Direct Watercolor Strategy #5: Paint something familiar

Here’s another direct watercolor strategy I plan to rely on:
Strategy #5: Paint Something Familiar

Something you know well, have drawn before, draw often…it could be anything. For me, it’s Walter. Walter is a human skull model that sits on my desk. When I’m stuck for stuff to draw, there’s Walter.

Here are some drawings of Walter from over the years.

Painting something familiar is not so different from doing a small study first, or drawing something more than once: you’ve had some time to get familiar with your subject, perhaps in another medium. So now it’s time to use the familiar subject to make the leap to a less familiar way of painting.

Here are a few direct watercolor studies of Walter. (yes, more than one!)

I find that the more studies and observation I’ve done before I get to direct paint, the more likely I am to paint freely, and to simplify.

Where I live, it’s almost the 1st of June right now, and like you, I’ll be kicking off the month with a small direct watercolor piece tomorrow.

Here’s the list of strategies so far to help ease you into direct painting:
Strategy #1: • Pick a forgiving subject
Strategy #2: • Do a Small Study First
Strategy #3: • Don’t Stop at One
Strategy #4: • Zoom and Crop
Strategy #5: • Paint something familiar

If you haven’t joined in yet, join the Direct Watercolor group on facebook here.


About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in challenge, teaching, watercolor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Direct Watercolor Strategy #5: Paint something familiar

  1. jofox2108 says:

    I’m fascinated by this direct watercolour approach. Nicely done!


  2. Ha! Skulls – a go to doodle. If i’m drawing on scrap paper, often I start with a skull 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Luis says:

    My familiar is a Golden Pothos sitting in the kitchen and peppers from the market. Admittedly I haven’t painted them in watercolor (or gouache) but this post has served as a good push. Thank you Suhita

    Liked by 1 person

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