Welcome to my dream land - listening to music, boozing, snacking, and making art with friends (real or imagined)
About a year ago I made it my mission to bring back one of my favorite past times from my teenage years and share it with anyone who wanted to join. Early in high school, my close friends and I had a short-lived, but insanely fun craft club where we'd meet at someone's house, work on a craft project together, and laugh hysterically at dumb things for a couple of hours. Actually, there was no alcohol involved at the time (I was kind of a nerd!), but I've taken it upon myself to add that part in for the craft club reboot, what I call Eye Candy Projects.
I host these artsy get togethers about once a month here in LA, but you can make one happen wherever you are on Earth! Just follow my recipe below to wake up your creativity and make some eye candy.
Party of 1? If you’d rather paint solo in your PJ’s (which I'm totally in favor of) you can also take my watercolor Skillshare class for FREE at home.
DIY Watercolor Art Party
Rosé, Cookies (if you're in LA, I'd go with Susie Cakes), Friends, Music (Eye Candy Projects Spotify playlist), Instagram (or a good old-fashioned wall) to show off your beautiful work!
Paper Good watercolor paper is normally labeled 140 lb/300 gsm or heavier. You can choose cold-press (more texture) or hot-press (smooth). I like working on cold-press because the paint seems to flow more and get absorbed nicely. If the paper is not stretched it may warp a bit, so try not to paint with too much water at once. I'll have a blog post for you all about how to stretch paper in the future, but for now just don't go crazy with the water ;)
Watercolor paint I love using watercolor paint in tubes bc it’s easy to get saturated (deeper) colors. The kind I buy is Winsor & Newton Cotman and there are tons of other nice brands. But the Rolls Royce of watercolor is Dr. Ph. Martin’s and it’s worth every penny if you want to delve into this medium. The colors are vivid a.f. and it's just the must fun thing ever to play with them.
Brushes I prefer synthetic brushes, partly because I'm kind of a hippie and really picky about animal products, but also because they work so well with watercolor. You can go cheap, just make sure they are smooth and not so cheap that little bristles will fall off into your paint. Pick ones that feel like a good makeup brush might feel on your skin. Michaels has inexpensive sets that work well and IKEA kids brushes actually work amazingly well for watercolor. Plus they're really cute.
Mixing tray + water cup A tray with a few wells/sections is nice so the colors stay separated. I like ceramic dishes, but sometimes empty plastic packaging (like a Thai food take out lid) can be even better.
WHERE DO I FIND THIS STUFF?
Blick, Michaels, Amazon, Jerry’s Artarama
HOW DO I MIX COLORS?
Remember your color wheel (or Google it)! Red+yellow=orange. Yellow+blue=green. Blue+red=purple. Mixing contrasting (opposite) colors will make brown/black. Try out different combinations on a test sheet first. For more saturated colors use less water. For lighter colors use more water. Start small and gradually increase the amount of water you add, so you won’t end up needing more paint.
WHAT SHOULD I PAINT?
Abstract shapes and lines, favorite quotes, succulents, flowers, cool stuff on Pinterest, all those fun thoughts in your pretty head.
WHAT IF I WANT WAY MORE HELP?
Join my “Colorful Geometric Watercolor Art” Skillshare class for FREE! A step-by-step tutorial that will guide you while also giving you a chance to let loose and listen to your own creative voice. Click here to take the class and get 2 free months of Skillshare Premium.
I hope you have the best time at your art party and remember that it is in fact a party and not a test! Don't be afraid to make a mess, a mistake, or a masterpiece - you'll probably make a few of each.
Thanks for reading and hold on to your beret because our artsy journey together is just beginning.