merge.
It creates a pool of mud.
I work quickly. I let it be.

loose watercolor painting

Today I learn to finally really enjoy watercolor painting.
I learn what it means to truly paint with abandonment.
To be in the moment.
To watch and be amazed.
To be patient.
To keep learning.
To practice, practice, practice.
To give up the need to correct mistakes and make it good.

And hopefully as I progress I will paint paintings that will sing with my music!


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Sketch Your Life Wherever You Are!

A free ebook that helps you create expressive sketches of your life in pen and watercolor.


  1. Tracey Fletcher King September 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    This painting is just wonderful… great clean colour and lots of movement… really like this…a lot…xx

  2. Beautiful painting, flowing and zen. Awesome washes and colors. HPPF!

  3. Nita Engle’s book helped me a lot! Watercolor can be lots of fun!

  4. Loving your vibrant watercolour, enjoy your fab books. Happy PPF, Annette x

  5. You’re absolutely right, the most extensive is enjoy applying colors and always, always learning every day, your watercolor is very balanced and clean and that is good. Saludos

  6. I agree it is so important to relax and have fun when we create! Happy PPF!

  7. What a beautiful gift from you BF! I think your painting is marvelous and these words are perfection:
    “I learn what it means to truly paint with abandonment.
    To be in the moment.
    To watch and be amazed.
    To be patient.
    To keep learning.
    To practice, practice, practice.
    To give up the need to correct mistakes and make it good.”
    Happy PPF – Keep painting!!

  8. very beautiful. I have a similar book that I love, called the The Tao of Watercolor – http://www.amazon.com/The-Tao-Watercolor-Revolutionary-Creativity/dp/0823050572/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347642352&sr=8-1&keywords=tao+watercolor Your description of your process is a beautiful poem as well. Happy PPF

  9. beautiful piece, have fun learning new things!

  10. Lovely flowing energy in your painting ~ Wow! ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  11. It’s beautiful, Elisa. It’s different from the beautiful waterscape you sent to me, but beautiful in an abstract way. I see freedom and looseness. That’s a lesson I could learn. Maybe SHOULD learn.

  12. Great advice!! I need to remember to ‘be in the moment’ more when I paint. Lovely painting!! Happy PPF!

  13. It sings for me this lovely piece. I see no mud…I see flowing lines and brush strokes of paint…it’s a pretty outcome. Keep on having fun doing this. Joy is yours a lightly held paintbrush away….you wrote this beautifully too. HPPF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Wow this is lovely, very strong and clean. Well done. Keep on being happy.

  15. nora Clemens-Gallo September 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Your painting is beautiful. Love those colors.Just beautiful!!!

  16. You painting is beautiful. Wonderful colors, and I don’t see the mud to which you refer. Enjoy your new freedom!

  17. I love this! It’s free and spontaneous. Good for you!
    It’s great when you feel like you have made a huge leap forward, isn’t it?

  18. Very expressive and flows freely to me. I like it!!
    Happy PPF!
    Sheri Cook
    Happy Horse Studio

  19. So so gorgeous!!
    My favorite by you yet!
    It’s as though the watercolor is breathing.

    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  20. WOW. i can’t even tell you how much I love this work. The colours are so vibrant and beautiful and there is so much energy and WOW! I am going to look into those books, I have been wanting to explore watercolours.

  21. This is gorgeous! I see a cats eye or birds eye with a beak on the right, how cool !!! Your words to paint by remind me its a good way all around to live by too!!! Deb

  22. Darlene K Campbell October 15, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    You expressed this beautifully…both in words and the painting. Definately enjoying your Blog. Happy I met you at This Ordinary Adventure.

  23. I’m glad you loosened up today! You expressed everything so beautifully!

    Well done

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