I’m César Rodríguez (follow me on Instagram and Twitter!). I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, but moved to Brazil to work in a consulting firm. So as you might be thinking, what’s my link with watercolor and sketching? Well, it just happened!
I always liked to sketch since I was a kid and I even thought becoming an architect or any other career where I could sketch & design all the time. I ended up taking a different path, quite a different kind of design: software design!
After a couple of years without sketching at all, I found the work of Wendy Macnaughton, a graphic journalist, and Marc Taro Holmes, an Urban Sketcher (also a Guest Doodlewasher). I got immediately connected with the freedom of sketching everyday things without the pressure of trying to do a great piece of art. Just Sketching. Just letting watercolor be itself. While sitting in a park. While passing by an interesting street. Capturing through sketches your visual memories of things. And that was the starting point.
Today, I carry a sketchbook all the time, documenting interesting images throughout my day. It’s not only my favorite relaxing technique, but also it turns out to be an incredible “tool” to remember specific details about places and things. This is specially great while traveling. Sketching places actually makes you develop a better sense of your memories, remembering tiny details (that you sketched!) that are very difficult to retain otherwise!
I use different kinds of sketchbooks, from watercolor Moleskines, mixed media (Canson XL) and homemade sketchbooks (just buying sheets of watercolor paper and adapting them to the size I need). I usually do small sketches, around 8×8. I have 2 favorite brushes: an Escoda travel brush and a Winsor & Newton pure squirrel brush. Currently trying Van Gogh watercolors, combining ink lines and color, although I’m trying to do the transition of painting directly with watercolor, but still practicing.
I found Marc’s Craftsy courses and they are a great way for learn basic techniques, specially for sketching people in motion which is, for me, the most challenging part of urban sketching. But the best lesson that I can tell you is: just sketch. Everyday. No matter what. try new things, and just keep your brushes moving!