How Watercolor Painting Taught Me to Enjoy Process

The Joy of Watercolor: 40 Happy Lessons for Painting the World ...
The Joy to Watercolor by Emma Block

Watercolor painting intimidated me for years. Then one day at the library I found The Joy to Watercolor by Emma Block. This book is so amazing because it includes clear and simple step-by-step instructions. By the end of each painting, I really felt like I could do it and it made me feel so satisfied! So, here is my experience:

I have done the first few paintings in the book already. I decided to work on this painting today:

I was so excited to start, but also worried. Yes, worried. It looked complicated with all the tiny details, color blends and layer—how was I going to do it all? So, before my mind spiralled out of control, I remembered how my other paintings turned out–fun. Each time midway through painting when I thought it was ruined, the final result is always better than I had imagined.

So, with that, I proceeded to PAINT.

My painting process!

During the painting process, I focused on each step individually. I didn’t worry about the end result, I didn’t worry about the big picture. I laid out the ground work for each step, then moved on to the next. As I finished each section, I felt more confident to add my own “spin”. I used what I had and did what felt right. That’s why you can see that I painted a different sleeve and background.

When I was done painting, I felt very accomplished. I learned that sometimes our vision can overwhelm us, but we only need to work through one step at a time. This reduces the amount of distraction of the end goal.

The fun part actually was pivoting in the process. I didn’t have all the colors, brushes, skills to do what Emma Block demonstrated. So, by working with what I had it gave me an entirely different vibe in my painting. I adjusted, tested and tried a few more things. I love my version of the painting more than the one in the book, because I was able to express myself.

Side by side comparison

The biggest lesson of all is that I can do it. We can do it. The vision is always exciting. The journey is a struggle. By focusing on one task at a time and doing our best at it, we can find that joy in the process. We will learn to adjust to detours and get back in our lane. When we reach our goal, it will surprise us because it will be us.

If you have a goal that you want to reach but sometimes get overwhelmed, give this book a try. I am still in the process of retraining my thought patterns, but I know it works. I always come out with joy when I complete a painting. i believe with practice, this will help retrain our thought process pattern and bring small joys along the way.

I have included a video below of me painting if you are interested to see the actual experience. I also have the same video in loooong form so we can paint along or hear some of my thoughts as I do this.

If you do any different activities that bring you joy and improve your mindset, please do share below!

Timelapse video