I’ve loved this view of this bridge over the Rappahannock River since I moved here a little over a year ago. I’ve taken multiple photos of it, but have been wary about trying to paint it. I know that it’s a good artistic subject–I’ve seen other local artists beautiful paintings of it. I just haven’t been comfortable with my ability to create a version of it myself.

So I decided to create a little (4″ x 4 1/2″) drawing/watercolor of it, based on one of my photos, for my art journal. I’ve found that this is the perfect way to give myself permission to create a so-so piece, or to flat-out screw up. It’s incredibly freeing.

Surprisingly, given all the fiddly details of the bridge, I didn’t find myself overly fussing over it. I think it’s because I allowed myself to keep loose, and do a rough sketch version.

Here is my photo, then my sketchbook version below it:




I’m still not sure that watercolor is going to end up being one of my preferred mediums–I am not sure I like all that paper texture, and worry that the colors are a little wishy-washy.

But I still think that I’ll use it whenever I finally start (again!) to try to illustrate a little story I wrote.