As we celebrate Day 9 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Shadow Play,” I truly had no thought in mind of what to make for this one. It could, after all, be anything at all. It’s a prompt that just needs an idea in order to flourish. Yet, I was rushed and running late getting home from my day job and hadn’t come up with anything to create. So, it was the perfect time to paint a light bulb, which I seem to paint whenever I’m at a loss for an idea. Paying homage to the very icon of an idea itself. In this case, I tried to make it a bit more challenging by having multiple light sources and casting of three different shadows and then set about painting it in only two colors. In my mind, I meant to use more colors, but when you start without an idea, then anything can happen. I think it rather gets the visual across, albeit in my usual quick and scribbled style, best viewed from a safe distance in order to create the illusion. This magical effect of watercolor is why I adore it. Even though my style seems a bit more realistic, it’s just a light scribbled pencil sketch, doodled over with ink from my fountain pen, and then colored with watercolor. Yep, just a coloring book image I made for myself today and then gleefully colored with watercolor paint. It’s why I call them doodlewashes, and why I have a blast sketching stuff every single day!
Thinking of a light bulb to represent an idea is not remotely creative, but painting said lightbulb in 45 minutes with glass, metal, and shadows was certainly a fun and challenging exercise. That’s pretty much all I had in my head when I went to make this, and I mention it because what more should I ever need? I general notion of something I want to try is more than enough to give it go! This particular challenge I set for my self at the eleventh hour was super fun to attempt. Mostly, because it was so last minute and I had no time whatsoever to talk myself out of it. To me, that’s one of the best approaches we could ever take when trying to create something and why I actually DO enjoy deadlines. Though random ideas may have been flitting through my mind all day, it’s that final moment when I know there won’t be any other chances that enthralls me. Since I was running late today, choosing something this complex is likely something only a crazy person would attempt. Or, as I like to think of it, simply the very thing I needed to try next because my heart led me there. That’s the beauty that can be found in creating something spontaneously. It’s a surprise to me as well when I look at it, which makes it even more magical.
I’ve been asked many times if I offer online courses, but at this moment, it’s not something that I’m planning to do next. First, I do all of this as a side hobby and sneak time just to practice my single sketch and bit of writing for the day. And second, what I want to teach you is what I share each day in these posts. Herein lies all of my wisdom that I hope will help you create whatever you want in your own unique style. It’s why when I finally did make an instructional book, it ended up as an Activity Book for all ages meant to help people reconnect with their inner child. To embrace that awesome innate creativity and skill that’s in all of us. Even for children, by the way, since around the age of 9 we start saying things like “I can’t draw,” or “I can’t paint.” And it’s equally why I founded World Watercolor Month as a charitable event to support arts education and get art supplies for underprivileged kids. Please help me make a difference this month by donating to The Dreaming Zebra Foundation and/or also purchasing something beautiful from the World Watercolor Month Shop! I started this site and founded this month with very grand ideas, but at the heart of it all, I just think that by coming together we can make a positive difference in the world. It’s been a joy to see the difference we’ve already made, and here’s to even more positive change in the future! It’s a wonderful thing indeed when you follow your dreams, even when they might only begin with a shadow of an idea.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Vermilion and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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!