For Day 21 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Patterns,” I chose this odd hairy moth. Though I definitely prefer butterflies in real life, I realize that’s all I’ve ever sketched, so I thought I’d study a moth to see what interesting patterns and colors I could discover there. In truth, flying insects with a bit of girth to their body tend to freak me out when they’re flying at me. Beyond simply swatting them away, the tone of my voice grows embarrassingly higher in pitch, just short of becoming the shrill scream of a small child. Though as I child, I think I was just more fascinated than afraid. Fear is something one has to learn as an adult, it’s not a natural trait, like instinct. Looking at just how lovely this little moth is in reality, I now feel a bit bad for my startled and unwelcoming reactions previously. It’s interesting how sketching the world can shed new light on it along the way. There are so many things to sketch, it’s almost overwhelming to decide what to sketch next, but it’s a fun and thrilling journey that always comes with quite a few surprises.
When I was kid, I would get lost sometimes staring at the patterns and the details that I would find in things. While teachers and others saw it as having attention problems, the real problem was mostly because I was often paying too close attention to things. And perhaps they weren’t always the things my teachers and others wanted me to be focusing on in that moment. Yet, each new discovery made me feel like an explorer, finding something for the very first time. Indeed, I wasn’t the first, to be sure, but the little feeling of victory was no less intoxicating. Not much has really changed today, of course, as I still like to scribble in as much detail as possible with my sketches. It’s fun to spot things and even more fun to share those observations in a doodlewash. Yet, as we grow up, this childlike skill of seeing the world as it really is, takes a bit more conscience effort. I’ve found the more things I sketch, the more I’m reminded to see the rest of the world with those same clear eyes. I find myself looking for those details again during my day, just like when I was a kid. And today, I get to share those discoveries with friends all over the world.
I love our global community of artists as it’s wonderful to connect with people from all over the world. And I’m stunned seeing all of the beautiful art that’s been created around the globe as we celebrate World Watercolor Month. There’s so much we can learn from one another and so much beauty that we can create together. Thousands of pieces of art have appeared in our global gallery here on Doodlewash this month and it’s been a breathtaking experience along the way. And it’s living proof that it’s quite possible to reach across borders and oceans to connect with art. Though we may not share the same culture, we share the same heart. A heart that wants to create something new in this often strangely divided world. A heart that wants to share beauty and knowledge in a way that connects us to one another. After all, even when we think another person is very different than we are, there’s so much that’s actually the same. It’s all just a matter of finding patterns.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!