Just (Start) Watercolor: Student Inspiration
One of the best things that has come out of starting this blog and sharing my own watercolor work is connecting with beginners and helping them along as they learn to work with the medium.
I especially enjoy hearing about why they chose to try watercolors and what kind of breakthroughs they are making just by painting and trying new things.
Ultimately that is the intent behind why I created my foundational online course, Just Watercolor. A belief that you just need to start painting.
My goal is to encourage beginners not just to paint with watercolors, but to believe in themselves and build the confidence to keep painting.
When I opened the course for enrollment earlier this year, I honestly didn’t know if students would enjoy the course or not! All I could count on was knowing that I put a lot of thought and work into how to structure a course around a medium that is so…NOT structured.
Since making Just Watercolor available, I’ve been able to guide some amazing people through learning the basics of watercolor and witness their progress.
The thing about watercolors that is so interesting is that there really are no rules and even if two people learn the same basic foundation, their paintings will look completely different. In fact, I can 100% guarantee that two people can learn the same techniques and strokes, but the resulting paintings will look completely different. Different because it is truly an expression of their own style.
That’s what I have discovered is the most interesting (and fun) outcome of creating Just Watercolor: seeing each person’s individual style emerge through watercolors.
I asked some of the students from Just Watercolor for permission to showcase their work so that you can see for yourself!
I love the energy and enthusiasm Michelle brought to the course! Here are some examples of exercises from the course that she completed. I also love seeing is how she had fun with painting trees and florals as well. She told me that she struggled with skies but went back in and tried again using her own reference photo - she even worked on tackling a sky that had a very difficult “glow” to it!
I’m proud of you too, Michelle! You can find Michelle on instagram: @minjungplans
It has been a pleasure getting to see what Lizzie has painted while taking the course as well as outside of the course. She’s got a willingness to try things and be adventurous with watercolors. I love how she continues to challenges herself to paint loose and abstract. I’m especially inspired by her use of colors on her studies on crabs and leopards. I think it’s a really successful way to explore abstracting a subject using color and style!
Bill joined the course with a background in sculpture and oil painting and shared with me that he was looking to learn watercolors, and I can definitely see his oil painting background show through in his watercolor work! He painted the sunset silhouette after applying what he learned about halfway through the course!
At the end of the course I encourage students to paint something outside of their comfort zone and Bill completely blew me away by painting an urban scene (he usually paints landscapes) AND he painted it at a very large scale: 28”x24”.
That’s bigger than anything I’ve ever painted and it inspires me to give it a try as well!
This year I’ve learned from and been inspired by the students in my course this year. There’s no doubt I’ll continue to be inspired by future students. I feel like I have really experienced how true the quote by Helen Suzman is: “When you teach, you learn.”