No Sketch Challenge: Watercolor Painting with a Summer Theme

Challenge: No Sketch Watercolor Painting with a Summer Theme

This collection of summer themed watercolor illustrations was a spur of the moment adventure.

The big kids were at summer camp, leaving me with the little three, ages 3-7. It’s been a long time since my oldest was 7. It was quite the adventure, and to be honest, while I had more chores to do without them here, it was like a mini vacation.

The kids wanted to paint, so instead of my usual “no”, I actually said yes. (Point for mom!) I grabbed their paint sets and got them some water and brushes and paper towels. Then I grabbed some for me.

But what would I paint. I don’t paint as much during the summer due to more demands on my energy, less time, and less inspiration. I just get more excited about painting the other seasons I guess.

I started with the little blue crab in the corner. It reminded me of our weekend in St. Michael’s, MD this past fall (you should totally go, by the way, super fun little harbor town!) From there it just sorta turned into a summer theme. I laid down some paint for a handful of illustrations and when one was dry, I added the next color or layer. (I like having more than one painting going at a time for this very reason!)

Challenge: No Sketch Watercolor Painting with a Summer Theme

The catch? Whatever I wanted to paint, I had to start with the watercolors. No pencil sketch first. My reasoning was lazy enough. I didn’t want to take a bunch of extra time getting things laid out. Who knows how long the kid’s attention span would last this time anyway.

Way back in the beginning, when I was just learning to paint, I painted like this all the time. I hadn’t fine tuned (ummm… still haven’t) my drawing skills and I didn’t know any better. I don’t paint like this as much anymore, mostly because I usually have a purpose to my painting and I want to sketch it out first to get the look and layout just right. But it is so fun to just paint. It frees me from the need for perfection (ahem) and lets me experiment. I have to remember two things when I paint this way.

Challenge: No Sketch Watercolor Painting with a Summer Theme

2 things to remember:

  1. It does have to be perfect. Things won’t be laid out just right or centered or anything. (Note the position of the palm tree to the cloud. If I was going to be all crazy, I might wish it was a smidge to the left, but who’s going to be like that?) And the end result doesn’t have to look exactly like the real thing… it’s my creative interpretation. (aka I can do what I want.)
  2. I don’t have to love every illustration in the end. There are a couple little illustrations on here that I really love and will probably scan for use later, or at least try to paint again sometime. (I think that tiny firefly is just adorable!) Others, I wasn’t happy with at all, and if I do them again, it will be to improve upon them. (The bee needs a lot of work people!)

So now it’s your turn! Grab a set of watercolor paints (your kid’s are fine!) some water and paper (I began my painting adventures with card stock if that’s all you have) and just start painting. It helps to have an idea or theme in mind to get you started, but paint anything you want. No sketching! And have fun!

Leave me a link to the pic in the comments if you upload it somewhere! I’d love to see it!

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Challenge: No Sketch Watercolor Painting with a Summer Theme

Gathering here.

Nautical Repeating Pattern – Sailboats, anchors and life preservers in watercolor

Nautical Repeating Pattern - Sailboats, anchors and life preservers in watercolor

March has been a busy month with birthdays, leaving very little time for painting. I’ve been dabbling here and there on a few projects, but they always take longer to complete that way.

This one has been in the works, from idea to completion, most of the month, maybe more. It all started when Spoonflower announced their March Design Challenge Themes. This week’s theme, Nautical.

I’ve been working on the sketches and imagining the outcome in my head for weeks, but the deadline sneaked up on me. It isn’t what I had in my head (rarely does that work out), but I think it turned out cute. I didn’t have “boy nursery” in my head from the inception, but it works. I can see this on gift wrap or bedding for the crib.

What would you use it for?

Click here to vote (between 3/28/19 and 4/2/2019) or here to see my shop.

Gathering here.

Twins Nursery Art

Twins were born a couple weeks ago to a lady in our church.  My plate has been stacked a bit full, so today I finally got the sprinkling table up for our church family to bring gifts.  Usually we would throw a whole party for new mamas, but it just didn’t workout for the family this time, so we opted for this instead.

I so enjoyed the nursery art I painted for the last one, that I just knew I wanted to do another.  This time we are celebrating twin boys born to first time parents.  I asked a couple months ago and found out they decorated the nursery in an ocean theme.  This is what I came up with for both the sprinkling and for the nursery art.

Ocean Theme Twins Nursery Art

Welcome, Noah and Andrew, to our church family!  We look forward to seeing you grow up and being a part of your lives!

 

Gathering here.

Watercolor Dolphin Illustration

I already mentioned that I’ve started painting something for each of my children on their birthdays.  They love it!

I did this one for my second son last summer when he turned 7.  We did a dolphin theme birthday.  They all put their paintings in the front pocket of their school binders.  It makes me smile. 🙂

I couldn’t find a picture before and the binder was missing.  Happily, the binder has been found (we can now file all his school papers from the last month plus instead of stacking them around the house), so I was able to take a couple quick pics for you. 🙂

IMG_1932And just for fun, this was his dolphin cake. 🙂  The dolphins are sugar cookies.