Fearless Friday Fishing & Flopping


To be really fearless today, I’m going to share this  hot mess  watercolor iris

This is kind of a “Glamour Don’t” post, as in don’t be caught dead looking like that kind of stuff…

Or “bless your heart, you tried….”


iris before




I just jumped right in,  and here’s the problem, I am an impatient type…

I started doing the darks way too early and I quickly had a mess on my hands




I think I was distracted by all the guys on the pier unloading snapper




Red Snapper season is only 10 days long on the Alabama gulf coast, limited to 2 fish per person per day




The fish filet station on the pier keeps all the messy fishy yuk outside




I will never understand why guys love to fish, but I’m pretty sure it’s because there is always beer involved 🍺






Can you tell I’m trying to distract you from my iris…




I don’t generally do a sketch first, but I am rethinking that now for more complicated subjects like this iris


iris collage


I started laying in a dark background to see if that would help things


iris before


But the brush I used was too small and the background went south in a hurry…see how splotchy and over worked it looks in the photo above?



pastel & watercolor iris


I decided, what the hell I’ll cover up as much as possible  to see what happens with pastel


watercolor and pastel iris


Still a hot mess, but I had fun experimenting


green background iris


I uploaded it to PicMonkey and added a smooth green background with the draw effect


iris 4


then a purplish blue sky…I sort like it now…but I need to do some serious background practicing  🎨

Lessons learned here:

Use a large brush with a lot of water for large areas so they won’t be spotty




Work from lights to darks and build colors in layers




Play with the paint to see what happens


watercolor doodles

Walk away!  When you start getting tired or sloppy,   STOP 🚫 !  Don’t overwork it! Wait a day or 2 and then look at it with fresh eyes.  You might be surprised to find you like it better after a visual rest…

The North Light Shop has an incredible selection of art books for sale, which are full of tips and inspirations, you can browse around here

Experiment, learn, grow…and be Fearless!

Psst, one of my very talented artist friends cuts up paintings she doesn’t like and uses them to make collages, something I’ve been wanting to try… This iris will be going into the collage pile…


I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs

Celebrate and DecorateRustic and Refined,

Between Naps on the Porch, Coastal Charm, Cooking and Crafting with J&JThe Scoop, Something to Talk AboutA Stroll Thru Life    Inspire Me Monday

Crafty Staci,   Tickle My TastebudsWow Us Wednesday

Full Plate ThursdayWork it Wednesday

Home Matters, Idea BoxPoofing the Pillows

Sweet Inspiration

18 Responses to “Fearless Friday Fishing & Flopping”
  1. Lorraine says:

    Well as someone who has never painted with watercolors, I don’t think it’s the hot mess that you think it is at all. I find myself “overworking” my painting (crafts) too much and getting a muddy look. Drives me crazy. I don’t seem to know when to stop and I’m very impatient waiting for paint (and glue) to dry. I do have to walk away and fixate on something else for a while to get a new perspective.

  2. Emily says:

    Jenna, I love your Iris, before and after PicMonkey! I love the colors and I think the green makes a wonderful background. Fishing and beer, yea baby is what all the men always say. Hot and messy and I want no part of it. Well, until you blacken the red snapper. Oh my that will be delicious. My sister’s name is Iris……….

  3. Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

    Stopping and waiting . . . so hard in baking and painting. Beautiful flower and fish!

  4. Jenna, Susan Branch cuts up her practice sheets into strips and gives them out as bookmarks to friends. (Hint, hint, from one of your friends. :)) Your lessons are fascinating! I cannot paint at all except for walls but I love reading your reviews and instructions! I would have said the iris painting was excellent. I wouldn’t even know where to begin! I hope those fish were delish! Linda

  5. Jodi says:

    Great lessons – and fun distraction – but I rather love how it turned out! Thanks for sharing sweet Jenna!

  6. Ellen Shook says:

    I think it looks very pretty, not a hot mess. It’s certainly better than I can do!

  7. Well I’m completely impressed with your painting skills! If you didn’t point out the things you felt went wrong I wouldn’t give it a 2nd thought! Looks like one fish got away! I am not a fish lover so fishing isn’t for me but I agree perhaps the “art of fishing” is the beer that goes along with it!

  8. Walking away is the most important thing I can do, whether it is watercolor or collage. It looks different when you return. All good tips and I admire your jumping in without the sketch but what I want to know is when are you going to paint that fish?!

  9. Lynn says:

    Yep, as a former boat person I can confirm… Fishing is all about the beer:@) Happy Weekend!

  10. Jenna, I love your wit and your artistry! I am no artist, but I have read that watercolor is very difficult. Don’t be too hard on yourself, I thought the iris looked rather good before pic monkey. I LOVE red snapper!

  11. Mary says:

    Jenna, Your iris doesn’t look like a hot mess to me! I’m impatient too and think putting something away and coming back later with fresh eyes gives you new perspective…I’m still waiting on that new perspective a week later for a post. 🙂 Love the fishing pics…and yes, beer makes it better!

  12. Don’t put it in the collage pile. I like it! I love it with the green background. Put it away for awhile. Then when you look at it again, I bet you’ll love it!

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