My Foray Into Keeping a Watercolor Journal

I have not used watercolors in 25 years — and when I did, it was in a graphic manner or as an undercoat for colored pencils.    But I want to paint more, and need to work my painting into my work desk (we own our own business) and so, work smaller.


I’m an avid journaler, and always was envious of those that kept watercolor journals.   Somehow, the idea of just inking than adding color seemed so freeing — but I thought I had to be really good.

I learned to make a simple journal from Gracielu Howes (who also sells wonderful journals online.)  Mine is not as beautiful as her gorgeous journals, but I was so fussy about what to paint to cover it, after three weeks I finally said, “Screw it!” and went White on White, right.   (BTW, the small wonderful star clip is made by a Canadian woman named Kristi and can be bought — even special ordered in the set you want.)

Finally I have taken the plunge.  It was so damn hard to get over the hump.  What if I made a mistake?  It’d be there for all time, as I can’t just cut out one of my pages in this journal!

I started with an image I was drawn to (no pun intended) taken by Rose Kumar, who owns the Ommani Center while she was vacationing in Florida.  I sketched, then one morning early when Mitchell was asleep (I was nervous) played with watercolors, Neocolor Crayons, and Pitt pens.  I am so happy with it, even though I see its many faults where it missed my mark.

This morning I could not sleep and did a second painting of my red resin buddha that usually sits on my desk at work.  Pencil, Pitt pen, Sakura Vermillion watercolor, Schminke Gold gouache.  He is also not up to par, but so much better than I thought he would be!

I CAN do this — and it is freeing.  It is far from the controlled highly graphic textural acrylics I used to do.  Watercolors seem to be more like wild thing, unpredictable.  And once there, you can only hope to wash it a bit, whereas with acrylic you can paint over it.

Yes I am sure there will be those I will want to rip out but I will cover them with a photograph of someone I love . . .

My goal is to do a little watercolor every day.  When I first started writing I wrote for 20 minutes every day and my writing improved as I greased the creative wheel.  I want my watercolor to improve in the same way!


I am now agreeing to the  Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International License, which you can learn more about by visiting the site, or, visit my web page for a more user-friendly summary on my terms.  My images/blog posts can be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art, drawing, journal, painting, process, sketchbook, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to My Foray Into Keeping a Watercolor Journal

  1. M. J. Joachim says:

    It’s amazing how working through one’s fears can release one’s creativity. Your pictures are positively delightful!

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches


  2. The Afrikaans people have a saying,” bitjie bitjie maak meer” and that saying is very popular in South Africa, even among people who are not Afrikaans/Dutch descent. It means “a little bit builds up to a lot.” Your post reminded me of that. Thank you. And good luck with your journal.


  3. Nadya says:

    I love these!
    I also haven’t done much watercolour for years, your little journal inspires me to begin incorporating some again as well!


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