new watercolor texture

Have you ever been inspired by your own work before?

Honestly I don’t think it’s ever happened to me until the other day when my twitter background was peeking out behind a couple of other computer windows while I was working on some non-art related stuff. My attention focused on a part of the pattern that I use as my background, and I thought it would look neat on a larger scale. I also liked the potential to play with transparency in the overlapping shapes, so I pulled out my watercolor sketchbook and drew the shapes I had in mind.

dragon fly

I used various colors because I wanted to see how they would look when overlapped.

I liked the result, but i wanted more overlapping, so I then drew a more random composition using the same basic shapes.


Because the drawing itself was a little on the chaotic side, I limited my use of colors to three. When it was finished, I realized I’d been a little messier than I thought, so I went back and added some thicker black lines to some of the shapes where I’d painted way outside the lines. The thicker lines helped smooth out the look and adds some extra visual interest in the contrast between the bold lines and the thinner lines and watery color washes.

The bold lines help anchor the previous painting, but for the next piece I wanted to include many overlapping shapes with more order, less chaos. I ended up drawing a pillar-like composition.


When I painted one of the first petals, there was too much pigment and water on the brush, and it ended up as a big glop on the paper. Watercolor is wonderfully forgiving if you catch a mistake before the paint has started to dry, so I used a paper towel to blot up the excess. I was surprised to see that it left a distinctive pattern in the paint. Although not what I was after for this particular painting, my interest was piqued, so of course I had to do another quick painting to see if I could reproduce the effect.

watercolor with texture


The resulting texture is very cool. Kind of pebbly, kind of lacy; it even reminds me a bit of hammered metal. This texture will definitely be making a repeat appearance or two in my future work.

3 Replies to “new watercolor texture”

  1. The texture does look like hammered metal but it also reminds me of an urchin, I wonder why 🙂
    I love watching the evolution of an idea, this new work is so beautiful!

    1. it also reminded my mom of an urchin when she saw it! That’s what she thought I’d use to make the impression. glad you like my new stuff!

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