Certainly ranking as one of life’s most simple pleasures is strolling along the beach, discovering various types of shells. Unless a shell was incredibly unique, you’d find me simply collecting them in that moment, making a little pile of curiosities and then leaving them there for someone else to discover. It was a bit like creating a little sculpture of some kind, using materials that simply moved me in that instant that I spotted them. Not much has changed with my art these days. I lean toward a subject that I find interesting, grab for some colors, make a little doodlewash and then stroll on. Whoever stumbles on this post will find what I made and I hope they like it just as much as I enjoyed assembling it. A quick and spontaneous expression that unlike those shells I abandoned on the beach, is frozen in time. Perhaps, I’ll stroll back by this post years from now as a stranger and marvel at what fascinated me on this day. I think that’s my favorite thing about these doodlewashes. They’re forming that self-portrait I could never paint. Bits of my heart manifested on paper.
When I first started painting, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was setting out to do. I was just so enthralled and excited by the medium and longed to play with it. After just over two years, that’s pretty much still the case. Many have asked where all these original sketches are stored and the answer is that growing stack of sketchbooks collecting dust in the corner of my living room. While I’ve gone back to some previous posts, thanks to the “Related Articles” feature below (which is astoundingly inaccurate at times, but no less intriguing), I’ve never opened those sketchbooks once. There’s certainly something a bit more emotional in the original that a scan simply can’t reproduce. Though it’s an accurate visual in color and form, there’s just something about a tangible piece of art that possesses a bit more magic. I’m not precious about these books and when people have asked to purchase an original I think about cutting out that page for them. I simply warn them it’s a rather small piece and there may or may not be an image of dessert on the back. They then decline their offer.
Perhaps one day, I’ll make larger paintings properly on sheets that can be framed in their original state. But today, I’m wildly content to just make a little illustration that describes my mood for that day. A little watercolor emoji, if you will, that tells you a bit about how I was feeling based on the color, line quality and form. Some turn out better than others, but each of them has their own little story to tell. Many who pass this way simply read the visual story and not the little ramble that comes after. I’m fine with that, though my art is actually a combination of both words and illustration. Thanks to all of you who read this far and experience the complete work. Always a bit of imagery and words drawn from the heart that I place here for anyone who happens by. And whether or not I ever move to more traditional pieces of paper or simply stay happily scrawling in a sketchbook, one thing is certain. My art will always be a bit like collecting sea shells.
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About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Red Rose Deep, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, and Ultramarine 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!