If you see me paint in person or in video, you often see me take a pause and ghosting the brush stroke a few times before I actually paint it. And if you've been to my live workshop where I cannot cut or edit my demo, you can sometimes see me staring at my paper without painting. It might appears that I'm not doing anything, but I'm actually doing the most important thing - thinking.
When you are painting, especially in watercolor, you are constantly making small decisions as you work. You observe what is going on in your painting, the wetness of the current wash, then decide how you will go about painting this shape, how strong the mixture should be, etc. If you mindlessly just brush around your paper, it probably won't come out good. The few times that it worked are most likely happy accidents. While every painting needs some happy accidents to make it look more interesting, you cannot rely on them.
A good artist takes responsibility in what he/she is doing.
If I were to really master the skill, I should be able to paint the same subject and have a similar result. I am not a psychic, and I think there's a pretty big chance that you are not one either. I don't know what exactly is going to happen and neither do you. It will be much easier if we know exactly what it will look like when we put down that brush stroke and lay down the wash, especially in watercolor since you cannot paint over it. But when you think twice before you paint, you can try to predict how it will look and that gives you a better chance of success.
One of the tricky part of painting watercolor is the drying time. Because the paint dry fairly fast, we often feel the pressure to "do something" while it's still wet. I make that mistake from time to time as well. But I came to realize that our brain work faster than we think when we focus. When you stay focus during the painting process and not let it become a mindless motion and autopilot, I am certain that your painting will look more purposeful and better. Think twice, and you will only need to do it once.
Weekly Painting Demo
This week's painting demo is a boat and water scenery.