Learning to slow down & be more patient…

Following on from yesterday’s post, I am continuing to chart my progress at improving my watercolour skills following the teachings of Jean Haines. In fact, it was Jean’s suggestion that I write this blog..so here goes…

As I stated yesterday, she advocates beginning each day’s painting session by creating 3 washes using different colours and methods – putting no pressure on yourself …So here are my efforts for today….


The one on the left is made using Daniel Smith’s Mayan Blue watercolour pigment and water…I really like this effect. The one in the centre is Daniel Smith Opera Pink and Quinacridone Pink with salt. Here, I must admit to struggling a little with the salt effects, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and I’m not altogether sure why….perhaps I am too impatient, adding it too early – I will persist… The one on the right is Cadmium Yellow and Daniel Smith’s Carbazole Violet with some delicate effects created by using clingfilm. I really must remember that violet and yellow do not make the most vibrant of colours, rather a muddy brown….what can I say, I’m a slow learner…

(I must say here that discovered Daniel Smith watercolours through Jean’s recommendations..)

My next attempts were at an exercise from Jean’s excellent book ‘Paint Yourself Calm’..

imageThis really is a lovely book, and one that I needed at this time. I was putting so much pressure on myself to create masterpieces that I was in danger of losing my love of drawing and painting, making marks… Jean advocates placing no pressure on your shoulders, just enjoy playing with pigment….so I have been doing just that… Here are my attempts at an exercise from her book…. and this is where I must learn to be a little more patient….



I like the effect you get when colours run into each other but I didn’t want the Cascade Green to run quite so much into the yellow….I should have waited a little … but you know what, no matter, I enjoyed the process and have learnt something about myself in the meantime…..and that’s what Jean’s book is all about…

To end my session today, I practised painting roses in Jean’s inimitable style (although I think that’s probably an oxymoron as only Jean can create her wonderful images!!)

Below are the first washes of my two attempts….using Daniel Smith Rose of Ultramarine, a gorgeous colour that separates wonderfully…


imageI know I fiddled too much with the two roses on the right hand side of the top wash, still haven’t learnt to resist the temptation…..so I had another go…. Here I should add that these washes are on hot press paper, smooth, white…so I am learning how the pigment and water flow much more freely….

I’m taking my time with these studies, as in my mind’s eye I have an image for a larger painting, so want to hone my skills before committing to that big, white expanse…

To that end, I am adding the details slowly, slowly, enjoying the way the roses are appearing – well in my mind they are….


I feel relatively happy with how these are coming along…so again, following Jean’s advice, I will leave them at this point….finishing on a positive note and with something good to look forward to tomorrow!!







2 thoughts on “Learning to slow down & be more patient…

  1. I am also a fan of Jean’s books but haven’t been as diligent with the washes, I think you have achieved some wonderful results. I find it very hard not to get bogged down in detail. You inspire me to do some more washes, I am now on my second tube of Opera pink, it’s addictive!! Love the little scenes

    1. Thank you! So know what you mean about the detail! I am trying to resist the urge & just go with flow! Also learning to have the courage to stop when I create something I like even if it is fairly abstract!!
      Oh yes it’s certainly addictive & Daniel Smith do some very luscious colours!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.