For Day 18 of #WorldWatercolorMonth, and our prompt of “Clouds,” I did what I normally do with a prompt like this, quickly splash on some clouds in the background and then choose some sort of actual subject matter. In this case, I inexplicably chose a cow with its tongue in its nose. Certainly, this is an impressive talent. I once knew a girl whose tongue was so long that she could touch the very tip of her nose with it. This was something all of my friends would request to see each time she was near. And while indeed impressive, as far I can remember she was never able to actually jam it inside, so the cow has her beat in this particular talent. It strikes me that no matter what talent we pride ourselves on, there’s always someone out there who is just a bit more talented. Each year, during World Watercolor Month, I discover so many fabulous artists who are miles ahead of me in skill and aesthetic. While this could seem daunting, instead I’m perfectly inspired, and it’s a joy to discover them. It’s wonderful to know what’s possible even if I can’t make it possible just yet. But, what I love most is that each of us has a unique and interesting style, no matter our current skill level or approach, and that’s what makes this month so perfectly beautiful!
My own talent is simply all about cheering people on. I enjoy inspiring people to sketch stuff and want them to make things in their own unique way. This is why I don’t have any videos or books that are like traditional art instruction. I’m no master, after all. I just scribble, doodle, color, but that in itself is a bit of a method. Most everything I make is completed in less than an hour, sometimes less than 30 minutes. That’s because I don’t use the processes that take many hours to complete, but simply enjoy a fun and gleeful bit of sketching and coloring like a kid in the moment. In my current life, this is all the time I have, so it’s become part of my style and approach. Equally, it’s why I didn’t create a traditional step-by-step art book, but instead a jump in and DO Activity Book that puts all of the technical aspects in the background. The entire book is actually a unique step-by-step process, but that’s just our little secret. This was quite a big leap of faith, as there simply isn’t a book like this out there. And yes, there are some folks who just wanted me to make a book in the same exact way everyone else does. But, that’s just not me. So, I made the book that actually IS my approach. It’s my personal hope that if you DO try things this way, you’ll be so quickly hooked that you’ll want to take more of those actual art classes and learn more about whatever it was that excited you most.
I had hoped to release a second Activity Book on “Animals” last month, but then World Watercolor Month started before I could finish it. Also, I’ve watched people who have taken the the true spirit of my “sketch and color like a kid again” book to heart in our little Facebook Group share their pages and basically, achieve insane progress! People who had never sketched regularly before look like they’ve been sketching all of their lives. So, I want to make sure I have some more challenging activities in the next one just to keep up with everyone. And in these books, I’ll be sharing everything I’ve discovered, but again, in my own unique way. I’m considering making an even lower priced e-book version available for people who just want the tips and insights, so let me know what you think about that idea in the comments. Like my art, I myself am a work in progress, and I appreciate all of the feedback I can get along the way. I love to try new things, that have something different to offer in the world. I don’t set out to break the rules, I just don’t like following a bunch of rules as it’s not as much fun. I sincerely believe that we each have something incredible to share with the world that can in some small way change it. And, that can only happen when we begin by embracing our natural talents.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Vermilion, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, 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!