Pushing Through the Ugly: Watercolor Basics

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The Ugly Phase: Noun.  When a piece is still unfinished, but looks incredibly ugly, causing the creator serious career doubts. The ugly phase is necessary for truly great pieces to exist.

When: Happens generally midway through a piece- before things really start to come together, or before everything's even filled in all the way.

What: Many newer artists will give up at this point.  But experienced artists know to keep pushing

Lack of definition
Lack of contrast
Inexperience with materials
Piece is underdeveloped
Artist needs to step away from the piece
Piece is oversaturated with water and needs to dry

The cure:
A second opinion or fresh perspective
Time spent away to think
Stepping away (literally- about ten feet- it allows you to get a better overall view)
Increasing contrast
Tightening up details in area of focus
Continuing to work on the piece-push through the ugly and embrace the suck

If symptoms persist:
Take a longer break- 2-3 days- and return with fresh eyes
Consider restarting the piece and learning from your mistakes
Try another medium

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