If you’ve been following along with the official World Watercolor Month prompts this month, you may have noticed how open-ended many of them are. Today’s could apply to watercolor techniques that one wants to practice, or if you’re inside my head, cookies and milk. This is really just where my mind leapt to because I bought a little cookie at lunch and wished I had some milk to go with it, since it was a bit dry. Then, I thought back to childhood and how I used to love those peanut butter sandwich cookies that the Girls Scouts brought me. These I would only eat with a big glass of milk handy. I liked to dunk them just halfway into the milk, making that bit a touch soggy while keeping a dry and crunchy half as well. I’m not sure whether this was brought on by indecision or simply wanting to have the best of both worlds. But, I think it was the latter as I still like to live this way today. Before I give up and think it’s not possible to have something “both” ways, I usually discover that with a little dose of creativity it can actually happen.
As a kid, I always tried to figure out how I could have all of the things I wanted, while happily balancing the impossibility of those two things being able to occur at the same time. For example, if I couldn’t decide between characters that I wanted to be on Halloween I would create my own Frankenstein version of them choosing the best bits to make a costume. Or, if I wanted to make a project for school and couldn’t decide between two different ideas, I would just combine them into one inexplicable one. Sometimes the results were pretty cool, but other times they were just, well, inexplicable. Either way, it felt very satisfying as I at least came up with something a bit new and different that others might not have thought about. And I got to have it all in the process. This little act of always asking “what if?” is one that I frequently find difficult to keep as an adult. All that so-called “life experience” has left me with answers to so many questions. Or, at least, perceived answers because what I’m considering is a bit similar to something I’m contemplating. I’ve done that before and it didn’t work out as intended. But unless it’s exactly the same thing, there’s really no way to know if this time, it might not be different.
In many ways, my coined term of “doodlewash,” is a testament to my approach to life. It’s the best of both sketching and watercolor, completely free of any rules or restrictions, and involves just doing whatever feels right in the moment. That’s why you’ll always find all types of sketchers and watercolorists featured here. My hope has always been to rally people behind the wonderful act of creating art itself and not the way in which it is created. Sure, there will always be masters who possess insane skill that leave us all cowering in the corners wondering how they did that. But then there’s the rest of us. The masses who wish to create and make something beautiful to share with others. And while I’ll still be in awe at the sight of a painting in a gallery, I’ll equally be thrilled by the creation of someone who just recently picked up their brushes and started painting for the first time. Each piece of art has a story behind it and I find those stories incredibly inspiring. That’s what you’ll find here on this site and I’m proud to present them each and every month. An impossible mix of stories and art that don’t fit a pattern, but are indeed creating one. A path to a new art world where anyone can be accepted, as long as they possess the passion to create. Perhaps, it’s a foolish notion, but it’s at least nice to imagine that two things can harmoniously coexist, like wet & dry.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Photo Reference by: Benson Kua. 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!