When it comes to painting shiny things, as many of you know, I’m a total fan. Whether it’s glass or metal, I’m excited to doodlewash it. Since I couldn’t chose which material to paint today, we have a little of both in this shiny cappuccino. Actually, if I drink too much espresso, I too feel a bit shiny in that really buzzed way were you feel deceptively alert and ready to attempt anything. Not a particularly settling feeling really, but always a sure sign I’ve had too much caffeine. My favorite is simply a shot of espresso on its own without anything to dull it down. I think I get this from my mother who always preferred her coffee black. Certainly not from my father who added so much cream and sugar that it turned into a slightly coffee-flavored liquid candy. I can only can assume my father didn’t actually like coffee and was desperately trying to disguise the flavor. I always wondered why he didn’t just opt for something he actually enjoyed instead. Today, if it’s not espresso, I prefer a dark roast coffee. The darker the better really, as I really do enjoy the flavor.
They say that caffeine can cause a spike in blood pressure, but mine has always run notoriously low so this isn’t a problem. It’s since raised to closer to normal readings now, but when I was younger the doctor once took my blood pressure three times just to be sure I wasn’t a vampire. In most cases, visiting a doctor causes stress which can temporarily increase the reading, but this didn’t work for me I guess. It’s not that I don’t experience stress, I just experience it pragmatically rather than emotionally. When things get a little hectic, I figure there’s always a way to get through it so obsessing or worrying seems like a waste of perfectly good energy. And truly, most of the stress I experience in life is self-induced because I wait until absolutely the last moment to do everything. That’s why these posts are a perfect fit for me. The painting you see and the rambles you read were all just made, just barely in time for this evening’s posting. But, I love it that way. There’s no surgical editing to be done or making myself sound amazing or plunking in key words. Just an honest little moment revealing what’s on my mind.
Painting is, after all, a reflection of life. It’s not actual life, but a rough facsimile created via the mind and hand of the artist. My painting style is perfectly messy and quick. This style, if one can call it that, isn’t so much a goal as a side effect. I have a ridiculously short attention span. I can’t spend more than an hour on a painting or I start to get seriously bored. Actually, these are all usually made in under 45 minutes as that’s about the time when I start to get fidgety. I paint in a circular fashion, hoping the last area I touched is somewhat dry before layering more color on top and pushing it around roughly where I think it should go. And then I scan what I made so quickly that it’s often still wet, so for that, I keep a spray bottle nearby to wipe off yesterday’s image first. Revealing all of this now, makes me sound like a madman, but it’s actually how I’ve managed to paint each and every day for over two and a half years. My method is the one that works for me. It’s the one that keeps me coming back each day with enthusiasm because it fits me and the way I approach life. That when you know you’ve found your style. So, for a brief and blissful period, I can simply ignore any stress lurking there from my busy day, and take just a moment to indulge in a shiny cappuccino.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!