When hurricane Irma barrelled through Tallahassee, I stocked up at Barnes & Noble to make the lockdown a little bit more pleasant. Two of the things I got were a calligraphy instructional guide and an introduction to watercolor book. As the rain fell and the storm passed, I picked up two new skills.
I always loved the way calligraphy looked and had thought about buying some calligraphy prints to hang in my room before I learned to do it myself. Truthfully, it was a lot easier than I expected and I found I had a natural skill for it. The books said that if you have good handwriting, you could probably do calligraphy with minimal problems. I still find that I have to practice something a couple of times before I have it down, but I enjoy doing it so I’ve never minded the practice! I got to do calligraphy for a friend’s wedding a little while ago, and it was heaven. It’s become a mindless activity for me; something I can sit down and do for hours without thinking about it and can end up with a satisfying final product.
This week, I played around with a couple of prints I saw on Pinterest that I wanted to attempt. I love the idea of having prints of herbs in the kitchen, but I only have one shade of green watercolor and doing different herbs requires different shades. For now, I stuck to simple leaves and lavender sprigs.
I love painting lavender sprigs like this because it’s so easy. This whole painting took a total of about 15 minutes. I made the darker purple by mixing the normal purple watercolor with a little bit of brown. I found the best way to do the leaves is to draw all the tall ones you want first, and then fill in the white spaces at the bottom with once your taller leaves have dried. The great thing about watercolor is that it doesn’t take long at all to dry. Another helpful thing about watercolor is that it’s easy to “erase”. Just dab some water on it or wipe it with a wet paper towel and it works as an almost instant eraser! I hope to be able to incorporate other flowers into this paintings soon like maybe some blue berries and yellow daisies, but for now I’m happy with just the lavender!
Truthfully, I actually don’t love this piece. I couldn’t find the right balance of lemons and leaves, and I don’t think the lavender is spaced very well. I also really don’t like how bright the yellow is, but I couldn’t figure out how to darken it without making it brown. The color wheel has never really been my thing. But hey, what’s a painting session without some failure? In the interest of being transparent, here’s my failure of the day! I do like the small leaves in the middle of this, and I might try to do a wreath of these leaves with some calligraphy in the middle next!
This one I definitely had to practice, but I’m really happy with how it turned out! I originally saw this verse on Pinterest and loved the way it looked, so I did my best to recreate it. If you’re a good trace artist, sometimes you’re able to blow things up on your computer screen enough that you can trace them if that is easier for you! Although in this case, I was able to use a calligraphy pen and knock it out. I’m definitely going to get some more calligraphy paper in different sizes at Michael’s and try to make some larger prints for above our couch or something!
The more I DIY, the more pumped I am to move into my apartment. I’m living with one of my friends from summer who spent the semester studying abroad, so it’s going to be great to get to spend so much time with her next year! We’re both very relaxed and eat healthy, so I think it’s going to be dreamy. August can’t come fast enough!