Day 16 – My Favorite Art Supplies

Though I adore all types of art supplies, I approached this prompt in an “if I were stranded on a desert island” kind of way (it’s equally not lost on me that one more ‘s’ would make it dessert island which would be amazing!!). At the very least, if stranded somewhere, I would need my two fountain pens – one filled with sepia ink and the other filled with black ink (and I guess a case of ink, not pictured here), my sketchbook and, of course, watercolor paint (used to paint this!). I have a mechanical pencil that I use sometimes as well, but for some weird reason I just “see” better with a pen in my hand. If I do a quick pencil sketch first, I’ll always end up correcting perspective and adding more accurate lines when I’m holding my pen. I remember the first time I sketched without a pencil and went straight to ink. It was so exhilarating! Which is probably why I called the post, Look Mom! No Pencil! though I’m not particularly certain why I called my mother out as she lacks a computer and doesn’t even read my blog. But had she been reading along, I’m certain she would have been just as thrilled as I was at the time. 

It’s true that I really love my fountain pens. I’m not a traditional painter, more of an illustrator who still just loves to doodle and play with color. Drawing has always been something that’s been interesting to me, and I truly thought I would never be able to paint anything. In college, my painting classes were all taught using acrylic paint and I found it messy and I could never quite make what I wanted. It would be years and years before I would realize that I just think better going from light to dark, rather than the other way around. But my drawing classes were always my favorite. I loved the idea that with a few or several lines, you could make something come to life on the page. The only thing that I missed in those classes was my love of color, so discovering watercolor just a couple years ago now, was a revelation. Combining these two passions was the origin of the name “doodlewash” and was an attempt to describe what I was doing. Granted, I love all types of watercolor painting, so this site has since grown to be about much more. Doodlewash has become more about the idea of embracing the medium and using it in whatever way that you prefer.

Lately, I’ve been far more drawn to sepia ink, but I used both in this little doodlewash. Each Lamy fountain pen shown here is sketched in the color it contains. The Cobalt Blue one is a present from Philippe because it was a special edition that looked like the Doodlewash icon. An unassuming little icon that simply says “DO,” the primary message that I hope to send out into the world. There are so many different ways to use watercolor and I hope that each and every one discover your way. Learn from everyone you possibly can and, in the end, you’ll find the method that just clicks for you. For those wondering about my approach, it’s an unexpected amalgamation formed from awesome urban sketching instructors and those who create food and botanical illustrations. All still done in a very quick fashion. One day, I may try to make a painting that lasts more than hour, but in the meantime, I’m quite content having my special little moment each day, enjoying my time with my favorite art supplies.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Da Vinci Orange, Burnt Sienna Deep, Quinacridone Gold, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, and Ultramarine Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pens with sepia ink and black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
World Watercolor Group - Day 16 - My Favorite Art Supplies - Lamy Safari Pens And Hahnemühle Watercolour Book_IG2

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Suz 5 years ago

    I wish I could sketch in only an hour! Nice one.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Suz! 😃💕 And you totally can if that’s what you’d prefer! DO it! It’s fun to see what happens when you do!

  2. Karen Elaine 5 years ago

    Love this Charlie! Thank you again for inspiring us to paint more!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yes!! Paint as much as possible… it just makes life so much better and awesome!!

  3. lisacihlar 5 years ago

    Now I have pen envy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      hehe… these are awesome pens and really very affordable. I haven’t tried the higher end versions yet… I don’t want to find out I like them better! lol 😊

  4. Laura (PA Pict) 5 years ago

    I identified these as a brace of Lamy fountain pens right away so it’s definitely an accurate portrait. I love my Lamys too. They hold a lot of ink and I like that I can swap out the nibs without fuss or mess. They are great for drawing and writing. I confess I am one of those who matches ink colour to pen colour. The exception is my rose gold Lamy LX which contains my waterproof black ink.

  5. June Hadaway 5 years ago

    Journals are the best. I have read a lot of good things about the Lamy pens. I just may have to put one on my list 😊 Great painting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 And yes, I definitely recommend these pens… the regular Safari isn’t as shiny, but has the same feel and very affordable. I just have a thing about shiny! lol

  6. Lisa McClure 5 years ago

    The color just draws me in. That’s what makes watercolor irresistible to me.

  7. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    What are your favorite inks for the two pens? Lovely sketch, as usual.

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 years ago

    Now I know the creation of the word Doodlewash. Very inventive – just like you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Aww thanks, Shari! 😃💕 Yeah, that was the initial notion. I feel like it’s grown to mean something much more!

  9. Jill Kuhn 5 years ago

    You are so talented Charlie! 🎨👍 Always enjoy your posts and artwork. ❤️ To me it isn’t so much the finished product but the process in getting there that is enjoyable! 🖌

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks, Jill! 😃💕 I totally agree! It’s way more fun to just play and enjoy the moment! Sometimes, things turn out cool, and other times… well… it was just really fun to play! lol

  10. Sandra Gilbert 5 years ago

    I love to draw in pen first as well. I have a carbon fountain pen that I love using, but I may have to check out those Lamy ones. I keep hearing about them. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      You should totally try them! I started with a carbon fountain pen and still use carbon platinum inks in my Lamy. It works great! (but you do have to use them often so they don’t get clogged) 😉💕

  11. Cynthia Hintz 5 years ago

    Great post Charlie. Thanks!

  12. Thomas Blanchard 5 years ago

    The copper orange and pacific blue Al-Star are two of my favorites! What size nib do you prefer for your drawing? I tend to like fine right on up to 1.1 mm stub for drawing and line work. For writing my favorite is a 1.5 mm stub. Thank goodness it takes just a sliver of tape to swap nibs around quickly.

    • Lyn 5 years ago

      Thomas I am new to the fountain pen drawing. Thank you for posting your nib preferences. What do you mean about sliver of tape to swab nibs?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Yay! Glad you’re a fan as well, Tom! 😃💕 I’m an Extra Fine guy here…. hehe… all my pens are that. I really only type for other writing, so I only use pens for sketching, but EF for me!

  13. Mary McDonough 5 years ago

    Enjoyed your post and your doodlewash. Thank you for sharing your process.

  14. Cathy 5 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiration Charilie! I, too, love line and how just a few lines will suggest something. Do you use a fine nib, or do you find them scratchy?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks, Cathy! 😃💕 I actually use Extra Fine, and yeah they can be a bit scratchy, but I use it on purpose. For instance, if I’m sketching a glass, not all of the line appear when I sketch quickly and those become the highlights. hehe

  15. Debra "Kate" Powell 5 years ago

    Favorites,both, as well. I am in agreement with tools, if I had to walk out the door with only a few they’d be lamy Al-Stars, Hahnemuhle landscape watercolor book, and a bok of watercolors, mostly DSmith. Nice sketch — Philippe has good taste!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      hehe… thanks so much, Kate! 😃💕 And you have great taste as well! Love that list!

  16. Yvonne Reeder 5 years ago

    I wish my DO’s were as well done, Charlie! Meanwhile, my DO’s are more like diddles and I will keep diddling away! 😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Haha! A diddlewash is just as fabulous! Keep on diddling away, Von! 😉💕

  17. jpmorris 5 years ago

    Thanks, Charlie. Definitely sentiments I share as well.

  18. Lyn 5 years ago

    Love this …thank you!

  19. Jean Marmo 5 years ago


  20. Heide 5 years ago

    How fun to finally discover the origin of your site’s name, Charlie — and to learn you’re a fellow fountain pen enthusiast as well. Next time you and Philipe go to Paris you must please visit Mélodies Graphiques at 10 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Merci beaucoup, Heide! 😃💕 Cool! We’ll definitely check that out on the next trip!

  21. thejaemac 5 years ago

    my next foray into art suplies will be ink. I have only microns but i WANT to try dip pens and multiple colors of ink. I’d kill for a lamy safari. (In pink or green or purple please!). I totally get you with the drawing thing, but for me, the pencil is my best friend, not just because I can erase it but because of the exquisite marks it makes. Now, maybe if I had a lamy safari… ;o)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      You totally need to try some ink! hehe… and I get the shiny AL Lamy pens, but the regular safari are great as well. There’s a lovely pink one calling your name!! 😉💕 Lol

  22. Elizabeth Metz 5 years ago

    Fountain pens are my other, secondary love. (Along with books, dogs, and rocks.) So I was kind of chuffed to see this post. 🙂

    How do you like the triangle grip section on the Lamy? I don’t seem to mind it for drawing, but for writing, it drives me nuts. Tried a TWSBI and fell down a rabbit hole of awesome. (Round grip, smoother nib, larger ink tank so I’m not constantly refilling.) There’s a new turquoise ECO that might just match the DW logo…. Just saying. 😀

  23. Mia Archambeault 5 years ago

    Wish I had seen this sooner. I just picked up a Jinhao fountain pen and it’s not at all what I was expecting. I’ll be looking into Lamy pens very soon. I’m a huge fan of sepia and knowing I can refill my own pen is a plus. I love the work you do with sepia inks. It really is stunning.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks, Mia!! 😃💕 Yes…. I adore my Lamy pens! hehe… and my carbon platinum sepia ink! It’s been the best combo I’ve found yet!

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