If you follow along on Instagram: @_hibrid, you may have noticed that it has recently been filling up with some watercolor work. AND I LOVE IT! (Don’t worry, hand lettering is not, and will never go away).
Now, I am no watercolor master by any means, and I know that people have been using it forever, but this is to focus more on the fear of exploring new mediums.
All of us have our own tools and areas of design that we are most comfortable in. From painting with brushes, lettering with pens, pattern making with stamps, or molding clay with our hands, we each have that one skill that is all our own. BUT, what if you could make that skill better? What if you could enhance it and bring it to life in a whole new way?
I have always loved watercolors and have envied designers who could use them successfully, but I’ll be honest, they have always intimidated me for some reason and I have no idea why. I think it’s their organic form and simplicity. I mean, turning those free flowing colors into a working composition just seemed so hard in my mind at times. So, for a very long time I continued to struggle with the fear of trying them until their beauty, and my curiousity got the best of me and then I was determine to explore them.
After diving in for a few hours ( and weeks now ) with different colors, and various sized brushes, I was in love. I was really surprised with how closely it related to how I feel when I hand letter. Due to muscle memory, I am pretty quick and organic with my hand when I hand-letter, and I have found that I can be even more free and loose with it while using watercolors. It’s so relaxing. The big strokes and gradients of colors blending together just gets me…it’s absolutely gorgeous.
I’ve learned so far that with watercolors, you just have to start. Don’t be afraid to start messy and out of control. I feel like that’s when the best moments happen. Use big “Round” style brushes. Round size 12 and over have been the most fun for me. (If you’re looking for a rough brushstroke effect, try a brush like the one I’m using in the 2nd photo.) Don’t be afraid to let colors run together, bleed in different directions, or puddle up in one spot. As you experiment, you’ll find what you’re most drawn to. Also, use watercolor paper. This seems like an obvious step, but just like I did, some people want to use regular paper or bristol. You definitely won’t get the full results if you use normal papers. Watercolor paper holds the colors, and its texture lets its best qualities shine through. It might be expensive at times, but check out Hobby Lobby for pads of it. It’s usually always on sale!
I feel now that I have added a new talent to my skill set that can work in conjunction with my handlettering. I’ve always loved the two together, but had the intimidation of watercolor holding me back. Now, I can keep experimenting and slowly start to develop a visual style(s) of watercolor compositions of my own!
So now, my question to you is… What are all the things that you want to try but haven’t yet because of your fear?! I think you should go try them!
Interested in purchasing watercolor prints?! Shop them here in the HIBRID Shop