Watering it down

Art Club officers teach members how to watercolor

Helen Chao and Sunjin Chang

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On Jan. 30 in room F103, Art Club members painted everything from a stick-figure family holding hands under the sun to swirled purple and blue gradients. The Art Club officers spent the first half of the lunch meeting giving members a rundown of watercolor basics: each officer explained one aspect of watercoloring, such as the history, famous artists and techniques.

After the lecture, members painted whatever they wanted for the latter half of lunch. Sophomore Jahnavi Naik decided to paint a picture of her friend and their “big, happy family.”

“Yeah, for sure [I’ll continue painting],” Naik said. “One hundred percent. I think I’ll be the next Picasso.”

Sophomore Jahnavi Naik focuses on her watercolor painting. While painting, Naik joked that she’d become the next Picasso. Photo by Helen Chao.

While Naik’s friends may laugh when she jokes about her prospects as a painter, Naik admits that she did enjoy herself while watercoloring, even if it was just for half of lunch.

For Tsai, watercoloring is enjoyable because it isn’t an “opaque paint” that’s solely dependent on the pigment but rather on how many layers of the paint there are.

“I think watercolor is interesting in that you can build upon it a lot and you can create many different effects with it,” Tsai said.

Similar to Tsai, freshman Olivia Tsui has also been watercoloring since elementary school, and her favorite part about it is how easy it is to set up the painting process.

“It’s really fast to use,” Tsui said. “When you have a watercolor [case], you can quickly take it out and [start watercoloring].”

Freshman Olivia Tsui concentrates on her watercolor painting. Tsui has been watercoloring since elementary school. Photo by Helen Chao.

While Tsui may consider watercoloring easy to set up, she explains how watercolor is still challenging because the water’s unpredictableness is a double-edged sword. Tsai, who has done watercolor since elementary school, recommends that beginners start by looking at photo references and watching Youtube videos.

“You might be intending to do one method but then the water doesn’t behave, so it just comes out differently,” Tsai said. “[At the same time], what’s [also] good about watercolor is that it’s not that predictable, so you always come out with something different.”