I took most of December off from my day job to relax and work on new art projects. Of course, as it always goes, I didn't get nearly as much done as I would have liked or ended up doing things I did not plan (such as this new website). I did get solid time in on two big things though, exploring Western watercolors and doing Chinese watercolor reminiscent of ancient painting styles. There is a great simplicity in Sumi-e and Chinese watercolor that can be both freeing and frustrating. You learn to live with your mistakes, or as Bob Ross called them, "happy accidents", because there's very little you can do to correct it. But sometimes those mistakes just make you want to rip it up start over >.< Western watercolor on the other hand is more forgiving in that respect though certainly comes with its own challenges. I love some of the watercolor techniques I've seen though that you can't elsewhere so I've really been wanting to try it.
My first few watercolor attempts where just playing around and trying to paint some random thing that came to mind. This mostly resulted in looking like I was back in grade school. Never an encouraging start, but I knew I just needed more planning. So, I decided to work on two projects at once by taking my sketch for my Chinese watercolor painting and also doing a Western watercolor version of it.
The inspiration for this first set came from a photo of the Laojun Mountains where fresh air was recently collected from and passed out in Zhengzhou.
Overall I'm happy since this very much in the experimental/learning phase. For the second set I decided to try using semi-sized Xuan paper as it doesn't bleed easily. And for the watercolor version I decided to try not doing the outline in black ink. This time inspiration came from this amazing artwork.
My final paintings of 2014:
I was tempted to save this to be the first painting in my 52 project, but decided that would be cheating. There were some other experiments such as trying out sodium alginate thicker for dye, but this is all I have to share right now.