Leaning into watercolor sketching

It’s pretty easy to get caught up in where I want to be as opposed to where I am. There are so many amazing watercolorists doing such gorgeous work and imposter syndrome is real. I have it in my professional life, why not my creative life too. πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­ I recently had 3 months paid leave from my job (read more about Automattic’s paid sabbaticals here) and during that time I focused on painting (almost) every day.

I’ve returned to work now, and I have a new routine of painting every morning, for about an hour before I open up my laptop and get to work. Although admittedly, my home studio space is not as inspiring as painting on the beach, it works pretty well. As part of the exercise to paint every day, I’ve been filling up a sketchbook of quick one-off-don’t-think-about-them-too-hard sketches, just to loosen up my brain in between pieces that take longer to process.

I’m finding that the exercise of just doing a quick pencil sketch and dropping paint off the brush is helpful for how I think about what I’m seeing, trying to keep a sense of depth, and mainly trying to find the style that feels comfortable for me. Well, regarding that last, I’m unconvinced that painting style is a thing one finds, rather it sort of finds you. I paint the way I paint and I’m not sure there’s anything I can or want to do about that. I don’t mean I don’t want to get better πŸ˜… I do! But my style will probably always be what it is. It will just get better and more refined over time. But I digress. Here are some of my recent sketches.

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