Finding a New Hobby That Makes You Happy

While you have been home during the pandemic have you tried your hand at any new hobby? Maybe something that you always wanted to try but hadn’t for whatever reason?

Last week my 14-year-old niece and I were at the cottage for a few days and we decided to try something new… watercolor painting.
Have you ever tried it?
How did you like it?

watercolor paints and paper

Watercolor Painting

I have always loved watercolors. Their beautiful and imperfect look seems like they would be a good fit for me because they allow for a certain margin of error and creativity that I enjoy.

I had purchased a set of watercolors years ago, attempted one or two little paintings, and decided I really, really was not a watercolor artist. The bird I painted was so odd looking that I am sure it would have scared a small child. EEK!

 A few months ago I came across the set I had previously purchased and happily passed it along to my niece who is a very talented budding artist. She was excited to get them and when we made our plans to go to the cottage she toted them along.

Our Watercolor Subjects

I was more than happy to give watercolors another whirl. I still loved the look of them and decided no matter how good or bad I was, it would be fun to try again.

Finding it much easier to have a photo or picture to refer to when painting, we headed out on the backroads one afternoon and snapped some pictures of things we wanted to try painting. We were both drawn to the old barns we saw so we looked for ones that had nice lines and a little charm.

Barn #1

The first barn we found and painted was a beautiful old one with a strong stone foundation. It was sitting as pretty as could be in a field and we were able to get a great photo of it to use as a reference.

old barns in Eastern Ontario

Our paintings of this barn couldn’t look more different and I adore that. We both saw the same barn, looked at the same picture for reference, and yet both paintings are very unique. Each of us noted different details and different colours.

For our first effort, I don’t think the paintings turned out too badly. We had so much fun trying different brushes, techniques, and colours. It took us a while but we plugged away at it and both ended up with something that loosely resembled the photo.

Can you see the resemblance to the original picture?

Old barns painted with watercolours

watercolour painted barns

Barn #2

The second barn we chose was a dilapidated beauty. The roof and angle of the structure were what we really drew us in.

a broken down old barn in Eastern Ontario

Like the first attempt, we both had different interpretations and made the paintings our own.

an old barn painted with watercolours

old barns painted with watercolours

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun we had even if our paintings were Louvres quality. The entire process, from hitting the back roads to experimenting with the paint was so relaxing and fun. It made us both so happy to spend the afternoon trying something new. I think we will both be doing this again soon!

a sketch of old barns before painting

If you would like to try watercolor painting as your new hobby, here are the steps we did and the supplies we used…


Take photos of an interesting subject matter to use as a reference.
Sketch out the subject on a scrap piece of paper to get a feel for the lines and scope.
Wet the paper and tape it to a flat surface.
Paint the sky first. (I found this out the hard way on my first painting!)
Start painting the subject matter and don’t forget to dry your watercolors in between each colour so they don’t run. (I learned this one the hard way too!)


Watercolor paper (it is different than normal paper)
A variety of small paint brushes
Several cups of water
Paper towels
Painters tape (to hold your paper flat while you are working)
A Pencil and eraser

Have fun and remember that how good you are doesn’t matter! Just enjoy it and who knows, maybe it will be your new passion and hobby too!

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