As far as drawing techniques go, watercolor can be really frustrating. As soon as the paint hits the paper, it seems to take a life of its own. Wait for it to dry, and the results may be far from what you intended.
Before the frustration makes you reconsider the medium, I recommend that you pick up a copy of One Watercolor a Day (Quarry Books, $22.99). The new title by New York City artist Veronica Lawlor and the talented illustrators at Studio 1482 comes with perhaps the most empowering advice I’ve ever heard about watercolor: “Let it flow.”
So simple, yet so true!
Lawlor provides 42 fun and accessible exercises that will make the most timid sketchers loosen up and embrace the free-flowing quality of the medium. Some assignments involve a bit of urban sketching such as visiting a city park to draw botanical patterns or drawing a skyline from a rooftop. Others can be done from the comfort of your studio, such as drawing portraits from photos using your least favorite color or dipping a leaf in paint to create mono prints.
What I love the most about the book is Lawlor’s exploratory approach to art, which she already shared in her previous book, One Drawing A Day. While many books teach specific ways to use watercolor, One Drawing a Day shows you the path to find your own way.