Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Watercolors

One of my favorite mediums of painting is watercolors. I got to thinking about it the other day and just started jotting down some of the life lessons I’ve learned while endeavoring to improve my skills. It is not any easy art form to master by any means, and the life lessons are even more challenging.

  • A light hand is always more effective and pleasing.
  • Too much control can be devastating.
  • Hard edges are unsettling. Relax. Loosen up.
  • Simplicity. Simplicity. Simplicity. Less is more. Don’t overwork or everything will turn into mud.
  • Learn how to control the flow…then release it to work its magic.
  • Identify the source of your light.
  • Darkness brings out the beauty of the light.
  • Balance is tricky…it can be overdone.
  • Perspective is key.
  •  Identify your area of focus.
  •  Learn from others; but being original is always best.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. You are your own worst critic.
  • Patience is a virtue.
  • One step at a time. Don’t rush it.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!
  • Sometimes you just need to walk away and take a break. Nothing good gets accomplished when you’re too tired.
  • Train your eye to observe. Mother Nature is the best teacher.
  • Timing is everything. Don’t try to overwork something that is all dried up.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • There are many different colors in the palette. Some mix well; some don’t. Some complement each other; some don’t.
  • There are many different kinds of brushes; they all respond to different amounts of pressure.
  •  If you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes a mistake can be turned into something unique and charming.
  • We learn from our mistakes.
  • Practice makes perfect.

4 thoughts on “Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Watercolors

  1. I recall going to the Springfield Art Museum when in college and seeing a display of watercolor paintings. In the formal world of art I have enjoyed as much the French Impressionist school (whether they use watercolors or oil I don’t know) as much as the Dutch masters like Vermeer or Rembrandt. Cathy has all the arts/crafts skills in needlework; my daughter Bethany is a gifted knitting-yarn talent; my daughter Rebecca works with digital apps; our son Nathan has good house repairs/remodelinig skills; daughter Miriam, like me, is a book person and jig-saw puzzle person (see attached picture of “The Prodigal Son”).

    Blessings and keep painting! Malcolm & Cathy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is a beautiful thing to watch people develop their God-given talents. I’m sure it must be even more engaging to watch your own children as they explore their giftings. And yes, I love jig-saws, too! 🙂


  3. I sure like this. First, the painting is wonderful. The lessons are equally or even more wonderful. It makes me want to find the lessons in the mediums I use to express myself too. I love how many lessons come from a truth that I would have guessed was the opposite in painting (not understanding painting). A true student and artist, you are!

    Liked by 1 person

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