How to recycle a boring watercolor painting

How To Recycle a Boring Watercolor Painting

Sometimes I suffer from myopia. I see the details and miss the big picture. That can happen with painting sometimes. That is how I painted a boring painting the other day.

I have a friend with a gorgeous English cottage style garden. She even has a white picket fence. I have been obsessed with it lately. Her morning glories are tangled all over the fence and it looks so beautiful. Every time I visit her I take as many photos as I can to pad my folder with reference photos.

That fence though, it has been on my mind a lot lately. I had to paint it. So I got out the watercolors, sketched out my design and dived in with the paint. I didn’t spend much time thinking about composition. I just wanted to paint!

How To Recycle A Boring Watercolor Painting
Morning Glory Fence

Unfortunately I ended up with this kind of blah looking painting. Maybe I could add a few more flower blossoms to fix it up. I’m not sure. I probably won’t ever get around to it because the urge is gone.

I live by the saying “waste not want not” so I’ll find some other ways to get some mileage out of this painting. I thought you might like to know what I do with my mediocre paintings so I made a list.

How to recycle a boring watercolor painting:

1. Us it as a background to style a photo for another work of art you have created. I used the leaves to photograph this alcohol ink necklace I created to make a fun photo for Etsy.

Alcohol ink pendant by Lillian Connelly
Alcohol ink pendant

2. Scan part of it in and print it to create your own scrapbook paper or paper for mixed media collage. With a photo program you can even change the colors.

3. Cut the actual original up and use it in a mixed media collage. Don’t be afraid to tear it, cut it, shred it, and then glue it down to make a nice mixed media background.

4. Use the original as a background for a mixed media piece. You could take this painting and start gluing paper right on top of it (or draw right over it) and turn it into something completely different.

5. Use it to test out paint colors or paint combinations. After mixing paint I sometimes like to test it on the paper I am using to see if the color is what I intended it to be. With all of the white space in this one it would be easy to do that. Or I could test out which colors go well with the green I used. After doing that for a while you can start all over again with number one up above!

Sometimes it is also a good idea to just put the painting a way for a while. You might feel better about it later when you see it with fresh eyes. I am pretty sure that is not going to be the case with this one. The flower blossoms are practically off the page and those big, white, slightly crooked fence posts are not making my heart skip a beat. I’m pretty sure this one is on it’s way to the recycling pile.

I’ll let you know how it all turns out…or more specifically what it all turns into.


3 thoughts on “How To Recycle a Boring Watercolor Painting”

  1. I want to see all of the ideas! Especially the mixed media one.My daughter is taking media arts this year, and I can’t wait to introduce her to your blog! This particular post is great for a teen starting out with projects! Thank you for sharing!

    1. After reading your comment I stared at the painting. I might try to do all of the ideas and see how they come out. If I scan the painting into the computer I might try it as an experiment.

      I am so excited for your daughter! She is going to have a blast in school this year.

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