Watercolor drawing of lovebirds

I began this drawing with excitement; I received a Christmas gift of 48 watercolor pencils! As soon as I started using the new pencils, I ran into difficulties. I wanted to make a color chart, but each pencil had the same number on it – no name. Abandoning the chart, I began work on the lovebirds drawing, imagining it would be soft and romantic.

“I seem to be going to a lot of trouble making marks without much result,” I wrote in my art journal. “The picture so far is very light and adding water didn’t make the colors brighter or darker.” Comparing new to old pencils, I discovered that the Aquarelle brand (the new ones) are harder “lead.” I like the softness and relative brightness of the Derwent brand. I used the Derwent pencils to brighten up the bodies of the birds.

“Adding ink around the outside of the birds left them looking oddly blank. So I started adding more lines, hoping it would look like feathers. While I like the quality of my scrumbly lines, I don’t like the way the ‘feathers’ worked.”

The result is not exactly romantic. This was definitely an exercise in forgiveness!


Posted on

February 1, 2017


  1. Jude

    it’s so funny that often the issues we have in creating something have no bearing on how our creation is received. before i read your creative process all i felt and saw when i looked at the picture was Love. I don’t even remember reading they were love birds. and even after reading about your process and the difficulties you met all i see in the lines and colours is love. i shall remember that when I am having issues creating.

    • Kate

      Thanks Jude. I like posting the process behind the art so that other creatives can (possibly) feel kinship. Making art teaches me about life – it’s worth the difficulties to get to the final creation.


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