When I had to very quickly sketch a ladybug today with limited time, I happily splashed paint around and finished minutes later only to realize my ladybug was terrifyingly large. I looked at what I’d done and thought, “damn that’s big!” Of course, if you want to paint the details of a ladybug, they need to grow in size a little, but if this one landed on me, and I could make my ladybug wish, the first would be that it use its pterodactyl wings and fly away immediately. Part of the fun of these daily prompts is that some days I don’t have much time to worry about concept or composition and just throw caution to the wind to see what comes out. Sometimes it’s a cute little life-sized kitten and others, like this one, it’s the beetle that ate Manhattan. Either way, it’s always a fun time and I love discovering what will happen each day. What’s been fun is even at their speediest, my current sketches are a touch more refined than my earliest attempts, so it feels a bit like I’m making some progress or at least developing a sort of style.
The reason I’ve continued painting daily since I started is both a wonderful addiction to sketching and watercolor itself as well as the journey along the way. No matter what I sketch and paint and no matter how quickly some days I have to attempt it, it’s so rewarding to have done so. First, it means that I didn’t give up, even when it felt like I couldn’t possibly pull off another painting and post. That’s sort of a fun challenge in itself. But mostly, it’s about demanding time in life to DO the things you love most. Too many times, our dreams get a bit pushed into the background while we tend to the things we assume we have to do. And sometimes, it’s that we don’t feel like what we’re doing is good enough or important enough to ever take the place of those things. Let me solve this for you right away. If you’re making something new each day, trust me when I say, it’s the most important thing you can do. Anyone can answer an email and fold a towel, but what you do as an artist is special. No matter what kind of creative thing you do, it’s always the same answer. DO! The world needs to see and, if you’re writing, read what you make each day.
I dearly love seeing your comments and chatting with you over these posts. It’s a wonderful way to get to know each other better and share a bit of our lives together. That may seem a strange thing for a watercolor blog, but that’s always how it’s been here. This has really just been a safe space to interact with other folks who share an interest and joy of watercolor, yes, but also simply creativity, art, and the best of life’s little moments. It’s only been a little over two and half years since I started painting and started this blog. So much has happened and changed in that time, but the vision of focusing on life as art and not the other way around has remained. We paint and write stories about how we see the world and how we feel about what happens in it. Even when we don’t realize it. Every brushstroke and keystroke is influenced by our own perception and feelings of the world around us. And, it’s the most exciting way to connect with others. That’s the simple vision of Doodlewash. For my part, you’ll find sometimes poetic and nostalgic moments, randomly mixed with a different sort of ramble and a surprising appearance by a gigantic ladybug.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!