For our prompt of “Airplane” today, I decided to make a quick little sketch of a more vintage variety of plane and not the modern version. I’ve no knowledge of planes or types, but simply like the look of this version because I had a toy that looked a bit like this one when I was a kid. The modern versions just makes me think about work as I traveled quite a lot during my career. Thankfully, I don’t have to hop on a plane all of the time these days. And riding in a plane like this would probably make me faint. I’m not a fan of heights and in a giant plane I can pretend I’m much closer to the ground than I really am, as long as I avoid looking out of the window for too long. That said, you’ll find my head in the clouds most of the time. I have quite a problem with daydreaming in that I do it all of the time. No matter what’s currently happening, part of my mind is always soaring off to places unknown. This incredible lack of focus could be deemed quite a hinderance when it comes to making art, but I’ve simply adopted a quick and fun way to make things so I can complete them before the sands in the hourglass of my attention span run out. My hourglass runs at about 45 minutes these days, before my mind drifts on to other things and I find it tough to continue. While a sensible person would set their art aside and work on it later, my inner child simply can’t bear that idea. If I, for example, went back to work more on this plane, it would likely become a car, because, yeah, I’m already over planes now and want to try something else.
While I know my attention span is shockingly short, particularly when it comes to watercolor, I can’t help but think there are others out there like me. When I first started painting I was able to set aside hours and the newness of it all make it possible for me to spend hours in those early days. It was all quite new, so it remained exciting. These days, I’ve been sketching and painting for over four years each day, so it’s no longer a new activity. What keeps me excited is the chance to create something new each and every day. This simply isn’t possible if you’re painting in a very detailed way with traditional techniques. So, instead, I make a little ink sketch that’s a bit like a coloring book illustration and then I color it in with watercolor. That’s the extent of my entire process, and depending on the day or the subject matter, some of my colorings turn out more interesting than others. But, I adore each little doodlewash that I’ve ever created! It’s an illustration of not simply the words that end up here, but indeed, my mood and mindset for that day. And interestingly enough, if I go back and look at a sketch from a couple of years ago, I actually remember making it. One would think that 30-45 minutes of their life would be something simply forgotten. But when art is involved the rules quite often change.
This is my live art journal. One that I share with anyone around the world who wants to take a little time to see and read what I’ve created each day. While others teach techniques, I’m just demonstrating possibilities. I’m showing what’s possible with just a fraction of attention span, a modest amount of supplies, and a touch of determination. You simply can’t say it’s impossible to show up and make something each and every day, because I’ve already proven you wrong. That, is the simple thing I hope to share with the world. So, if you ever find yourself frustrated with what you’re trying desperately to learn how to DO in your creative journey, just come play with me. Together, we’ll take various approaches and mash them up into a blender of fun! We’ll each likely choose a slightly different approach that we enjoyed most, and that’s just fabulous! It’s why I didn’t make a normal instructional book, but one filled with various activities. I don’t want people to paint “like” me, I simply want them to paint “with” me. Adopting the same childlike mindset and wonder and then jumping in with glee to simply DO what comes naturally. It’s equally why I hold monthly challenges. I read once it takes around 66 days for a behavior to become automatic but can take up to 264 days before it becomes a true habit. I can honestly say now after well more time than that, I’ve definitely formed a habit, and one I absolutely adore. Each day that I sit down for my little artistic moment to make something isn’t a chore or something I feel I must do, it’s simply a wonderful and whimsical journey spent flying through the clouds.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, 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!