A Windmill In France

Decided to try something a little less complex for today’s doodlewash and so I randomly chose some windmill in France. I sketched this yesterday for #DrawingAugust and decided to doodlewash it today as it really wanted a sky. I know, it told me. Don’t your sketches talk to you? Anyway… moving on…

This is the second time I’ve doodlewashed something on Arches paper (broke it in with a Cockapoo). I’ve heard many watercolorists talk about it, and so I wanted to give it a try. They’re right… it’s far superior. What they don’t often mention is that it’s also far pricier! It’s often double or more the price of other watercolor papers. One way around it, was to buy a large 10×14″ pad of paper and cut it down into smaller sheets. You can get four 5×7″ pieces of paper out of a single sheet which helps bring the per doodlewash cost down considerably. ($0.40/d vs. $1.60/d)

For this little doodlewash, I tried to go a bit looser and faster in the sketch and not fuss too much over the colors when it came time to splash some on. I’m using my professional Winsor & Newton colors, and only have a few, but it was just what I needed for this scene (Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Naples Yellow, French Ultramarine Blue (with a bit of Cobalt Turquoise added to the sky), and Sap Green). The color is so much richer it’s hard to go back to my other colors.

I don’t know the story for this little windmill or the even know the town it overlooks, but it looks like a wonderful place. I would imagine climbing up to this very spot to spend an afternoon sketching. No people this time, as there’s nobody else here. Just me, a sketchbook, and nothing but time.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

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!

38 replies on “A Windmill In France

      1. Here’s what I do remember… I started with just a little wash of Naples yellow on the right and then wet the paper and took a Size 12 brush and started to dab in a mix of French Ultramarine Blue and Cobalt Turquoise. I started at the top of the paper where the sky should be the darkest and moved quickly across leaving bits of white where the clouds might be. As I got lower toward the horizon the paint starting running lighter. I used a little bit of paper towel dabbing to pull up some of the paint. Then I went back in and added some darker bits and clear wet brushing to fix any hard lines that emerged as it was drying. Not sure if that makes sense or is helpful, but that’s what I remember happening!! Hehe

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I can see why your windmill wanted a sky, you are so talented at creating beautiful skies. Lovely painting. Oh, and when you imagine yourself alone, overlooking this charming landscape, I hope you also imagine along with the sketchbook, some french bread, cheese, and wine, essential aids for sketching….anywhere.😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think anyone has remarked on the sky yet – I love it!😉 I haven’t done watercolour for several years (!!!) but remember the sky bit being quite enjoyable (and the only bit I could do, hence the separation!)

    Of course the windmill is marvellous. They’re always brilliant subjects, I find, especially when as quaint as this one. Great job once again!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s most certainly tempting, Charlie, when looking at all of the work here. Mm, p’rhaps I will! If you see no watercolour on my site ever, you’ll know it ended in despair!

        Liked by 1 person

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