What if someone asked me, what is the value of time? I would say it is when you live with your passion.
My name is Hoang Huyen Anh, just call me “hajazana.” It is my nickname in my artwork and I sign my works with “haz.” I’m 34 and I come from Vietnam. Thank you Mr. Charlie O’Shields for this opportunity to tell my story.
I’ve been an architect for 10 years and doing 3D art for 9 years. I also did a quilting job and DIY furniture for a few years previously. Sometimes, I do crafts and DIY with my daughter. My job is busy so I don’t often paint.
Beginning My Watercolor Journey
One day, on the way back home after a long and hard working day, I thought about my life and my passion. Life goes on and I seem to have forgotten my most favorite hobby. I decided to arrange my time to spend a day each weekend painting. I’ve used pencil, colored chalk, acrylic, oil painting and now I use watercolor for my artwork because it is convenient and compact.
So my watercolor journey truly started. I have a small corner in my room. I put all the materials in one wooden box which is on a white table with a computer screen and a table lamp. I have been painting with watercolor for over a year now.
Working hard in my spare time, I’ve realized there are so many things to learn and I wish I could have more than 24 hours per day. I wanted to paint the portraits of all my family members, anything around that inspired me and so on… and then I uploaded my art to my social networks. Being a careful person with small details, I’m better from my mistakes.
After that, some people asked to order my paintings. They wanted to have some special paintings to decorate their house or give others as a gift, so I have started selling my pictures. They said that I had understood their idea and they love it. I was overjoyed to hear that.
How do I work?
I learnt from my teacher, my friends and am self-taught. I joined some watercolor groups and have also learnt from many others. Understanding that if I wanted to get the good techniques besides my passion, I needed to spend enough time to paint seriously. Watching is important, but practicing is more important.
In my process, firstly, I sketch with light pencil or watercolor pencil. I use a kneaded eraser to take out the wrong sketches without leaving a significant trace on the paper surface. There is a small attention if you use watercolor pencil to sketch, that’s to be sure the strokes will be disappear when touched with water.
Be careful with portraits. You need to sketch exactly as much as you can before using watercolor, or the depiction might be the other person, but in the amusing way. Then I start to paint. I put layer by layer from light to dark and my painting will slowly appear.
Watercolor Painting Materials
At first, I used Pebeo watercolor and Canson paper to paint, as in my painting called “The Green Lotus”. After that, Holbein artist watercolor is my main material, Daniel Smith Primatek for some special techniques on the background. I often use Holbein SQ brushes. They are good for making small to large brushstrokes and lines, because of the delicate point.
Below is “Autumn leaf”, my painting is based on my photo that I took with my phone on the way to have lunch. I didn’t want to do exactly all of the details in the photo, so I added more green on the stalk.
“Sweet Drops After The Rain” is another painting that was inspired from the garden after the rain.
“Art Enables Me To Find Myself”
Art will clear away all distances. Art helps me to connect with new friends who also love watercolor from all over the world. My watercolor painting time is not much, but I feel happy, step by step, in my journey.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!