Painting Poppies, Muscle Memory and Starting at the Beginning


Yesterday, I took a watercolor class with Kathy Delumpa Allegri.  It was a beginner’s class starting with the very basics of color mixing and brush control.

I also made the decision to start doing watercolors with my non-dominant hand.  This wasn’t the challenge it would be for some.  I’m left-handed, right-eye dominant, which means I’ve always done some thing right-handed.  All those Scribbler Too drawings I’ve done recently were done with my non-dominant hand.

The reason for all this?  I’ve been playing with watercolor for a couple of years now.  I’ve done a few things I really liked, and most of what I did was okay.  But I never felt as though I were using watercolor AS watercolor.  I was drawing/painting the same way I did most of my work.  And I really want to capture the essence of watercolor.

I wasn’t sure where I was going wrong, so I decided to back up, start at the beginning and see if that helps.  By switching to my non-dominant hand I remove muscle memory, so both my mind and body are on the same page.

Kathy’s class was great.  We ran out of time to do a finished painting, spending the morning on mixing colors for the color wheel, and the afternoon working on brush control, which was exactly what I was hoping for.  I can’t say we covered anything I wasn’t aware of, but I picked up some insights on color temperatures, and got some excellent practice with the brush.

As soon as I got home, I painted a picture with the three colors we used in class (Quinacridone Rose, Cobalt Blue, and Aureolin/Azo yellow).  The only Cobalt I have is a cheap, student grade, so it didn’t spread very well, but it got the job done.  I’m hoping I can take some more classes with Kathy.  Her spring classes start on March 11.

Author: Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

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