For our prompt of “Fruit” today, I did a little sketch of some mice discovering a variety of fruit. I’ve been enjoying sketching mice lately, and though the idea of real mice rummaging through one’s fruit bowl would be rather off-putting, illustrated mice are just kinda cute. There’s a saying that when something “bears fruit” it produces results. Indeed, my own approach to art is simply to show up each day with a little something. And, after more than five years, I’ve found this approach to be quite fruitful. I usually bounced around wildly in subject matter in the past, and that helped me to learn how to sketch lots of different things. Now, however, I’m trying to focus a bit more on narrative illustrations and practicing a handful of different critters. Mice are the easiest of the bunch to pose and dress, so that’s why they’re currently showing up all of the time. Plus, as long as they stay out of my house in real life, I think they’re perfectly adorable.
One of the things I’ve been discovering in the last couple of months is that I can sketch way more things than I first thought. I used to only sketch things with a specific reference, and now I’m just sort of tapping into my imagination and going for it most of the time. This is not something I ever thought I would be able to accomplish, but with steady practice, it’s getting easier and easier to DO! Granted, I still feel like I have tons to learn and try and many more experiments lie ahead. That’s why I’ve always called my art journey an adventure. It’s not a steady path forward so much as a crazy path with twists and turns and wild successes mixed with a few things that are less than successful. At least, the final result. The path to get to each sketch is still ripe with fruitful revelations that I then take forward and use the next time I attempt something.
When I first started sketching and spent many days and months rather frustrated by what I couldn’t do yet, Philippe simply told me, “sketch what you see.” This was back when I was urban sketching and drawing things from life. In my heart, and in my inner child’s heart, what I really wanted to sketch wasn’t what I actually saw in front of me. What I truly wanted to sketch most was what was in my imagination. What I saw when I closed my eyes. Little by little, I’m learning now to see that internal picture more clearly. And with all of this practice, I’ve been able to get things that are closer and closer to what I actually picture in my mind. It’s not exactly the image I see there, but it’s a suitable proxy of what I was thinking. I think that we can accomplish anything we want in life if we’re willing to put in the time and effort that it takes to get there. It can sometimes seem a little daunting, but with tons of tenacity and heaps of hope, I’ve found that I’m always finding fruit.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Pthalo Blue, and Terra Cotta. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? 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!