I’m starting week two of World Watercolor Month today with this little doodlewash of a kingfisher. If you’re following the daily creative prompts for the month, then you might be painting a bird as well today. Also, you might just have made a bird today if you’re one of the WordPress art community that celebrates Draw a Bird Day on the 8th of each and every month (officially on the 8th of April, but so much fun that my soul sister Laura, who has a fabulous blog at createarteveryday.com, hosts it monthly for us now!). Birds are deceptively hard to paint, at least for me, but I keep trying each month to see if maybe I can finally get one that I rather like.
I also keep wanting to paint a bit looser and not render all the details, but I can’t seem to stop. When I look at something, I’m instantly fascinated, like a child experiencing a new toy for the first time. My eyes dart around it and begin to pick out every minute detail. This makes it extremely hard for me to abstract the painting. Once I see that detail, I simply can’t unsee it, much like walking in on your parents being intimate. I do these very fast, thinking that perhaps the speed will force some level of abstraction, but in the end, there’s always more detail than I originally wanted. This may simply end up becoming my definitive style, but I’m still determined to go looser at some point this month.
The cool part is, after just a year of painting, I’m not worried about finding my style. I just love sketching and splashing watercolor around. I’m enjoying World Watercolor Month so much as it’s fun to see the very serious painters mix with folks like me. New to this medium and still exploring what I can do with it. It’s wild when people ask my advice since I’ve only been painting a year, but then I realize I’ve been painting for 360 consecutive days. That has to make a difference right? I hope this month, more people will discover the joy and satisfaction of daily painting. My only secret to offer is that I don’t judge my work. I just post whatever happens that day and let you be the judge. Art is totally subjective, so I know that someone out there, somewhere, is bound to enjoy it! And that’s all I ever need to know.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Azo Orange, Viridian, Gamboge, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.
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Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!