Endless learning

 
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 My grandma was a great cook. Not only she knows how to cook some of the most amazing Chinese food, she never stopped learning new dishes and share them with us. One of my favorite dishes is Lasagna, which is something she learned well after she was 70. I admire my grandma's learning spirit very much. There is an old saying in Chinese "活到老,學到老". It means as long as we live, we keep learning. This saying perfectly describes my grandma. She loves cooking, therefore learning new dishes is not a chore for her and she enjoys it. But it still takes time and effort to learn new dishes.

 I ran some physical watercolor workshops before. I remembered clearly that many of the students are in their retired stage. Many students are revisiting their long lost passion for painting, while many others it's their new found love of watercolor. Whenever I saw these wonderful people, my heart filled with respect and joy. I take teaching very seriously. Especially when you come to me seeking to learn about watercolor. If I am the one that is showing you this wonderful medium, I have a huge responsibility to give you as much as I can. Perhaps you learn to paint for your own merit, or perhaps you want to be able to share your talent with the ones you love. Like my grandma is passionate about cooking, but love sharing those foods with us. Even though she passed away, her cooking is something I remembered her the most. I also learned Lasagna from her. Lasagna recipe is a very common that can be found anywhere. But I always prefer the one I learned from my grandma.

 As I am about to launch my course again in September. I am very excited to help more people get into watercolor. If you already enrolled the full course, I have many exciting new contents that will be available for you next month. It is such a wonderful and rewarding experience knowing that watercolor connects you and me across the world. I made many new friends, teacher, and students because of it. I am very excited to get to know you more and share with you more things that I have learned.

Watercolor Essential and Workshop open enrollment in September

 
 This is the first time I paint a guinea pig. I treat it as anything else I paint.

This is the first time I paint a guinea pig. I treat it as anything else I paint.

 

 This past weekend I did a small painting of my friend's guinea pig. This is the very first time I paint this specific subject. Yet, I know exactly how to approach it and yield a satisfying result. Not only I enjoy this little painting, I made my friend really happy as well. This has always been the goal of my course.


Watercolor Essential is a course that empowers you - an aspiring watercolor artist, with the knowledge you need to start painting your favorite subject in watercolor!


  I will be going over more about the course in the next few weeks. However, I want you to know that I am going to open enrollment for the online workshop this coming September. I am thrilled to be able to open enrollment again and take on new students. Since I launch the course last year, I made some great progress in my own painting as well. Whenever I discover a new way of presenting an idea and knowledge, the first person I want to share it with is you! I want to provide more value for you and to make this course a turning point for your painting journey. Throughout all 42 lessons in this course, I lay out everything I know from the very basic fundamentals I learned back in the art school, to some of the advance knowledge I obtain in recent years. The more important thing is that I focus on your need. I created this course with your struggle in mind.

 If you have already purchased and enrolled the full course, I want to assure you that you not going to miss out anything. You are going to get everything that I plan for this September completely free! I am so excited to share more about it with you. Stay tuned for more announcement!


New Painting video


 I released a new painting demo on YouTube this Monday. If you haven't seen it, be sure to check it out!

Have a destination for your brush stroke

 
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 I never mentioned that I have a motorcycle license. I used to ride a small 250cc motorcycle to work back in California. I sold my motorcycle after we moved here to Seattle. It is unlikely I will be getting another motorcycle soon, but I always remember one of the important tips when I was taking the riding lesson. My instructor kept telling us that don’t look down while we ride, look where you want to go. Look at your destination as you will end up where you were looking at. That was a very important tip. It is very dangerous if I don’t look ahead to where I am going while riding. The same thing can apply to paint watercolor. You want to have a destination for your brush stroke. When you put down your brush, you should have a clear idea where it will end up. You want to make every brush stroke count. 

 This is especially important when you are painting something very specific such as a portrait. Some students tend to dab a lot. I think one of the reason is they are unsure where to put the brush stroke, so they dab a lot and hoping they will hit the right spot. It is similar to when someone is trying to draw a straight line with many tiny little marks. If they draw those type of hairy-looking lines, chances are they dab a lot when they are painting. Instead of doing that, think about where you want to put down your brush and where you want to lift it. Don’t just mindlessly put down marks on paper and hope it will work out. That is like shooting a bunch of basketballs without aiming and hope one of the balls will make it in. 
 
  It is not easy, in fact, it takes a lot of practice. You also need to train yourself to resist the temptation of trying to “fix” things. Follow this threes steps: press, move, lift. Press the brush down, move towards the destination, and life the brush when you are done. This will help your painting look cleaner with confident brush strokes. 

What NOT to do to keep the wash clean

 A first clean wash is really important for a successful painting. If your first wash is dirty, it not only affects the look of the painting, it also affects your moral negatively! Imagine you set up your painting materials and did a good drawing. Then comes the first wash. All seems well and good until you did something irreversible and messed up the first wash. It will really kill your motivation to continue painting. The thing is, it’s not so much about what you should be doing to keep the wash clean, is more about what you should NOT do.  

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