I have a confession to make: I don’t have a hobby. Unless you count watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram at the end of a long day’s work, there’s not a whole lot that I do just for me, simply because I enjoy it.
As a writer, the thing I love to do has become my profession, and does it really qualify as a hobby when it also happens to be your job? While some might argue that it does, my spidey senses (which begin to tingle when I find myself beyond restless with no work left to do) are leading me to a big, fat negative.
It’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy another outlet: I’m certainly open to taking one on, should I ever find the time. But that’s just it, isn’t it? Learning a new hobby or skill set takes time. And it can be daunting to jump into something you’ve never tried before with no clue about how to even start, let alone actually do. Take, oh, I don’t know, painting, for example. Celebs like Katie Holmes or Piper Perabo make it look so organic and effortlessly cool on Instagram: I could never do something like that! After all, making art has to be something one is born with, like Noah’s Ally in The Notebook; a need to create that permeates your soul until you just can’t keep it in any longer.
OR, it could be a fun, relaxing way to pass the time, right? It could be one of those creative skills that you pick up in an hour with just a little online guidance, as I quickly discovered after stumbling upon Brit + Co’s Watercolor Painting online class.
Taught by artist Jenna Rainey, the class literally holds your hand through watercolor 101. Starting with some basic principles of the medium, you begin to really get a feel for not only what it is (because, as you’ll quickly learn, there are multiple styles of painting with multiple sets of rules), but how to begin to get comfortable doing everything from prepping your supplies to learning how to “get an eye” for colors that will work well together to mixing up your very own custom paint colors.
First things first: You’ll need some supplies. With a handy list of materials, it’s easy enough to find everything you’ll need to get started.
- round tip brush – size 6
- round tip brush – size 14
- flat tip brush – 3/4 inch
- cold pressed watercolor paper (Fabriano)
- watercolor paint – Opera Rose (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Vandyke Brown (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Mars Black (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Hookers Green (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Prussian Blue (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Lemon Yellow Deep (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Scarlet Lake Red (Winsor & Newton)
- travel paint palette
- painter’s tape
- paper towels
- 2 cups of water
- flowers (optional; for reference)
From there, Jenna will walk you through everything from how to wash your brushes and ready your paper to how to actually, you know, use your new tools — it’s not quite as simple as slapping paint on the brush and going to town. Different brushes can create different strokes, and just the right amount of pressure can mean all the difference between a super thick line and a more thinly defined one.
By the end of the lesson, you’ll not only be mixing colors and making brush strokes with ease, you’ll have moved on to painting not one, but two different watercolors using both a print and real-life inspirational source. In one hour, you’ll be creating real-life works of art — just like Katie Holmes and Piper Perabo. 1,000 percent sold.