Go Big or Go Home – New Inspiration

I know I’m updating early, but I decided to make a little change to my learning project, so I thought I should update before posting my actual blog for this week. I guess you get a bonus this week!

To start this week off, I was trying to think of a way to tie everything that I’ll learn together into a sort of big final project. Finally, I decided to face more of my fears, as this class seems to make me do things I wouldn’t otherwise try. This time, I’m challenging myself to go bigger.

What do I mean, you ask?

Well, the majority of my watercolor paintings are on post-card sized paper. I don’t particularly like working on larger “canvases” so to speak, as there is too much white space and I tend to get overwhelmed, or feel I need to add an unhealthy amount of detail to justify making it that big. My mistakes usually show up way more as well, further adding to my dislike of large spaces. Even working on the 8×10 canvas for last week’s painting was a major stretch, and I was only comfortable with it as I was following someone else’s example.

Thus, my challenge to go bigger. Throughout the rest of the course, I’m going to work on a much larger canvas (16×20), incorporating the new skill I learned each week (such as clouds or grass). I feel like breaking it up into smaller chunks will make it less overwhelming, while also giving me a chance to really focus on each individual part of the larger work.


Further challenging myself, I decided to make it an all-original piece of work. Rather than working from any singular photo or tutorial, I am going to use a photo I took over the summer of a buffalo rub-rock (above) as my basis for the scene, but then add in img_20200520_195003139elements (such as bison) and change the overall feel by changing the lighting and the weather (making it more stormy). To do this, I tried doing thumbnail sketches for the first time, to help me get a feel for the layout of the painting. I followed this example, and even tried doing an underpainting in burnt sienna (luckily a color I already love using in my paintings) to add more depth to the final piece – something I had never heard of doing before. My thumbnails weren’t nearly as detailed as theirs, but they allowed me to get a feel for the lighting, placement, and sizing of the different components, ultimately saving me from making some major errors in my actual painting. I also did a very quick small painting (again, about the size of a post-card) to get a feel for some of the colours I wanted to use.

I then tried using Hyperlapse to create a timelapse of me painting. I tried to do it in two, smaller sessions, however, my one of me actually painting the clouds was apparently too long (there is a max of 5 minutes for the time-lapsed version), and I lost it. Oh well, live and learn. It was still a really cool and simple app to use, I’ll just have to be more aware of my timing in the future!

And now, here’s what I was able to accomplish so far:


I’m overall very pleased with how it’s turning out so far. It was actually really fun to be able to paint clouds on a larger scale and using different colours to achieve the sunset-storm look. I’m so excited to keep going!

13 thoughts on “Go Big or Go Home – New Inspiration

  1. Wow, the clouds are amazing! I love your sienna color choice. Can not wait to see what you accomplish next:)
    Good tip on the hyper lapse time! Thank you for sharing …. Cheers to facing your fears.


  2. I love how you are jumping right in and are not afraid to challenge yourself. You’ve inspired me to also take a big leap forward on my learning project for this week, by attempting to mix a few recipes together to get the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Wish me luck!!


  3. I love that you’re challenging yourself and taking a bigger risk! I feel like we truly learn and grow when we do that. Great work so far- it has me thinking how I can take a bigger risk with my learning project as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Raylin! I LOVE your clouds. Clouds are one of my favourite things to paint. Also, I have to say, you definitely seem like an experienced artist- you have a really good eye for composition and colour. That’s something that tends to come more intuitively than through learning tutorials, so that’s really awesome. I’m excited to see your final painting!


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