I dig free stuff. Even more, I dig free stuff with priceless, life-changing rewards. Such is a free online watercolor video series by Maria Grossbaum. I swear I learned more about watercolor from its mere forty-ish minutes than I did from a lifetime of experiments in and exposure to the craft!

Also, I so appreciate instructors who see the beauty in happy little accidents and the element of surprise, versus those who adhere to the rigidity of the “right” techniques and “must-have” supplies. Grossbaum presents a class that definitely advocates for the former, thus I was pulled in and remain eager to try watercolor painting as she presents it. Thanks to her, I know exactly what I need:

Water, water, water
Before applying any color to the paper, Grossbaum puts gobs of water on it, front and back. Then, throughout the composition, water continues to be used liberally to get the translucent tonal effects that are special to successful watercolor paintings. “WATERcolor”—I certainly get the complete meaning of the word now!

Grossbaum offers a couple practice exercises before instructing us on making full-fledged watercolor landscapes. One exercise is on gradients done in one color, then two colors, then more. Gradients become the foundation of her particular brand of watercolor painting—and her style seems doable for me, too.

Calligraphy nib
Grossbaum uses this untraditional tool to put the finishing touches on her works of art. What a brilliant idea compared to messing with teensy-tiny, less controllable brushes. I’ll make sure my studio is stocked before pursuing my own watercolor project—I’ll get back to you soon on my progress!


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