These doodlewashes come from Oshien Lekhwani in Toronto, Canada (follow her on Instagram!) Oshien completed her Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Cell Biology from University of Toronto and is currently working as a private tutor for high school students, but will be heading off to medical school in the United States next year.
Art has always been a part of her life since the beginning in some form or another. Oshien says, “I was born on the day of Holi, which is an Indian festival of colors! My mother often says that is probably where I got my art skills from, since no one in my family is even remotely interested in the arts.”
“I would always draw or doodle any and everywhere I could find the space and time: on my homework, newspapers, desks at school, on my notes during boring lectures at university, etc. Art has always been a hobby for me, a hobby that has now also translated into commission work. I mostly draw portraits for people, but also get occasional requests for landscape paintings.”
Oshien is not really sure how she started drawing or what inspired her to start making art, but she does remember doing a lot of tracing when she was younger. She would copy all kinds of drawings using tracing paper in school especially drawings or illustrations of people.
“One thing I have learnt from my own experiences is that for anyone who is a beginner and wants to learn how to draw (especially make portraits), copy whatever it is that you are interested in. COPY, COPY, COPY and eventually you’ll get the hang of which lines to draw where, which areas should be light, which should be dark; eventually you’ll even get the hang of perspectives.”
She doodles a lot. There is no method or process to it. She just picks up a pencil and a piece of paper (usually her sketchbook) and draws a tree, or a bird, or a window or a character of some kind. Stories inspire her. Oftentimes, on Instagram or Tumblr or other social media sites, she will see some amazing art and underneath it would be a brief description about the piece or a little story and she absolutely loved those stories.
“I have tried doing that but I am quite terrible at coming up with descriptions or stories for my sketches. Nonetheless, this is something that keeps me inspired and interested in art.”
For materials, Oshien uses anything that is available. “I don’t own anything fancy or expensive. I have the usual pencils and some graphite pencils that I use for many of my illustrations (including portraits) along with Crayola pencil colors. I use a set of watercolor paints that I bought over 10 years ago but I have lost the lid so I don’t know that name of the company! However, I am pretty sure it’s a set often used by younger children at school.”
Oshien says she’s a watercolor novice. She started working with watercolors only recently after a gap of about 9-10 years. The first time she worked with watercolors, she hated that the water would run and the colors would always mix into each other and create a mess.
“Now, that is precisely the reason I have started to work with watercolors again,” she says. “With watercolors, I can now make all the mess I want because the final effect makes it look like it is deliberate. I love that they can be manipulated so easily and made to flow wherever you want.”
She hopes to find a way to combine medical school and her artistic interests somehow. “Maybe, I’ll end up illustrating medical books and/or procedures, who knows! For now, I am happy to draw for myself and do commissions from time to time.”
Thanks so much for sharing your story and doodlewashes with us, Oshien! And be sure to follow her on Instagram to see more of her work!