painting in watercolor

Yao's work always begin with a brush on paper.  Her paints and strokes are her vocabulary for visual expression.  Painting for Yao is not only about the final result, it's also about being in the moment and creating each stroke with intention and purpose.  Oftentimes, her paintings begin with only a general idea or feeling, and the rest is improvised as the painting evolves...

Sketch painting is how she builds the foundation for an idea or project.  Each sketch is a different variation of the same idea until she lands one that feels instinctively right.  It might be the first painting or the 6th.  Either way, being able to jump right into watercolor gives her the freedom to improvise and explore without pre-conceived notions.  This part of the process is where the creativity really begins.  Every stroke, every color is a reaction, a conversation from this shape to the next.

Once a painting is finished, it is brought into the computer for the design part of the process.  We edit the work minimally at this point to preserve the beauty of watercolor. Whether it becomes a product in our shop or a design for a client, the integrity of the artwork is always the most important part.  If the work cannot speak for itself visually, if there is no meaningful intention behind the work, then we do not think it is not worth sharing with the world.  You can see more about Yao's process work and daily inspirations on Instagram or check out her online tutorial series on Creativebug.

Looking to learn how to paint watercolor? Come attend one of her in-person workshops!