Art Unboxed

Art Unboxed Art Challenges

This week I wanted to talk about Art Challenges. I’ve enjoyed and participated in Inktober for years now. Also for a couple of years I’ve wanted to get involved with World Watercolor Month, which began today.

This morning I posted a watercolor of a waterfall from the Adirondacks. While Nicholas was a baby, painting a watercolor every day wasn’t always possible, now that he’s three it’s more feasible. Art Challenges are not only fun, they are a wonderful method of practicing your art. I find if there is a bigger purpose behind it, I make time for it more.

With traditional watercolor I love the mixing of color, the way you can play with values. Another aspect I love is negative painting, allowing the white of the paper to become part of the picture. My favorite watercolor brush is a 12 inch round which is my exclusive brush for watercolor. Whereas with acrylics I tend to navigate more to the large flat brushes.

A funny watercolor story, when Nicholas was a baby. I had to be very careful which watercolor videos I watched while he was napping. They would suddenly pull out a hair dryer and we could go from napping to screaming quickly. Maybe because of both this, and my aversion to loud noises, I avoided using a hair dryer with my watercolors until recently.

For Father’s Day my wife bought me one of the craft heat guns. It resembles a large oversized pencil with a stand, and it’s quieter than a traditional hair dryer. I’ve enjoyed using it with my watercolors, it’s added a new dimension to them. Never being a huge wet on wet watercolorist, I can now take more risks because of this one tool.

Among other things, I hope to experiment with World Watercolor Month in a similar way as with Inktober. I alternate between traditional and digital ink sketches each day. For the first day of this challenge I wanted to share both a traditional watercolor, and follow the prompt Train with a digital for this article.

An artist I am a huge fan of, Aaron Blaise, says something I completely agree with, digital is just another medium of art. Whether traditional watercolor, or digital painting, each medium has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to watercolor I love both, just as I love acrylic, pastel, or drawing with a fountain pen or pencil. I learn from each, and the experience with every medium is so enjoyable.

Just as participating in Inktober has greatly improved my draftsmanship, I hope to learn new watercolor techniques through World Watercolor Month. I would greatly encourage you to participate in an Art Challenge of your choice. In addition to enhancing your skills, they are a wonderful way of becoming more involved with the online art community as well.

In the end an Art Challenge is a healthy way of challenging yourself to become better. In our current Bible Study for the summer that’s also our topic, “The Pursuit Of Better” @ Point Of Mercy with Pastor Denny Livingston. We can all become better in every area of our lives and our art.

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