“Haiku and Watercolor Fun” by Joan Y. Edwards
I feel great today. This year I’ve been focusing on my art and illustration skills. I’m trying to relax and enjoy drawing and painting of all forms. Today I’m sharing an experience I had and a few great resources that inspired me. I hope they inspire you, too.
A couple of months ago, I attended a “Haiku and Watercolor” workshop given by Lisa Ann Cullen. (Thank you, Lisa) It was fun learning about Haiku. I actually wrote two Haiku poems and learned different watercolor techniques that I could use to illustrate my favorite one.
It has three lines.
The first line has 5 syllables; the second has 7 syllables, and the third has 5 syllables.
Haiku hint at or mention a season and the weather and tell about an event that touched you emotionally and almost unforgettable: happy, sad, angry, frightened, amazed, etc.
The third line relates a surprising fact or observation about the situation explained in the first two lines.
When I first learned about Haiku poetry, I was only told about the number of syllables for the poem. Nothing about the other fascinating details about weather, seasons, or emotional surprises in line 3. The new information makes Haiku more fun and challenging and makes the Haiku poems I write more meaningful to me.
Pond near the seashore
Rain falls. Heads pop up. I talk.
The turtles listen.
…Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards
The Story Behind the Turtle Poem:
Around 2008, my husband, Carl, and I went to Tybee Island, near Savannah, Ga. We stayed at a house on Captain’s Way. Nearby there was a bridge crossing a pond heading to a beach area. We crossed over the bridge and stopped to look at the pond. I noticed little heads popping up out of the water. I talked out loud to Carl and said, “Oh my goodness, Carl. There are turtles out there. Look at the tiny heads at the top of the water.”
The more I talked, the more the turtles popped up and the heads moved closer to Carl and me. In a few minutes, turtles filled about ten feet or more of the space in the pond close to us. It was like they came to listen to us…to talk…like we were ministers at church or like they were at a concert. We walked on across the pond and looked at the ocean and a few pieces of driftwood.
When we walked back across the bridge, I said, “Carl, you try it. You talk and see if the turtles come to you.”
So Carl talked to the turtles and they came to listen. I decided to go to the other side of the bridge and talk to the turtles on that side to see if they would go all the way around to Carl or if they would come to me. They came to me. But Carl still had his audience. We’ve been back there several times since then. Every time, I make it a special point to visit with the turtles and talk to them.
A worker at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center told us in August, 2016 that turtles have a keen sense of hearing. I must admit that when people bring food to share with them, it trumps all conversation with those not bearing food.
After we wrote our poems, Lisa and another lady share watercolor techniques to use for the illustration for our favorite poem that we wrote.
Directions for watercolor techniques: (Use regular watercolor paper.)
Wash – Cover the whole page with one particular color.
Dark to Light Wash – Start with dark color and then put more water into it and it will go lighter and lighter.
Vary colors in a wash. Wait until each color dries before adding a different color.
Alcohol – Take a dropper and drop alcohol into different areas of he wash when it dries. It will make little circles.
Salt. Do a wash. Then put salt on the page.
Plastic Wrap. One of the participants brought plastic wrap. You lay the plastic wrap on your wash before it dries. It leaves interesting lines.
Cotton Swabs. Do your wash. Then take cotton swab and remove colors from different areas.
There are many other techniques to use with watercolors to make them intriguing and geared to your particular creativity. In the resources area, I shared with you some of the links that I found that had nifty ideas.
Lisa Anne Cullen said, “When your watercolors dry out, you can cut out figures or designs and glue them on top of another watercolor page. It will make a 3-D effect.”
Type the poem (Calligraphy, if you desire.) Paste the illustration on the same page. Frame it, if you like. Below is a picture of my framed “Turtle Pond” Haiku poem with its illustration.
Mr. Otter Studio. “13 Watercolor Techniques:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-KYHJriivw
Jay Lee. “8 Watercolor Techniques for Beginners:” 8 Watercolor Techniques for Beginners | Easy Basic Fun Art
Makoccino. “DIY: Bookmarks & Watercolor Techniques for Beginners:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_37xWkeEr4
William Victor. Creative Writing Now.com. “How to Write a Haiku:” http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-a-haiku.html
Kenn Nesbitt. “How to Write a Haiku:” http://www.poetry4kids.com/lessons/how-to-write-a-haiku/
DLTK. Haiku – KidZone Poetry Haiku
14 thoughts on “Haiku and Watercolor Fun”
The finished product is lovely! I’m so glad you had such a good time doing this.
Thanks for writing. What a sweet compliment about my framed finished product. I plan to do another one soon and glue the object to a thick piece of cardboard to create more of a 3-D effect. Enjoy your day!
Never Give Up
I love your Turtle Haiku, and the watercolored painting. Very nice!
Thank you very much. I’m glad you liked it. Hmm. Maybe I’ll do a Haiku about my daughters’ dogs. Every time I think of you, I think of dogs.
Beautiful haiku. Beautiful illustrations. Thank you, Joan, for attending the workshop and writing such a wonderful post. Your writing, art, and completed haiku…brilliant!
Thank you very much for the compliment. You’re welcome for my attending your workshop and for my writing this post to share my wonderful experience there. Have a fun day enjoying being your sweet self.
Ah talent, it glows on you, Joan. Well done. Love, Sarah
What an awesome compliment! I appreciate it very much! You are very talented, too!
Do something fun
Never Give Up
Lovely haiku. Good for you for taking up a new form of art! I think about it but never do…
Thanks for writing. I am glad you liked the Haiku and are proud of me for taking up a new form of art. Perhaps we could do a watercolor together to celebrate half-truths publication or a grandchild’s birthday!
What an awesome way to remember your time at Tybee through words and art!
Thanks for writing. I love that you thought this was an awesome way to remember my time at Tybee! I really enjoyed doing it.Writing a Haiku about a life-changing experience with nature and then painting a picture felt good to me. I highly recommend it to you!
Do something fun for you today
Never Give Up
Joan, I love your haiku with watercolor painting TURTLE POND along with the story behind it! When we first moved into our home in Charlotte, a decent size turtle was in our yard. My mother was so happy to hear this because she said turtles were lucky in Japan. 🙂
Thanks for writing. Hearing from you is like sunshine on a cloudy day! I’m very glad that you loved my haiku and watercolor painting and the story behind it. It’s so neat to know that your Mother loved turtles, too. I’m also glad to learn that Japanese deem turtles as lucky. Dos something fun today!
Never Give Up