Day 5 Art journal challenge - Paint a gradient wash

Day 5 Art journal challenge - Paint a gradient wash

Let’s get familiar with our art supplies. These simple exercises will provide the basis of techniques that you can use later on in future art journal pages.

We are not concerned with perfection, but our intention is progress daily. Small steps that help you get closer to your goals, there are also therapeutic, stress relief and calming benefits to watching watercolors swirl and flow on the page. 

Mix a little bit of water into your choice of a watercolor paint, here I have used our Indigo as it has great saturation and range. Starting at the top of the page dip your brush into your watercolor and paint a swatch of color across the page, then work your way down to about half way and allow the color to gently disperse and soften.

If your watercolor does not create this fading effect in color, then rinse your watercolor brush with clean water and using a clean and damp brush gently pull from the bottom edge of your painted swatch to disperse the color pigments down the page and let it flow. 

I have purposely painted two versions of today’s art journal exercise so you can see the variance and difference when working with natural handcrafted mineral watercolors. 

Note how the type of paper you use can affect your results in gradient. I personally love texture and character and so the tomoe river paper in my notebook when dampened creates these natural creases where the watercolor paint will puddle and pool. This is intuitive and graceful to me and will tie into tomorrow’s art prompt. 

While painting on smooth cold press watercolor paper you can still see the lovely granulation from natural mineral watercolor paints, however, the effect is smoother with less mineral dispersal. This result is lovely and reminds me of soft wings feathering within our Abricot paint. 

Remember that these exercises are meant to be quick and should take you less than 5 minutes to complete. The benefit is in actually doing the daily prompt. We are not striving for perfection or a precise look, these easy and simple prompts are just meant to stimulate your daily habits in creating every day. Small wins. 

If you don’t have watercolor paints, you can still do this exercise by using a colored pencil, pastel or crayon, be sure to saturate and deepen the color at the top of your page and then lighten the color as you work your way down. 

Bonus deep dive work, if you are an accomplished artist or would like to challenge yourself further, try mixing different colors and hues to create a layered gradient effect on your journal page. You can also of course paint in added scenery and turn this wash into a backdrop and add details in the foreground like a forest of trees, or figures.

Have fun and I am looking forward to seeing your results. Also a big thank you to everyone who supported our shop update this morning. We are truly thankful and appreciative to send our watercolors to you. In between shop updates you can always contact us to request a custom order of any sold out paints and we are happy to create these for you.