My name is Olga Reiff, I am from Austria, from the beautiful town of Innsbruck, and I live in Luxembourg since 1995. I used to work as a translator for Russian and French (no, I am not a Russian myself) before I started to write my own texts and to illustrate them, about 4 years ago. My illustrations and my texts are about children and nature, the everyday life in my little town, and special moments that I want to promote, like a concert, a visit, a school event, or our urban gardening project (Visit my urban sketcher blog and follow me on Facebook!).

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff at the urban garden in Esch: Storyteller and his daughterI’d say, my style is more a colored drawing than a painting. I like line art, and I often use a nib pen, black ink from the tiny bottle, or a fineliner in several sizes. Before I do the black line, I try around with graphite pencil, until I am satisfied with the gesture and the proportions. I seldom use photos, but very often I do it by heart, or I draw on location.

Then, when I like the drawing, I color it with a rather restrained palette of Maimeri Watercolor, using several sable or synthetic brushes, mostly from Da Vinci. I paint on Arches cold pressed paper, 300g, or on Canson bristol white paper, or in one of my sketchbooks. I use every kind of size, and paper quality. I found out that the most expensive sketchbook does not automatically give me the best results.

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of little girl and dadMy inspirations come from everyday moments, and my life with my four children, the youngest being 4 years old. It is this little girl of mine, Marie, that inspired me in 2014 to do a picture book about a forest kindergarten and a little boy who is attending it. It is written in Luxembourgish language (called “Lëtzebuergesch”). 

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of little girlThis kindergarten really exists, and I love it. Every single day, children spend 3 hours minimum in the forest, where they have their fireplace, a tent, even a bread oven! They play with the things they find in the forest and they develop their creativity and other skills very easily. Last year, I started another blog called OLGAS KLEINE WESEN to show some of these kids characters. Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of Honey Tag bee and donkey

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of single page illustration of children's book boy and squirrelsNow, the exciting news is, that I have found an editor here in Luxembourg who will publish my book next year! It is my first picture book and I am sooo excited. 

I also do illustrations for clients like the farming animal zoo in my town (postcards, tags, story illustrations). Artists that I admire most of all for their line work, their drawings and humor are F.K. Waechter and Quentin Blake, but I also like contemporary artists like H. Craig Hanna, whose paintings I discovered lately in an exhibition here in Luxembourg.

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff - Alphabet of FearsSometimes, when I’m not too busy, I like to do watercolor portraits (like the one below). And when I am in a black mood, I do ink drawings like this one. 

My so-called “Alphabet of fears“consisted of 24 black and white illustrations, and were exhibited last year in Luxembourg and Austria.

I think that I’m a very lucky person. I can do what I love most: writing and drawing and playing around with color and ink, and yeah, creating picture books! Really, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. 

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of portrait of little girl and vase of flowers

If any of you would like to ask me a question, please feel free to contact me via the comment form on my blog, or via Facebook!

Thank you Charlie, for this great occasion to share my work and thoughts!

Olga Reiff
Urban Sketcher Blog
Character Illustration Blog

World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!

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!

29 replies on “GUEST DOODLEWASH: Colored Drawings And Everyday Moments

  1. Aww this is so wonderful! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story and your art! I love the idea of a kindergarten in the forest. Kids nowadays spend too much time inside and playing with pcs, ipads, and such, instead of being outside. Wishing you the best of luck in your art and books publishing! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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