Painting with Watercolours by Louise Houston
Watercolour Painting is something I have wanted to do all my life. I tinkered around with paints when I was at school, but to be honest, I hadn’t really touched any since. When I retired from my working life, my work colleagues put together and gave me a good set of watercolours. They knew it was always one of my ambitions; that one day I would find the time, and have the inclination to give it a go. That day came, just over a year ago.
We had moved house and was settling into the Elburton area really well. I attended a fete where the local U3A group had a stall. There were loads of interesting things on offer, i.e. singing, yoga, and many, many more. What caught my eye though was the painting group and that’s how it all started for me.
Our painting group gets together once a fortnight, and we paint for 2 hours. For me it is luxury just to be able to spend time with a group of people that also share my interest and passion. They also love to paint, the same as I do. During our 2 hours together there is opportunity to look at each other’s work, and to generally chat and just be sociable together. In between our sessions I try to paint whenever I can. But life is busy and it isn’t until I take time out, such as when I go on holiday, that I really get a chance to practise.
For me it is also about learning from other artists. For example I have attended a summer course earlier in the year held by local artist Paul Acraman and discovered that I really do enjoy portrait painting. I have just booked onto another of his workshops Misty Mornings which will be held at the beginning of December, and I am really looking forward to it. I find it so absorbing, whilst at the same time frustrating. I really want to get it right!
If you are interested in watercolours, I suggest you read up and learn the different techniques. I have a couple of books that I refer to, one in particular by William Newton which really does help my understanding. I also try to buy good quality pencils, such as graphite ones, which really do help. I would also recommend that you buy a decent quality paper, such as the type supplied by Windsor & Newton. Make sure it is at least 140lb though. You will need a basic set of different size brushes, kitchen roll, and even masking tape. And of course the paint, you can purchase tubes of watercolour, or paint in a tin or block.
My aim is to have my own style of painting. I tend to veer towards the impressionists – I like my pictures to be indistinct, but I do need to learn more about how to achieve the look I want to get. I tend to paint what is in front of me, the view out of the window for example – as well as painting from photographs. I want to learn more about mixing colours, there is so much still to learn.
But the best time of all is when I am sitting looking at a new blank piece of paper in front of me. When I have the time and opportunity to create my own masterpiece! Why don’t you try it for yourself, go on, give it a go – after all, from little acorns grow HUGE trees.
Louise enjoys many different hobbies including gardening and yoga. But her favourite passion of all is water-colour painting. As she has now retired from her many years working in social care, she is now able to pursue all the things she is passionate about. In fact, she doesn’t know how she ever fitted in going out to work – how did she ever manage it?