Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of people on snowy mountain in France by TazabThank you to Charlie for inviting me to present my scribbles on Doodlewash! My name is Tazab (follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and visit my website!) I live in Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne, in the center of France. For the past six years, I took the furious mania to keep a notebook with me and draw my surroundings.

I’ve practiced painting since adolescence, with more or less success, and when the time came for me to make the choice of a  profession, I chosed to be a doctor … but without releasing the brush as well!

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of park, cars and houses in France by Tazab

I covered canvases with paintings of human bodies, inspired by what I could see in the hospital, it was exciting to learn how it worked inside (or the dysfunction) and on the other hand, to try to translate the complexity by painting. The faces did not interest me, I had solved the problem by replacing them with dog heads, haha! 

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of street scene in France by Tazab

In my city, Clermont-Ferrand, there is an international festival of Travel sketchbooks, which was for me a revelation. I had the chance to meet a lot of exciting artists (who have become friends), such as Lapin, Gerard Michel, Vincent Desplanche, Emde, Miguel Herranz and many others in the group of Urban SketchersThey were for me a great inspiration, and even if I have never actually taken lessons of drawing or painting, I do not consider myself as a complete autodidact: I learned from them.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of car in France by TazabOver time, my practice has evolved. I left aside painting to devote myself to drawing, first with ink, quietly at home, and then, little by little I felt the need to bring equipment during my skiing or mountain bike escapades. Watercolor was naturally the most convenient and fastest medium in uncomfortable circumstances and it has become a real challenge and a real dope for my creativity to sketch at anytime and anywhere.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of house on snowy mountain in France by TazabInitially, I had a very big paintbox and I always felt that I was missing a color. During a discussion with a friend, Luis Simoes (a Portuguese friend who is traveling around the world), in a bar in Rome, everything had changed. We had emptied all the contents of my paintbox on a table, and we discussed the usefulness of keeping a particular shade, one by one. The next day I was completely lost opening my box, I couldn’t paint anything, and I think that this step was decisive for me.

The reading of Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo also opened new perspectives to me: He was literally obsessed with color, he talked over it in many letters. Since then, I note the color combinations or hues that I can see here and there, filling the pages of my sketchbooks with large watercolor drops. I often come back to these pages when I paint.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of snowy mountain in France by Tazab

I learned one thing so simple, and yet so fundamental: we must mix! I almost never use a pure color as produced by the manufacturer, and I always try different combinations and different brands. A blue sky, a brown tree trunk and green grass, does not exist in real life, right?

Every year is a new stage of progress: my stroke changes, my range of colors changes, framing and implementation seem to become more and more evident. This constant evolution is in the lot of any artist, and I do not particularly try to achieve a goal, I just like to draw and improve in different ways.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of various characters in France by Tazab

I think each of us can paint or draw: all is to develop his creative intelligence, which is often blocked after many time of nonuse! All I could humbly advise is to practice, with different mediums, regularly and out of your comfort zone…and enjoy! Thank you for reading, and thanks again to Charlie for his invitation! Hope this page will give someone the envy of opening a first sketchbook!

Chez Tazab

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!

30 replies on “GUEST DOODLEWASH: Bike & Mountain Sketching

  1. Thank you Charlie for a wonderful interview! Tazab! I so enjoyed reading about you and your art! Quite inspiring to learn that you never took formal lessons but you yourself inspired by other wonderful artists(I have a personal affliction to Lapin;) I look forward to what you produce in the future! artistically and musically as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmmmh..maybe you’ve seen a particular picture with a ukulele to speak about music ? 😉
      I’m so happy to be part of the second “Croq and Mob” adventure next week, with Lapin, who is a great artist and a very very nice person-hope he’ll offer me one beer if ever he reads theses lines- and many more sketchers! This is the best art school!
      Thank for your comment; I’ll look forward your artwork too!

      Liked by 2 people

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