Hey Watercolor Friend!
Hi! I´m Jessica and I paint vibrant and detailed realistic watercolors, mostly nature inspired subjects such as animals and botanicals.
I believe that watercolor is a skill that can be learned, and realistic watercolor is so enjoyable, relaxing and fun once you know the steps!
I´m all about helping YOU hone your watercolor skills – with actionable steps, techniques and methods you can make your own, to PAINT AMAZING REALISTIC WATERCOLORS! ♥
I´m completely self taught, and I did not go to art school or take any art classes. I have learned to paint watercolor on my own, by trial and error. This has given me a deep understanding of what I´m doing when holding the brush, and I have developed methods and frameworks to lean into, which also can help YOU in YOUR watercolor journey.
I began painting watercolor and started my art business – in the art licensing and illustration market – at my kitchen table, while also raising two young children. Now my kids are grown and I have been painting professionally for almost 20 years.
As a child I really enjoyed drawing and I also had a lot of coloring books. I grew up as an only child on a farm, surrounded by fields and forests, and no other children around. I spent a lot of time with my pencils, crayons, books and paper. My inspiration was all around me: nature, flowers, our pets and farm animals, and all the wild creatures living in the fields and forest around the farm.
Although I still drew once in a while as a teenager, the older I got the less time I spent on art. I went on studying natural science subjects, such as mathematics, chemistry and physics, and created drawings only once in a while.
In my early 20´s I tried watercolors. No fancy brands but more real watercolor paints than the childhood school paints. But I did only maybe two or three paintings. There was not much time for art in my life during that time.
I met my future husband early, started working a “normal” job and in my mid-twenties we had our first daughter, and a couple of years later our second daughter arrived.
During my two maternity leaves I realized three things.
Number one was that I wanted to do more art, I longed for a creative life.
Number two, and the most important, was that once my maternity leave was over I would not be able to spend as much time with my girls as I did at that point, when I was home every day.
And I really wanted to be able to do that.
But – and this is number three – I also knew that I had to work to help provide for our little family.
So I decided to try and combine those two things that my heart longed for – art and creativity while also staying at home with my girls – with a career.
Easier said than done.
But at that very same time I stumbled upon good quality watercolor paints on sale in a store nearby, at half the usual price.
It was almost like a sign!
So I bought some paper and paints and started to paint.
Maybe, just maybe, I could get into the greeting card and Christmas card market. It was my big goal.
Every where I went I checked every store and little shop I could find for cards, to research both the look of the cards and what card companies that were out there.
And I painted, and painted, and painted.
That was a real turning point for me.
I came in contact with one of the largest card companies in Scandinavia and started working with them, licensing my art for Christmas cards, gift wrap, gift bags and lots of other products.
I started working with magazines, other companies and did art and illustration work for them in all kinds of industries – gift, paper, educational books.
I also started working with an American art licensing agent.
In the middle of all this I married my partner and changed my last name from Börjesson to his name Bolander.
Today I license my artwork to several companies in the US, and my watercolor art has been made into puzzles, garden flags, rugs, paper products, cross stitch kits and much more.
Having a background in illustration and art licensing has allowed me to hone my watercolor painting skills in such a broad and amazing way, which I´m very grateful for. It has given me a wealth of knowledge about painting techniques, colors, material, and watercolor do´s and dont´s. And also knowledge about myself.
It has certainly helped me grow a thick skin (companies can be tough to work with, and rightly so).
Today I see so many questions about how watercolor works and how to paint realistic watercolors. How to create fur, layering, details, which colors and paper to choose.
There are so many of you out there that would like to learn how to paint like me, that are longing to create vibrant, detailed, life like watercolors you love, in beautiful colors.
I get it, I´ve been there.
And you know what – you don´t have to figure it on your own, like I did.
Because as we speak, I am building my Online Watercolor School – a membership community where you can learn to paint realistic watercolors you love, in a supportive and encouraging environment. I´m showing you all my tips, tricks and methods
You can paint amazing watercolors, and I´m here to show you how.
Let´s paint together!
During my time working as an artist and illustrator I have had the privilege of working with a bunch of absolutely amazing companies all around the world. This is a few examples.
Word Wildlife Foundation
The Red Cross
Humane Society of the United States
Toland Home Garden
Applejack Art/Art Licensing