52-Week Art Journal

Week 29: Watercolor Agate

After finishing last week’s prompt I found out that July is World Watercolor Month, and figured it was good enough reason to get the watercolors back out. I’ve been having a lot of fun with them this year on our journey, which I didn’t expect. Sometimes they still flummox me, but that’s okay. And we learn by doing. It’s also process over product on the 52-Week Art Journal Journey.

It’s Week 29, and we’re relaxing with fanciful agate.

If you’re new and wondering what this Art Journal Journey is all about, click here for an introductory video. And I encourage you to check out the first prompt here, where we made our journals, and this journey our own.

As always, I’m using my inexpensive basic eight-color Crayola watercolor set to show it doesn’t have to be expensive to reclaim your creativity.

If you’d like to watch the video prompt before reading, scroll on down…

I made several pages of what I intended to be fanciful watercolor agate. I never accomplished a page I loved the look of. And I never quite got the hang of it, at least not in the way I envisioned. But here we are. And I can say it’s a relaxing process when one isn’t fixated on getting it just right. Remember it’s just our art journals. A safe place to experiment and not care what others may think. If you judge mine harshly, well, that’s your problem. At least be gentle on yourself when it comes to yours. You may end up with something that looks more like agate than mine. And some may end up messy blobs like some of mine did. Don’t worry about it. Don’t think too much about it. Just paint.

This week’s small art is a great opportunity to experiment with color mixing, too. It’s pretty amazing what colors you can create with just a few to work with.

Have you seen a slice of agate, with it’s rings and swirls? They’re naturally various colors. You may have also seen them dyed.

We are free to use any colors and combinations of colors that come to mind.

The process

The first step is to drag your brush in a wide blobby and maybe a little jaggedyi oval. You’ll need a decent amount of water. The more watercolor-washy you want it to look, the more water you will need. I have to admit that I’m struggling a bit with my inexpensive Crayolas. They’ve gotten… degraded and gummy. With as frequently as I use them, and the humidity, they never completely dry.

But we work with what we have, and make it work.

And I put another cheap set of watercolor on my shopping list. Because my yellow in particular is getting low. And more expensive watercolors on the wish list for further down the road. Especially after a recent art-supply mini-binge, and, outside of art-journal journey stuff, focusing on painting with paper… which you can see a bit of on Instagram… and some other fun stuff we’ll get into next week along with our watercolor.

Add narrower bands in darker colors…

I’m not really sure how to put in more words exactly how to do this. And, as I said, I never quite got it.

So, again, it’s another week I say, have fun with it. Play. Experiment. Don’t get too caught up accomplishing some “perfection.”

You can have fun challenging yourself to achieve something particular. And maybe you know watercolors better than I do, maybe you have a better hang of them. Whether you feel like you’re just going to end up with blobby puddles of color, or you have good watercolor control, have fun, and let yourself get caught up in soft shapes and color. Find the flow, and let the process take you out of your head and whatever is spinning there.

You will notice in the video that after they’re dry I go back to add some definition to agate slices that got to puddly.

A lot of the small art on this 52-Week Art Journal Journey is about getting lost in the pleasure of creating. It’s creative self-care. A break from the day-to-day and its stress. It’s a safe effective antidepressant. It reduces anxiety… if you can let go of thinking it has to look a particular way. It’s expressing and exercising a vital part of your identity. We’re wired for creativity. Made in the image of the Creator.

For journaling today, use the shapes of your colors. Write inside bands. Around edges.

As we encouraged ourselves last week to MAKE THE ART, you could include some quotes, or your own thoughts on the importance of making art. The importance of creativity to mental health. How it feels to make.


Thank you for joining me for another week of the 52-Week Art Journal Journey. I appreciate the opportunity to encourage you to reclaim your creativity, and establish a healthy habit of creative self-care.

I’ll be back next week with another small-art and journaling prompt. In the meantime, enjoy relaxing with watercolor agate, and click here to check out past prompts you missed or would like to revisit. If you’d like an extra bit of weekly creative self-care encouragement in your inbox, sign up here. If you haven’t yet, I’d love to have you join me on Facebook or Instagram. If you decide to share any of your small art on Instagram to encourage others to take time for creative self-care, tag me @melindavanry (I’m @melindavanrydesign on Facebook), and use #artjournalwithmelinda. I’d love to see what you’re creating! If you’d like to share, be encouraged, and encourage in a safe supportive community, email subscribers are invited to join the private Art Journal Journey Facebook group.

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