Doodlewashes by Sara Schlijper

These fantastic doodlewashes are from Sara Schlijper in Utrecht, The Netherlands (follow her on Instagram!). Sara says she was never interested in drawing until she came across the book The Creative License from Danny Gregory, last summer. “On July 31,” she says, “I made my first sketch and I’ve been sketching every day since then — now in my second sketchbook.”

She has discovered that she can trust her eyes and hand, knowing what they do, and she enjoys the effect of ink and watercolor. “I’m really surprised that I can make these sketches,” Sara says.

“I love the city where I live, Utrecht,” she says. “On a September day, I had the courage to make a sketch of a beautiful part of the city and of the landmark: the Dom Tower. Since then, I made more city sketches, and I really like doing that.” When Sara sees an interesting building, either riding her bike to the office, or walking through the city with her husband and sons, she takes a picture. At home, or wherever she has a quiet moment, she grabs her sketchbook, pen and watercolors. “My rule is that I sketch something that I saw that day, whether it’s a building, an everyday or special object, or food.”

When Sara started to draw, she took a ballpoint and a toy watercolor box that belonged to her children. She soon changed the ballpoint for a dip pen and India ink. “I like the deep black, but I didn’t want to take the India ink with me in my hand bag: accidents happen too easily.”

Now, she uses a Moleskine Watercolor Album, a Copic Multiliner SP 0.3, and a Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box with waterbrush. These are the only materials she uses, no pencil or eraser, following the advice of Danny Gregory. She also says she is trying to become an “imperfectionist,” as Koosje Koene says. “I take my sketching tools with me everywhere,” Sara says. “For that reason, I’m looking for a smaller watercolor box, like the Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours Sketcher’s Pocket Box.”

“I learned a lot in the three months that I’ve been drawing. I look at the world around me in a different way now: everywhere I see shapes, colors, color values and shadows,” she says.

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful sketches with us Sara. So happy to feature you on doodlewash! And don’t forget to follow her Instagram feed to see more of her work!

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!

41 replies on “GUEST DOODLEWASH: Sketching Utrecht

  1. Wow, such wonderful drawings of Utrecht. As it happens I also live there so this is extra fun for me to see them. You really capture interesting sites and buildings, Sara. Thanks for sharing , Sara and Charlie, very inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

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