My name is Jieyan Ow from Malaysia. Nice to meet you! (Follow me on Instagram!). I am an Interior Architect by day and a watercolor hobbyist by night. Since I was young, I would ponder upon beautiful artworks, creating art and crafts, doodling in classes or painting coconut trees. I have always been an art person and art is my passion!
I believe that art is a way of expressing oneself and acts as a stress reliever. I look at art not aesthetically but rather an art of expression. I feel good painting each stroke of watercolor. Looking at watercolor, bleeding into each of the colors, washes away my stress of the day. A simple glance at my watercolor palettes and papers gives me fulfillment!
A year ago, when I was still a university student, attending watercolor and calligraphy workshops seemed a little too expensive for me. I wanted to venture more into watercolor so, I decided to learn from Youtube and Instagram gurus and practice on my own. I’m always inspired by distinguished creatives – Yao Cheng, Jenna Rainey, Phatcharaphan and few others who are willing to share tips and techniques to create beautiful art.
I started my watercolor journey with Winsor & Newton Cotman paints that my boyfriend got me. The colors are lovely, vibrant, and lively! As time goes by, I added some Holbien paints for more variety of colors into my pans. I recently got few tubes of Daniel Smith watercolors to try out and currently eyeing on Sennelier paints!
This next painting is one of my first few watercolor floral attempts inspired by Yao Cheng. I always love mixing a pastel palette to create a soft lovely art piece.
Every night, I would spend some time painting or writing calligraphy or even discovering creatives. After each painting is done, my boyfriend would comment on it –
“this is not nice, no it doesn’t look like anything at all, what is this deformed flower?, the proportion is not right”.
Some days when he likes my painting, I would fly high! Nope, he can’t paint at all but he gives HONEST opinions which encourages me to keep improving and be better.
Here is a Gundam watercolor illustration for my boyfriend as he is a Gundam serial collector!
To me, paints, papers and tools are equally important. Some word of advice, do not throw away your art piece, even if you do not think it is nice. Jot down the date you painted it, and keep it. You will see how much you have progressed from each artwork you created.
There are a lot of different fancy types of paints, papers and tools to try out. There are cheap ones, and of course some are rather expensive. I personally love an affordable Princeton Snap Round Brush (it’s good for beginners), it does magic to my floral paintings! I also incorporates Raphael Squirrel Brush into my paintings. I use mostly Fabriano Studio 300gsm paper for daily painting as it has an outstanding quality and more affordable compared to the 100% cotton ones.
“I am seeking. I am striving.
I am in it with all my heart.”
– Vincent Van Gogh
I have a little dream of spreading my love of art to people around me and owning a little art store. We are all in this art society creating art to inspire and be inspired. I believe that there’s no ending in learning art, but a journey of discovery and improving. I hope my little story inspires you to express yourself through art!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!