We spoke with Ingrid, author of DIY Watercolor Christmas about the process of creating the book and everything you need to know about it!
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Ingrid Sanchez, also known as CreativeIngrid and I am a full-time watercolour artist. I was born in Mexico, but over the last 15 years, I have lived in different cities including Barcelona, NYC, and London, where I am currently based.
What inspired you to create DIY Watercolor Christmas?
The theme of the book was actually proposed to me by the publishers, but I thought it was a brilliant idea to mix the magical process of watercolours with Christmas, the most magical season of the year.
I also know that Christmas is a popular theme amongst makers, with the added plus that it could become an activity book during the holiday season. So I accepted the challenge and included an introduction to materials and basic techniques to make it suitable for beginners. I also added advanced techniques with the hope of challenging the more advanced artists.
What is your favourite project featured?
The glass ornaments. I was hesitant to include this project in the book because applying watercolour to glass comes with additional preparations, but it is so worth it.
Some of the effects I covered on the book are enhanced when applied on glass, plus it comes with the advantage that if you don’t like the result you can just wash it under running water and start again.
Which project is perfect for a total beginner?
The Kirigami Decorations are great because you can either paint something new using previous projects or repurpose sketches and old paintings. I offer some ideas of how to rework your artworks to make them more interesting. It also includes other crafting tasks like cutting, folding, and gluing.
What is the most challenging thing about painting?
Finding your own voice and style as an artist.
When we are learning, it is inevitable to follow step-by-step tutorials and when we love someone’s style, is only natural to go in that direction. I think that the challenge is not to fall into a linear process, or think that there is only one method, because there are so many ways to approach the medium.
What makes up for the challenges?
Creating art that reflects your story and personality. There is nothing more rewarding to see a piece and know exactly where it comes from because it is an interpretation of an experience that is yours and only yours.
What do you think the “Next Big Thing” will be?
I would love to create a new book where I can cover more in detail the techniques and styles that I have developed during the years. I have learnt so much from my students and their questions, and I know there is so much to share about gathering inspiration, following your intuition and preparing yourself for the practice.
There are also other projects that I had planned but were put on hold due the pandemic and I would like to resume them. All my workshops abroad were cancelled last year, but I hope that at some point I can start creating retreats and offer something potentially more holistic where I can include other practices that are part of my own process, like meditation and yoga.
What 5 tips would you give to those who are just starting out and have a copy of the book?
1) Start from the beginning, it is important to understand the basics
2) Don’t throw away your sketches and exercises, they can be useful in some of the final projects, plus it is a good idea to appreciate your own evolution
3) The more you practice, the easier it gets. Be patient with yourself
4) Always start painting with the mind of a beginner, thinking that you are trying something new and have fun. Not every painting has to be a master piece
5) Water is your friend, don’t be afraid of it.
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