In September I took the leap and decided to get serious about learning to sketch and paint with watercolor and ink washes—with a plan to become good enough to use my own art in future book and conservation projects.
I started with books by Cathy Johnson and Clare Walker Leslie, two of the best nature illustrators and teacher-authors. But I need to see things demonstrated, just reading about watercolor was not enough. So I discovered both Craftsy.com and Artclick.tv. Both have excellent, affordable tutorials you can buy individually, or in the case of Artclick.tv, subscribe monthly for unlimited access.
I discovered I love color theory, and particularly love painting in triads, especially Daniel Smith watercolors (made in Washington). Right now favoring old-fashioned tint-like colors and pen-and-ink. And I rediscovered how much I love my old Montblanc, a gift 30 years ago from Jonathan. The Montblanc is charged with Platinum Carbon waterproof ink, and a Vintage Parker 75 has a soft, soluble black. Also experimenting with brush pens, with J.Herbin Lie de Thé, a sepia color.
Daniel Smith's Primatek Genuine mineral paints are particularly gorgeous; this hummingbird's gorget is Rhodonite Genuine and Amethyst Genuine, which sparkles in the light.