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Water Color Sea Creatures


I chose to do something creative for my first Capstone product. I had never used watercolor before but the beauty of watercolor pieces always struck me. The way the paint and water flows and blends together is so delicate and equally striking. I learned how to watercolor from reading several articles, researching the best paints and paper, and then completing several practice pieces. I painted several watercolor polar bears to practice my blending and I also did several flowers to learn how to pigment the color correctly. 


I then researched which animals I wanted to paint. In the end, I chose to paint a sea turtle and a monarch butterfly because these animals are affected greatly by climate change. As sea levels rise and intense, unpredictable storms become more common, the sea turtle habitat is becoming destroyed. This makes sea turtle breeding much harder which in turn decreases the sea turtle population in addition to ocean current changes and increased acidification of the ocean. Monarch butterflies are experiencing similar changes on land. Monarchs use the air temperature to make many life-saving decisions including when to migrate, reproduce, and hibernate. These stages are crucial to the survival of the monarch butterfly and they are becoming increasingly disrupted by climate change.   


After I researched the animals I wanted to paint, I drew sketches. It took about 45 minutes for each sketch. I wanted to make each animal as realistic as possible in terms of anatomy. I used reference images from google as well as real photographs. I drew with a mechanical pencil because I could create sharp yet light lines that were easy to erase and be covered up by paint.


Next, I chose my color schemes. In terms of color, I did not want to take the hyper-realism route. I wanted the color to blend and portray the beauty and uniqueness of each creature. I went with cold hues for the sea turtle and warm hues for the butterfly. The painting process took around six hours total, three hours for each animal.

Once I finished the animals I had to think of a background. At first, I thought of leaving it white but I realized I wanted something more powerful. I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up several climate change magazines. I read through and chose pictures, quotes, and stories that stood out to me. I focused mainly on passages that highlight how crucial animals and the environment are to human survival and happiness. My goal was to tie animals and humans together into one bond. We are all a part of this earth together and once cannot survive without the other.  


I created a collage using these pieces and then glued the watercolor animals on. I then went in with a white paint marker to add pop-art details to the work. I wanted the pieces to be mixed media in order to portray the different types of beauty that are found all over the world.   

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