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Emma Block, Watercolour Life

Emma Block, Watercolour Life

Get into the flow

A flow state is when you are completely absorbed in a task, not thinking about anything else and not trying to multitask. It’s really good for your mental well-being to enter into this state every now and again, and watercolour is brilliant for this. The immediacy of the paint, and the way it moves across the paper and blends and flows, demands your whole attention.

Embrace spontaneity and imperfection

Watercolour is an incredibly beautiful medium, and the more water you use the more unpredictable and beautiful the results can be! There is no undo button, you just need to go with it. This medium can be a little bit intimidating if you are a perfectionist or like to be in control, but surrender to the spontaneity and you will end up with some beautiful results!

Notice the world around you

One of the wonderful things that happens when you start painting regularly is you start to see the world differently, you suddenly notice beautiful colour combinations, or the stunning juxtaposition of a tree in blossom against an old building. The more you take time to notice the world around you the more inspiring everything becomes.

Make time for you

One of the biggest ways that watercolour can be a mindfulness practice is that it requires you to take time for yourself. Even if it’s only half an hour, set aside some time to sit down and paint. You won’t regret it. Lots of the projects in my book are really simple so you can paint them in a single sitting.

Embrace the process

Learning to paint with watercolours, and marvelling in the beautiful effects you can create, is such a lovely process. Don’t get hung up on the end results or achieving perfection, just slow down and enjoy the process, the more mistakes you make the more you learn!

Explore colour

Colour can have such a powerful effect on our mood, and watercolours are a wonderful way to explore colour and different colour combinations. It’s much more low commitment than painting a wall or buying a new outfit. Why not create an abstract piece mixing beautiful colours and seeing how they work together. You might be surprised with the results!

Paint outdoors

Watercolours have a long history of being used to paint on location because they are easy to transport and use on the go. Painting outdoors gives you the benefits of painting and the benefits of fresh air and sunshine, so it’s a win-win! Find somewhere with a nice view to paint, not too busy with somewhere to sit, and bring a small travel set of watercolours, a small hardback sketchbook with watercolour paper, a couple of brushes and a port for water. You can even buy special brushes with hollow handles that you can put the water inside. Don’t worry about creating a masterpiece, just enjoy the experience and soak up the atmosphere.

Watercolor Life: 40 Joy-Filled Lessons to Spark Your Creativity by Emma Block (Running Press, £16.99) is available now.

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