Watercolor dancer sketches

The magic of watercolor splashes


The best part of sketching?

For me, it’s the moment when you splash watercolor over the painting.
Without knowing whether these splashes will mess up the drawing or will make it more vivid and expressive.


Like everything in art.

That's the most fascinating part of it. That we never know, if the outcome is what we want it to be. 

Or not.

It's all about letting go and enjoying the process.

Barbara Baumann figure sketch with watercolor

Give your hand the freedom to draw.

And that’s why I truly love painting with watercolor.

Because it teaches us to let got.
To relax and to embrace the result no matter what.

Too much focus on the output only creates tension. A kind of tension that holds us back. Every line feels crucial. We don’t want to mess it up. And exactly this intense wish not to mess it up, often destroys the painting. 

Because we simply can’t influence every line. Our brain isn’t made for that. It’s the hand, that is doing the job of tracing the lines on the paper. And regular sketches will make our hand feel used to tracing lines. Meaning: the hand knows exactly what to do.

We better give the hand the freedom to draw.

It’s not the task of the brain to control that. 

Our mind has another really important task: it sees the motif and deducts the characteristics that are essential for the sketch. Which line are important for this dancer, for example? And which lines aren’t necessary to express her pose?

Barbara Baumann Figure Sketch

Source of the reference picture: stockfreeimages.com, sanches1980

Let's get back to watercolor.

You might think, that I look at the drawing and that I have exactly in mind, where I should apply watercolor and which parts of the drawing I should leave without.

Well. I haven’t.

I let inspiration flow while I’m painting.
That can be quite surprising sometimes. But it clearly depends on the degree that I’m able to let go. 

As inspiration isn’t a light switch that we can turn on instantly, I start the painting slowly.
So that inspiration can unfold in its very own rhythm.

I start with water. And only a bit of color. 

This gives me a feeling for the drawing.
While I’m applying only a bit of color this way, I’m feeling the brush on the paper.
And ideas arise.
They start coming.

 I’m getting braver and I use more color.

(This might be a good moment to mention, that my very first sketches have been black and white. Only pencils and ink pens. I had a really shy relationship with color. And I still have it - to a certain extent. Applying color is therefore a brave gesture for me.)

The more the color is flowing, the more ideas come.

Try this out, it’s really worth it.

... and then the splashes.

That’s the best part of it.

I’m drawing with the watercolor brush markers directly on the palette. Then I’m using the brush to mix the color with the water, depending on the intensity of color that I’m aiming to splash on the paper.

 And then, trust your hand (and the water drops) that the splashes with create magic on your paper. Enjoy the surprise and keep splashing.

I love this moment, when the paper is still wet, and the drops of color are shimmering on the paper.

How’s your sketch? Did you enjoy it?

This is the moment, where I would love to make a little stroll through the room, looking at all artworks. Like in a gallery. 

A gallery.
Let’s simply make an online one. 

Share your drawing here in Instagram, (hashtag: #drawinggang). You can tag me @baumann_illustration so that I know about it and can give you a feature.

Splashes alone on the paper can look really amazing. But splashes together with a dancer are irresistible, right? Like we instantly feel the urge to dance as well. (at least with the pencil on the paper ;)

But, no, it’s not this moment, when I tell you that you need to learn all the bones and muscles first, before you draw a dancer.


It’s more the other moment. 

The moment, when I tell you that drawing dancers is fun. And that I have some really awesomely simple guidelines for you to instantly create dancer magic on the paper. I’m sharing some drawing secrets with you in this workbook here.

Some secrets to not get caught up in the complexity of the human body.

So we won’t count how often the human head fits into the human body. I never do that. Because that’s too complicated. And it takes away a lot of dynamic. And who know’s how many heads fit into a man that is walking down the street?

No, don’t start counting.

Because I’ve easier methods for you. They are summed up HERE.

And they will definitely make your life instantly easier. Your drawing life.
Which might have a really positive impact on your entire life.

And at ease.

Full of creative vibes.

Your urban sketches look empty?

I know, drawing humans can be quite intimidating as there is so much to think of.

How long is the torso?
How long the legs?
How should I start drawing the head?
How can I make them look like they walk or jump or dance ...

You'll get an answer to a lot of those How's in my 54-page ebook about the basics of figure drawing:

54 pages full of inspiration, easy to follow guidelines & precious references
to learn how to draw a human figure from scratch. 

+ Free resources

Barbara Baumann Illustration Figure Drawing Ebook
BUY it.
Feel the Drawing Class References
Feel the Drawing Class References
Barbara Baumann Illustration

About the Author

Hallo, I'm an award-winning illustrator and drawing tutor from Austria. After great experiences in the Marketing and Database sector, I finally realised that I simply need to follow my enthusiasm and fascination for drawing and illustrating.  

What fascinates me most, is this way to communicate without using any words. So expressive, so global. And this leads me to my second fascination about drawing: the exchange with others, with you! In my drawing courses I simply love to see the enormous developments of each participant - initiated by exchange and practice. That's what I like to do here, too. 

The idea for this blog comes from the bottom of my heart: to get you close to drawing and to show you that you too can draw #drawinggang  It's all about learning to feel the drawing!

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