Watercolour – Taking the Stabilisers Off

I’ve found following online tutorials a great way to learn to paint watercolour. However creating a painting from following a tutorial is  far removed from creating a painting on your own.

When you follow a tutorial, a myriad of decisions have been made for you: choosing a good reference photo; analysing the photo; deciding what to take from it, or add to it; deciding style, colours, techniques, paper, brushes…

Watercolour Hydrangea

Just like learning to ride a bike with stabilisers, tutorials teach us a lot, but there’s a whole lot more learning to do if we’re going to create good paintings with our stabilisers off, and we’re going to fall off a whole lot more than when the stabilisers are on.

Up until now I’ve mostly had my stabilisers on, but I have tried a few of my own compositions with definitely less than perfect results…

… but when I painted this rose with only a glance at the tutorial for the petals and a longer look for the stem, I decided it was time to take the stabilisers off again.

Watercolour Rose00

No doubt I was going to fall off again – several times – but I was also going to learn more, have more fun and grow into a better watercolourist.

I decided to paint a bee on a daisy. Probably because our daisies were looking so lovely at the time.

First I painted the daisy…


…then the bee, and was pretty pleased with it – sailing along happily with my stabilisers off – but then I added the background – and fell off.


In the background’s defense, it’s a much nicer green than the photo shows – but it’s not great and it made the daisy look too skinny, too angular and as if all the lovely pale shades  that I’d (carefully and time consumingly) added to the petals had vanished.

I retreated to another of Maria Raczynska’s tutorials– let’s call this mum holding the back of my seat while I get my nerve back.


Happy with the result, I allowed Mum to let go….

Common Blue Male (2)00
It’s a Common Blue if you’re wondering

I’m much happier with this, but for me it’s too static and the painting too tight. Time to work on my loose painting, but I’ll tell you about that next time.

Bekki x

8 thoughts on “Watercolour – Taking the Stabilisers Off

    1. Perhaps, but I think the problem for me was really with the daisy being too skinny for my liking and needing darker colours. Plus watercolour backgrounds do look lovely – I just need to get them right 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. And thanks for letting me know about DC – although DYC is still live and redirecting until tomorrow, so that may have an influence still. Of course I have no clue what I’m talking about here.


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