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MANILA, Philippines – Can you remember the last time you learned something new?
Studies show that learning a new skill, even when you’re already an adult, can enhance a person’s memory function and slow cognitive aging. But it should be mentally stimulating skills like speaking a foreign language, painting, quilting, or photography.
Who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks? No one! So, prepare to pick up your brush and start watercolor painting.
Here are four easy ways to get started:
Equip yourself with the basic tools
You don’t need much to start this new hobby. Just get an 8-color watercolor palette, a watercolor notepad, and a basic round brush. Make sure to use paper that’s made for watercolor if you don’t want it to wrinkle or get soaked in water.
The price can range from cheap to expensive but the cheaper versions work just as well especially for beginners.
Watch online video tutorials
There’s a treasure trove of watercolor painting tutorials on Youtube. Start by studying the proper brush strokes then move on to lessons on how to mix colors using a basic palette. There are also videos on the dos and don’ts like painting with too much or too little water.
You can also find quick tutorial and process videos on Instagram that can help you learn simple techniques. Just look for the hashtag #watercolor and if you want, follow the artists whose works you found inspiring!
Focus on learning the basics first
Don’t dive into painting hyperrealistic still life right away. Try to master simple subjects first like leaves. Check the hashtag #watercolorleaves on Instagram to see video tutorials on how to paint leaves and try the ones you think are most beginner-friendly.
Once you’ve got the hang of painting leaves, try moving on to flowers. The easiest to paint are usually the smaller ones similar to Forget Me Nots. It’s much easier to transition to painting peonies or roses when you’re more familiar with the different brush strokes.
Practice, practice, practice
As with learning any new skill, you need to practice, practice, practice. Focus on one subject at a time – leaves for example – then paint it over and over again until you’ve mastered the different ways to do it. Challenge yourself to make one to two paintings every day. And don’t be afraid to try difficult techniques as you go along.
Getting feedback is also important to check on your progress. Show your work to people you trust and ask them to comment and suggest how you can improve it further.
If you feel that you want to learn more complex techniques and get hands on training, you may try enrolling in watercolor painting classes. There are classes focused on teach you how to paint succulents or flowers or how to write calligraphy using watercolor.
Ready to paint some beautiful things? – Rappler.com