Back in February 2019, I was about six months into my urban sketching and watercolors journey. I had recently realized that I didn’t know how to watercolor. I had essentially been using my paint brush as an awkward marker. So I started playing more intentionally with watercolor as a medium, and I was enjoying what I was discovering.
I was ready to take another step, and in classic Eugene fashion, I decided to go for a big step rather than a small one. I walked to a nearby bench to paint the Land’s End trailhead overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. My goal was to just use watercolors, but I chickened out, and I ended up inking the scene first, then once again using my watercolors as an awkward marker.
This was good for me (also perhaps in classic Eugene fashion), because I was so annoyed by my failure, I was motivated to try again, this time more incrementally, more systematically, and more patiently.
Earlier this week, almost two years after my previous attempt, I decided to try painting the same scene again. This time, I successfully did the whole thing in watercolor. Didn’t even pencil it in beforehand. Then I compared the two versions.
I had a lot more confidence this go around, and I feel great about how much I learned. And, it’s still not very watercolor-y. I have a lot more to learn, but I’m enjoying the journey. Looking forward to trying this scene again in another two years!