I decided to make my own Christmas cards this year, I used to when I was drawing but once I stumbled into glass - not literally that would be painful - I never found the time to create the cards. My chosen medium, before glass, was pencils: beautiful coloured pencils. My favourite being Derwent Inktense and 'ordinary' Derwent Artists pencils. The down side of pencils is they are time consuming but I figured starting my Christmas cards in October gave me loads of time. I am nothing if not over optimistic!
After spending a whole day designing and drawing one image in coloured pencil I was being to rethink my Christmas card idea, the thought of popping into town, or better still sending my daughter on her lunch break from work (she works in town) would save me loads of time I am always moaning I don't have. BUT... I have already brought the blank cards for printing, got the VERY EXPENSIVE archival ink in my rather posh printer, brought for printing my original drawings years ago and had got the husband to not only source me the clear cellophane packets for the cards but also to bulk buy the cardboard backed envelopes with DO NOT BEND on the front. Really I had to crack on with this idea having invested money.. well husband's, but what is mine is mine and what is his is mine so....
Deciding, that fateful day of the 'great Christmas card idea' to abandon hope I cheered myself up by cleaning out the cupboard in the dinning room - you know the cupboard, you shove everything in it, weld the door shut, pray it won't pop open and squash the cat should the contents burst forth when no one is looking.. we all have one.. don't we?
At the back of this cupboard I found not one, not two but three sets of watercolour paints and a box full of tubes of watercolour paint from way back in my 'I am going to paint and be brilliant at it years' before I abandoned all hope of mastering watercolours believing them to be the gift of the Gods and those Gods were just not gifting me!
'Ah... ha' I decided 'a quick doodle with a paintbrush to produce a work of brilliance is WAY quicker than the pencils' and so I dragged out the paints, cleaned up the dried palette's, found an old cup with a crack in it - try finding one without a chip ...my son still lives at home, he of the 'Chief cup chipper' gene - and then dug about a bit more in the cupboard until I found the watercolour brushes.
Armed with my paints, some paper, my brushes I sat at the kitchen table and remembered I was completely rubbish with watercolour so I then Googled, Watercolours for Dummies. I love Google!
Google told me to try mixing the colour on the brush and .. get this.. USE LOTS OF WATER.. I know shouldn't be rocket science but turns out this was where I was going wrong all those years, not enough water and trying to be clever mixing the paint in the palette.. and never mixing enough although I do know there is more than 20 colours of mud!
I loaded up my brush, with water, I coated my bristles in pigment from the watercolour pans and I kept it all quite simple, 'I will just use my doodles' I thought 'the ones I sit in front of the TV and do without thinking about line, or form or quality, those doodles that I enjoy and will turn into beads at the next torch session'. So I did! Turns out I like watercolour after all, now if you will excuse me I am off to create some more designs for Christmas cards and that owl with the Robin isn't quite right, his eyes are weird and he is flat.. just a tweak here and there!