Okay, it’s confession time again…I have to admit that I have a somewhat unusual method of watercoloring.  I learned how to watercolor with, y’know, watercolor paints, in tubes, at school, and I like doing that.  But in my freshman year at art school, I discovered these:

*choir of angels, clouds open up with a ray of heavenly light*
And these, my friends?  These are watercolor crayons.  They were life-changing.

We were assigned to use these in a color theory class, and while all the other students kvetched about them, I was hooked.  I had tried to use watercolor pencils before, and maybe it was just the brand I was using, but they sucked.  These, however…you can get a lot more pigment out of them, the texture is just more fun to work with (pencils can be so…pencilly), AND you can either draw your piece with the crayons and then apply water to them afterwards, or you can do what I do most of the time…
…you can use another piece of watercolor paper as your palette, apply patches of color with the crayons to that, and then get your brush wet and pick up the color from your palette, then paint like normal.  So it’s just like watercoloring out of a tube, it really is, just 100 times cleaner!  
Plus, then you’re blending your colors dry on the palette paper, so you can kind of already see what you’re going to get.  I find this works a lot better for my particular brain and how I make art.

But then, you have a by-product: your palette paper.  When it’s been all filled up and there’s no longer any space left to mix colors on anymore, you have this pretty sheet of multicolored watercolor blobs, so then what do you do with it?  For a while in college I tried to make origami out of it, but the watercolor paper is too thick to really fold well.  However, earlier this year, I got a brilliant idea.

I can make THINGS with it!

These are magnets I made out of my watercolor palette paper.  I got a bunch of wooden tiles at Michael’s on closeout, cut my palette paper into squares, and basically just decoupaged it on, then finished it with several coats of sealer.  See?  Now it’s functional, plus it takes something that I could have just thrown away and makes it into something pretty.

Then, this past week, I made these…

…watercolor pendants!  I kinda really dig these…I was going to wear one on Thursday but it rained a LOT and I didn’t want the paint to get washed away (although these are sealed, but if you get them super-wet I can’t guarantee they’ll stay).
For a couple of them, I made these seed bead chains too…just to add some extra color and a little more fanciness to them.  The rest will be on black leather cords, when they go to Etsy or to my show at the El Conquistador next weekend.  Some of my painted stone pendants will have bead chains too, in colors that either match or complement the colors in the pendant.  Don’t have pictures of those yet, but they’ll be on Etsy soon…if they don’t sell at the show, anyway.
So that’s my confession: I’m a weird watercolorist.  But I’ve tried to turn it into a feature, rather than a bug…and to make something pretty and useful out of something I otherwise would have discarded!  I love when I’m able to do that.