Today, for our prompt of “Underwater,” I decided on a quick little sketch of a sea turtle. I tried it rather fast to see if a looser style might appear, and because that’s all the time I had, but this is apparently as loose as I get. I’m always quite enamored with the details in things. There’s so much to explore and discover when you take a moment to really study something. I find it difficult to choose the most important bits, because I rather adore them all. This is precisely how I approach life in general, which is probably why I end up with so little time left to sketch in the first place. I just can’t help myself. Each time I imagine a plan of what I’d like to do next, I quickly get distracted by all of the little details and, very often, something else entirely. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy reading mysteries so much. There’s always something lurking in the background that’s precisely what we should have noticed all along. As I sketch each day, I’m mostly just building a visual library of things that I’ll use one day to create something truly amazing. I’ve set no timeline for myself as to when that should occur, and instead just keep exploring the world of details in front of me, one sketch at a time.
In truth, since my art is only a side hobby, I do end up playing a bit more. But, I have to think that playing is a really wonderful way to approach art. That’s definitely the approach I took when I finally released my first instructional art book and by creating my Sketching Stuff Activity Book. This is truly my approach to art. I show up each day and Scribble, Doodle, Color and have a lot of fun in the process. I’ve learned that this process is what’s gotten me through each day and kept me doodling and coloring each and every day for almost four years now. I’ll celebrate year four just after World Watercolor Month begins in July! And instead of surging forward to try to continually improve and become spectacular each and every day, I’ve taken a more circular path. Each time I sit down to make something, I always go back to the Scribble as though I’m doing it for the first time. It’s not a matter of starting over, it’s simply a matter of starting fresh. My mind and muscle memory gets smarter about things each and every day. There’s nothing I need to do in order to make that happen short of simply showing up to create. But, each time I see something a bit new, I always find something that I never noticed before.
So yeah, I’m the guy telling people to go back to the Scribble. That very moment when we were kids and grabbed a crayon to make a first mark. We were masters at whatever we created in those days. And it’s my goal to remind as many people as possible of this fact. And moreover, remind people of what they already know. My own style of teaching isn’t about taking you to the next level, I’ll leave that to my own amazing instructors that I happily recommend! No, I simply want to help you build confidence in your own natural ability so you can always ace those real classes like a pro! Yep, I’m just that crazy little kid on the playground you hang out with to have a bit of fun before going back to school! I want everyone to feel like they can indeed DO whatever creative thing they feel like they want to DO next. For my own part, I show up and DO each and every day. And honestly, if I can DO this, then literally anyone on the planet can as well. I have the attention span of a flea combined with the wild exuberance of an actual 5-year old. If nothing else, I’m constant living proof that all dreams are indeed possible, if we just take a moment explore and enjoy what’s floating just below the surface.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Vermilion, Terra Cotta 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!