When I was a kid, I was sometimes accused of being a bit squirrelly by my mother at times. This refers to being unusually active, impatient, or just plain nutty with too much excitement. Things, that apply to almost any child, really. And it can also refer to lots of other things including being a bit odd, eccentric or just plain unpredictable. In other words, how my mother might view me as an adult. Not a lot has changed since I was little. I’m still rather impatient and certainly impulsive, so I”m sure the description still fits. I actually adore watching squirrels, our painting prompt for today, outside my window. There’s one spot on a particular tree that has a stump of a branch poking out. You’ll often spot a squirrel sitting there, nibbling on an acorn. It’s a lovely spot, and were I an actual squirrel I’m sure I would enjoy the peaceful seclusion of it as well. Soon, however, the squirrel is off in search of more nuts, spinning around the tree like he’s descending a spiral staircase. It’s all perfectly fascinating to watch and as squirrelly as I am, I can often sit for several minutes just observing them.
For today’s doodlewash, I went a bit nuts and only drew a simple contour of a squirrel to begin. For the tree, I drew two squiggly lines for the edge and the rest was entirely “sketched” with a brush and simply made up as I went along. This was a bit new for me as my tendency would be to sketch out out all the details in the squirrel and the bark as I adore sketching with my pen. But for today, I decided to mix things up a bit and let the brush and paint do most of the work. It’s still a pointy brush, of course, a fair amount of dry brushing, and some dark mixes with barely any water at all, as I like to have a lot of lines and definition, but this one is almost entirely done in watercolor. I mentioned in yesterday’s post about pushing out of one’s comfort zone and that’s certainly what I did today. The squirrel started as a reference, but the rest was made entirely from memory with bits of imagination. If nothing else, it’s certainly an improvement over my first tree that started this little blog. Daily painting continues to be one of my greatest joys in life. It’s always a learning process, not just about painting, but discovering things about myself along the way.
I adore contrast and definition both on paper as well as in life. I like to sort out problems and discover an answer that has a lot of extra dimension to it. The one that feels definitely correct among all others. Bits of detail that might even go unnoticed, but to me, make the final notion just that much more intriguing. We once believed the world was flat, but soon discovered that it was round and full of even more mysteries. Or more precisely, ripe with possibilities, waiting to be manifested and brought to life. I’ve spent my entire career as a Creative Director trying to encourage thoughts in others, but it’s been incredibly rewarding to capture my own here each and every day. Oh yes, they’re really totally rambles combined with the latest day’s doodle, but it’s all authentically me. This is purely who I am, and if you’re reading this now, thanks for taking the time to meet the true me. I made the decision early on to not be polished here as I at least try to be in my professional life, and post literally everything I make as it happens. So, this is simply me as it happens, and I’m thrilled you dropped by to join me on this adventure. I hope you’re having fun viewing my posts as well, especially on the days when I find myself getting a bit squirrelly.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!