Don’t throw your ‘failed’ watercolour paintings in the bin — recycle them!
Jan T’s top 10 ways to recycle watercolour paintings
There are many ways to recycle a painting that you are dissatisfied with, including:
Tear it into pieces for collage.
Alternatively, find an area you do like and crop it into a smaller painting.
Glue painted rice paper to mask the poorly executed areas.
Note the ragged edged pieces of tan, and lilac rice paper in the background on this recycled watercolour painting.
Paint over some parts with gouache. Although John Lovett does not paint gouache on his paintings for this reason, I was inspired to fix one of mine this way with white opaque watercolour paint, and then it sold.
Paint over some/all of it with opaque paints.
Draw/write with watercolour pens on top of the painting. This painting was also successfully recycled this way.
Cut into smaller ‘paintings’ to glue to greeting card blanks.
Another technique to try is to journal on top with markers and use the piece in your art journal.
Use the back to start over.
Stencil over the parts you dislike with very diluted acrylic paint.
New art from discarded paintings
As a result of rescuing your binned artwork, you will be surprised how much you like the recycled watercolour paintings, and your friends will love receiving art on the cards you send.
When studying watercolour painting techniques, I kept hearing "Practise, practise, practise!"
Any discipline, be it physical or mental, involves practising. A marathon runner needs daily practice, so do artists. In order to get better at art, you can start your day in the studio with warm-up exercises, such as colour mixes or trying different brushes to discover their potential strokes.
I have been exploring palettes, water, pigments, paper, brushes, and reading many digital books on the subject. As well, I have watched several videos, and completed many online video courses on watercolour painting techniques.
Review and revise
On the opposite side of my studio from where I paint, I place practice pieces, beside works in progress. The distance helps me see 'errors' and decide which painting technique will fix these.
Techniques for painting with watercolour are numerous and, depending on the instructor's ideas, can be different from one book or video to the next.
Playing with watercolour is both exciting and frustrating!
Some of my pieces
Wet in wet layer, wet on dry layer, doodles with watercolour pens
Watercolour is my current obsession!
I am discovering the joys of using some delicious Australian watercolours. Made by Art Spectrum, they are so juicy and vibrant.
Primoses is on A4 Stonehenge watercolour paper
Look Beneath is 15cm x 20cm approx, and on Arches 300gsm cold pressed paper.