I was one of those kids who broke crayons a lot trying to blend colors. (What? You have to shade on the first layers and then press really hard on the last to do it right! The wax does the rest of the work for you.)
When I got into watercolors as a young adult, I joked that I used watercolors like markers, and blue painter’s tape like there was no tomorrow.
I didn’t have much in the way of formal art education and I haven’t painted much since college, but I loved fiddling around with things. Sometimes I didn’t even do any underlying sketches or start with any particular plan. In grid paintings like the one below, I simply decided on color rules (i.e. a certain number of colors per square, or shifting from cool to warm, or alternating between lots of water, drier swoopy curves, or driest slashy brush strokes) and just went with whatever emerged. I spent a lot of time painting with my glasses off because that made it easier to stare at until I could see an image to bring out.
A lot of what I painted were surprising accidents, and for that reason watercolor is my favorite medium. I tried my hand at acrylics a few times but it doesn’t have the same opacity, so images don’t emerge from it in the same way.
This goldfish, for example — I should hate the color combination, because orange and hot pink are some of my least favorite colors, but I don’t. I wasn’t even trying to paint a fish. The darkest orange in the middle was probably the last thing I did, when deciding that’s what it wanted to be.
Color surprises you sometimes.