GUEST ARTIST: “Water Trailing” by Mishu Bogan

Watercolor Painting by Mishu Bogan - Dog - Doodlewash #WorldWatercolorGroup

My name is Mishu Bogan from London, UK, and my passion is watercolours. I started drawing, as I tell everyone, as soon as I was able to hold a pencil. One of my very first memories is of me sitting in my bed, drawing stories. Because that’s what it always was – stories I had to tell and drawing was my way of doing it.

“In every drop of water, there is a story of life.”
– Leena Arif

They were highly detailed – albeit poorly drawn with my 3-year-old chubby hand – where every character had its own little universe and story to tell and they were all interconnected. I am still sorry I haven’t kept any of them or at least that I could still draw like that.

My parents were very supportive of all my endeavours and encouraged me to pursue any interests I had (and believe me, there were a lot of them), but when it came to formally study art they considered it not to be a ‘proper job’ and they didn’t allow me to study there. I was never truly upset of that because I could see their point, even today. Having an Art education doesn’t take you too far and most of the time it doesn’t pay the rent, as they say.

Watercolor Painting by Mishu Bogan - Parrot - Doodlewash #WorldWatercolorGroup

Life eventually took over and my many different interests replaced drawing easily. All until about 6 years ago when, as a settled professional, I found myself longing to draw, but became frustrated because I believed my drawing skills were rubbish. So, I started practising – with the same determination I do most things.

Watercolor Painting by Mishu Bogan - Old Boat - Doodlewash #WorldWatercolorGroup

I registered for an online class which opened me up for different mediums and taught me the basics; when I was moderately pleased with my graphite drawings, I discovered one can do proper artworks in coloured pencils. As soon as I felt settled in my dealings with a medium, I moved further, the need to evolve being stronger than anything.

That’s how I discovered watercolours – I am still an amateur, painting just in weekends, but keeping it up for 6 years, following contemporary masters, helped me not only to greatly improve, but also to grow a following and even a small market.

Watercolor Painting by Mishu Bogan - Dog - Doodlewash #WorldWatercolorGroup

It was no surprise when I realised that my strong subjects are dogs (and animals in general) portraits – I am not ashamed to say I love them more than most people.

Watercolor Painting by Mishu Bogan - Rooster - Doodlewash #WorldWatercolorGroupAlthough I work almost always from photographs (painting animals gives few other options) I like to paint portraits that (again) tell me a story about the model – a tilt of their head, a wrinkled nose or a flick of their tongue gives me enough information to get me started.

I still don’t feel ‘settled’ with watercolours and, although I discovered acrylics and oils now, I still didn’t move from my watercolours. There’s no other medium that is so alive, with its own mind, so unpredictable and surprising that can literally do better than what the painter wanted.

My proudest achievement is still my, now finished , challenge of painting one watercolour sketch a day, for 365 days. Many people told me I am crazy and that I should start with something smaller, like a week or month-long challenge, but did I tell you how stubborn and determined I am when I put my mind to it? After 3 years, since the completion of that self-imposed challenge, the ink and wash are still my preferred medium to tell a story.

Watercolor Painting by Mishu Bogan - Man - Doodlewash #WorldWatercolorGroup

As most artists, I am an art-supply addict and tend to buy everything every time I have the fortune (or misfortune, depending how you look at it) to end up in an art supply shop. Over these short 6 years, I bought most of the paints and pens I could afford, until I realised there is no point to deny the obvious – I had favourites.

For me, the best watercolour pans are the “White Nights” St. Petersburg because they’re wonderfully large, moist and with a strong pigment that is yet to be equalled by any paints I tried. Put that next to that the fact that they are cheaper than most paints on the market (in Europe at least) and we have a winner.  Since I tend to paint small (my largest paintings are about an A3 size), a full pan is quite suitable.

Watercolor Painting by Mishu Bogan - Racoon - Doodlewash #WorldWatercolorGroup

When on location, I tend to use watercolour brush pens – a wonderful new invention of a pen with bristles like a brush, filled with pigment ink – and my new favourites (I have tried a LOT of those too) are the ones done by Vibrant Jungle. Combined with water in a waterbrush pen, will give me the striking colours and the watercolour effects I want without the trouble of carrying paints and jars of water.

Watercolor Painting by Mishu Bogan - Wolf - Doodlewash #WorldWatercolorGroup

I also have three pens I never leave at home – a Uniball waterproof ink pen, the wonderful creation that is the Pentel brush pen (not waterproof, but with the blackest black possible at the end of a brush-like pen) and if I need to enhance some highlights I always use a Molotow white acrylic pen.  As you see, there’s nothing too fancy – just perfect for me.

The best way to tell a story? A painting’s worth a thousand words.

Mishu Bogan
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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!

Recommended9 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
32 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    Mishu, I love your use of color and the way you use it to tie the subject and the background together. Your art has a liveliness and sparkle that is incredibly appealing. Thank you for sharing your work and artistic journey with us.

    • Mishu Bogan 2 weeks ago

      That is very kind of you, Sandra, thank you very much!

  2. weisserwatercolours 2 weeks ago

    What a festival of colour and animation–your choice of composition and treatment make your animal paintings fairly leap out of the frame! What a delight.

  3. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    Fabulous paintings! The ink and bright wash of colors make the animals come alive! Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Dawn Giddings 2 weeks ago

    Mishu, your art is so colorful and lively! I love your use of color. I am also very impressed with your commitment to painting every day. I have not been good at keeping up with challenges, but you have inspired me to try again. Thank you for sharing your work and the supplies that you use.

    • Mishu Bogan 2 weeks ago

      Many thanks, Dawn! My commitment was indeed great, although I have to admit I am having trouble trying to repeat it! :))

  5. Rod Fletcher 2 weeks ago

    Love your work Mishu, especially the way you find and magnify colours in your animals.

  6. David Suresh Marumudi 2 weeks ago

    Wow!! That’s an awesome story and My God your art is just like anything i’ve seen before🤩 Fabulous, fantastic, Splendid, Terriffic…

  7. Mishu Bogan 2 weeks ago

    You comment humbles me, David, many thanks

  8. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    Your animal portraits are outstanding!

  9. Melissa Elliott 2 weeks ago

    Six years? I’m impressed! Your portraits are gorgeous.

    • Mishu Bogan 2 weeks ago

      Thank you Melissa! Is just a question of determination – and don’t forget, I’ve been drawing (on and off) most of my life. Is not that hard, you just need to start 🙂

  10. Jean Marmo 2 weeks ago

    Love your dogs, cats and animals! Such fabulous colors! So glad to read your story!

  11. Frances Turano 2 weeks ago

    Mishu, I enjoyed viewing your paintings very much. I have been painting (badly) since July, and love how connected you are to your preferred medium. You said the same thing that I do about watercolor: that it IS an alive medium, that she takes what she wants first from the paper, leaves me the rest. I loved reading that and understand it perfectly! I love your kitty pictures, since I own one. Your work is fresh, thoughtful. Thank you for sharing your art with us. Also, where do you find your St. Petersburg paint pans? Did I understand this correctly? I look forward to seeing you on exhibit one day!

    • Mishu Bogan 2 weeks ago

      thank you so much, Frances! Do not despair, nor abandon your painting just because they don’t turn out as good as in your head 🙂 God knows how many I throw away in the bin every time i paint, no matter number of years. The paints are, indeed, produced by St. Petersburg, a Russian company I discovered by mistake when looking for some cheap paints to take with me on location. The line is called ‘White Nights’ and they are widely available on Amazon and most of the art shops here in UK (mostly online though) – they are full pans in an array of 48 brilliant colours and I cannot recommend them enough. I spent a lot of money with expensive paints and none of them came even close! The line also has tubes (I only just ordered them, can’t wait to try them) but didn’t see sets (on individual tubes) of more than 12. Hope this helps 🙂

      • Frances Turano 2 weeks ago

        Thanks, Mishu! I did indeed purchase a set this afternoon. I will let you know how GREAT my paintings are now thanks to your recommendation. And “White Nights?” Who couldn’t love pigments with that name. I eagerly look forward to more of your pieces and will keep a lookout. 🙂

        • Mishu Bogan 2 weeks ago

          Please let me know what you make of them 🙂 Would love to see some of you work with these lovely paints

  12. Jill Gustavis 2 weeks ago

    These are fantastic! Thank you for sharing your style and your story! 🙂

  13. Mishu Bogan 2 weeks ago

    Thank you very much Jill! Really appreciate it 🙂

  14. MMcBuck 2 weeks ago

    Oh my! The intense colors are amazing!!! Thanks so much for sharing your talents and story!!

  15. Susan Cuss 2 weeks ago

    I love the vibrancy of your paintings. Your animals are so expressive. Thank you.

  16. Nancy Jackson 2 weeks ago

    I love animals too! Love your use of colors! The animals faces say it all! I love doing thier faces so much emotions of love.💗

  17. Janneke Booister 1 week ago

    Thank you for showing all those great animals – and telling your story 🙂

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