• Inspiration
June 28, 2024

All Paint: No Pencil, No Pen

Creations by the Art Toolkit team, inspired by the annual 30x30 Direct Watercolor Challenge.

By The Art Toolkit Team

An array of sketchbooks lay on a picnic table, showing colorful paintings of an urban environment.

On a blustery afternoon in June, everyone in the office headed outside to sketch together for a little break. The Direct Watercolor Challenge, an annual month-long event in June, is underway, so we thought we’d give it a whirl as a team!

We set a timer for ten minutes and sketched our surrounds, from Victorian buildings and docks to water views and patio chairs.

Two watercolors side-by-side: one shows splotches of paint shapes and one is a sketch of a whale.
Alex and Renée.
Two watercolors side-by-side: sketches of a building by the water with a dock in the background.
Chelsea and Cole.
Two watercolors side-by-side: one of a blue building and one of a red building with trees and lots of negative space.
Justin and Maria.
Two watercolors side-by-side: one of a bouy in the water and one of a yellow set of chairs and a yellow backdrop.
Lena and Darin.
A close-up watercolor sketch of a horizonline of trees and a blue sky.
Nakaia (cropped).

Production Assistant Lena Valentine carried on with the Direct Watercolor Challenge from her kitchen, painting grapes and bananas on her countertop! For both pieces, she painted in the fruit first, followed by a background where she considered contrasting colors to make the fruit pop.

A watercolor of a bright yellow banana with a dark blue shadow and pink backdrop.
Lena even signed her name using just watercolor!

Lena explored layering paint for her bunch of grapes: “You can see a little bit of the first layer of paint, Quinacridone Rose, poking through, then a purple, and I finished with a blue on top.”

Outside of the Direct Watercolor Challenge, Lena typically uses pencil, then paint, and finishes with colored pen to frame her subjects, making them more distinctive.

A watercolor of a dark purple grapes and a pale yellow backdrop.

Thank you to our Tuesday team at the shop for dashing outside in the wind and sharing a little sketch session together. We invite you to take a short break, look out at the land or the city and capture a moment with a group or for yourself!

An artist sites on a rock, dipping a paintbrush in a Pocket Palette.

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