I remember in junior high loving the way watercolor went on the paper. I was painting flowers and the way the paint mixed with the water was beautiful. My use of watercolor was sporadic. Later on I thought that watercolor would make brighter illustrations for children’s books than the guache I was using. So off to a watercolor class.
There are a lot of rules with watercolor and some myths out there like watercolor is so unforgiving. When I took that first watercolor class, the paint was not doing what I wanted it to do. My painting didn’t look like I wanted it to look like. It was frustrating. At that point if I had listened to my frustrations, I would have quit the painting and missed out on years of joy discovering watercolor.
Sometimes the best way to learn something is to dive in and use the medium. That’s what I did with watercolor, I dived in and learned how the paint mixed with the water. I learned what happened if I added more water and I saw what happened when the paint was added fresh to a wet spot on the painting. I have a lot of tools in my watercolor toolbox. Mostly I learned from the day to day painting of the things that grabbed my attention. So now do I know everything there is to know about watercolor? No. That is the joy of a creative life. There is always something else to learn.