• Inspiration
June 4, 2024

First Week of Direct Watercolor

Maria Coryell-Martin shares her first week of paintings to kick of the 7th annual watercolor challenge.

By The Art Toolkit Team & Maria Coryell-Martin

A watercolor of sailboats moored offshore from a tree filled landscape, with a blue sky overhead.

For the month of June, Maria Coryell-Martin is participating in the annual Direct Watercolor Challenge: an invitation to make 30 paintings in 30 days. Here’s a short reflection from Maria on her first week (starting a few days early to account for sharing time!) of this challenge:

My artist friend Tom Hoffman once told me that “big tools make big ideas.” I’m channeling this idea this year for the Direct Watercolor Challenge by using big brushes, a Folio Palette, and focusing on painting big shapes and bold values.

So far, it’s great fun! I’ve created a special Folio Palette for the month filled primarily with paint-filled Standard and Double Pans and including additional mixing space. For a brush, I’ve chosen the Rosemary & Co R3 Red Dot Size Large Mop, a size 10 brush, which can apply loose washes and has a point for detail. I’m working in a 100% Cotton Watercolor Book by Hahnemühle, which handles heavy washes beautifully. I’m painting around town every day and encouraging myself to be loose, embrace blooms and splatters, and, above all, play!

Watercolor sketches by Maria Coryell-Martin.

First Week of June

From Beach Outside Shop, 8" x 6" Direct Watercolor, May 29th.
View from Tyler Street Beach, 8" x 6" Direct Watercolor, May 29th.
Sunrise from Fort Worden 8" x 6" Direct Watercolor, May 30th.
South from Fort Worden, 8" x 6" Direct Watercolor, May 30th.
Reference image, capturing the beautiful light on the headland.
Fort Worden Dock at Sunrise, 8" x 6" Direct Watercolor, May 31st.
Port Townsend Farmer's Market, 8" x 6" Direct Watercolor, June 1st.
Fort Worden Sunrise, 8" x 6" Direct Watercolor, June 3rd.
Stormy Fort Worden Morning 8" x 6" Direct Watercolor, June 4th.

Maria is having so much fun with this challenge, even inviting friends like Office Manager Renée Baribault to do direct watercolor together on the beach!

Painting moody morning skies and kelp at the beach.

Build Maria’s Palette

For this month’s challenge, Maria has filled a Folio Palette with some of our larger paint pans to easily accommodate her R3 Mop, a size 10 brush (back in stock soon!) She loves to swap paints out as she feels inspired to, but this is the line-up as of this week!

Row 1: Hansa Yellow Medium, Green Gold, Perylene Green
Row 2: Deep Scarlet, Pyrrol Scarlet, Quinacridone Gold, Yellow Ochre
Row 3: Quinacridone Rose, Cobalt Teal Blue, Manganese Blue, Cobalt Blue, Indanthrone Blue, Neutral Tint, Burnt Umber

To build this palette, you will need:

Are you doing the Direct Watercolor Challenge? We’d love to hear your experiences! Tag us @ArtToolkit on social media, and use the hashtag #30×30directwatercolor.

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

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