Guest Doodlewash: Alphabet Soup!

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by M. L. Kappa of Donkey in Greece

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by M. L. Kappa of MonkeyMy name is Marina, but I’m known as M. L. Kappa on my blog, and I live in Athens, Greece. (you can also follow me on Instagram & Pinterest!). Since I was a kid, I’ve loved drawing and painting and other arty stuff, such as batik, clay and mosaics. I’ve had no formal training apart from school art class, but I always like to have a project on the go.

Some fail dismally, like a mosaic I made with lovely sea glass, painstakingly collected on the beach, only I didn’t cement it properly and the pieces started falling out! I now have discovered many artists through Charlie’s guest posts, and I’ve been getting tips and inspiration from them.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of Zeus by M. L. KappaGenerally I work on paper. I experiment with different kinds, mostly quite grainy, because I like the textured effect. I use a lot of Canson, Winsor & Newton Cotman and Arches paper. I draw in pencil, or Faber-Castell PITT artist pens in black, brown or sepia. At the moment I’m using Winsor & Newton drawing inks and half-pan watercolors, Tombow double-point markers, Prismalo Aquarelle colored pencils, and Neocolor II. Also, Talens Ecoline liquid watercolors.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by M. L. Kappa of Turtle GreeceAll these are water soluble, and I like mixing them up, and sometimes adding collage. I also occasionally use Sennelier soft pastels. I did a series where I painted over black-and-white photos cut from newspapers. For brushes I use the Winsor & Newton Cotman range, and I have now invested in a squirrel brush – let’s see how that pans out.

Last year I started a blog, Letters from Athens, about life in Greece, and I’ve been making sketches and watercolors for that. My other project is alphabets for each of my grandchildren and assorted friends, with a different theme each time. For some I used the Latin alphabet, and for some the Greek, according to how inspiration struck. With some of the letters (especially X) you have to cheat a little, anyway.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by M. L. Kappa of Xilingol Pony in Athens Greece

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by M. L. Kappa of CorgiThe first was of wild animals. I printed watercolor paper with Linocuts. I made of each letter, using gouache to print the letter, then drew each animal in Prismalo pencils. The second was characters of Greek mythology, where I used ink, watercolor, and stencils for the borders. Then I made one with flowers, again with ink and watercolor, painting mostly from life.

The next one was a sea theme incorporating collage, then equines where I went back to ink and watercolor. I didn’t say horses, because the series included a donkey, a rocking horse and a unicorn! I’m now on my latest, which is of dogs, where I’m drawing on pages torn from an old book.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by M. L. Kappa of Yakinthos flower bloom in Athens GreeceA fun aspect of the alphabets is the research. I’ve come upon some very interesting sites. For example, one with photographs of Ancient Greek red-figure and black-figure pottery, from which I copied the dresses and hairstyles of the gods and goddesses. Most of the flowers I painted from life, but I still came upon some fascinating information, as for all the animals.

In between, I make sketches from life whenever I have some free time, experimenting with various techniques. I have tried painting in oils and acrylic and I enjoyed both, but I always gravitate back to working on paper. It’s so free, and easy to transport, too. I am on Pinterest and Instagram, but not very organized on either yet – but do take a look!

M. L. Kappa
Letter From Athens

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Recommended1 recommendationPublished in Featured Artists
  1. Jessica Seacrest 7 years ago

    Hi Marina! It made me smile this morning when I opened up the Doodlewash post and saw it was you! I love the alphabet series that you are doing!

    • M. L. Kappa 7 years ago

      Thank you! I enjoy doing them, having a little person in mind for each…

  2. Damita M-S 7 years ago

    I enjoy your work. 🌻

  3. Susan Feniak 7 years ago

    What fun! I enjoyed seeing your characters for the alphabet Marina. A follow on Instagram too. I am meeting so many artists threw Charlie’s guest Doodlewash posts. Thank you. 🙂

    • M. L. Kappa 7 years ago

      Thank you. It’s a brilliant idea of Charlie’s, I’ve also discovered so many artists this way!

  4. M. L. Kappa 7 years ago

    Thank you, Charlie, for inviting me. I really enjoyed doing this. Btw, where’d the fish go? 😜

  5. M. L. Kappa 7 years ago

    Reblogged this on Letters from Athens and commented:
    For those of you interested in my artistic endeavors, Charlie O’Shields very kindly invited me (or did I invite myself – I can’t remember) to do a guest post on his funky blog, Doodlewashes.
    I strongly urge everyone to check it out: it’s a sunny, cheerful place where Charlie posts his own lovely sketches but also showcases a variety of other artists.

  6. Let's CUT the Crap! 7 years ago

    M.a.r.v.e.l.o.u.s. <3 <3 <3

  7. memadtwo 7 years ago

    I’m moving backwards in time…now I see the entire post. Well of course the turtle is a favorite…(K)

  8. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Lovely feature post. The painted alphabet with a variety of themed subjects is a great idea and a beautiful way to share one’s culture. The paintings are beautiful and the latest series example of the corgi painted on a book page is wonderful. Thank you for sharing such delightful art.

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 7 years ago

    Marina, I love your watercolor alphabets and how creatively you approach each one. I’ve also made an (animal) alphabet chart for one of my grandchildren and am working on a number tree for his baby sister. Your paintings are so whimsical and remind me to keep a light touch on mine. (The X is hard for an animal ‘bet.)
    Charlie, thanks for inviting Marina.

  10. Merrie Skelley 7 years ago

    I really loved seeing more of Marina’s art and reading more about her process. Beautiful work! Oh, and I love this blog! Doodlewash is great name!

  11. brushparkwatercolors 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful art with us, Marina! 🙂

  12. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    I love that donkey against the very Greek white walls with blue trim.

  13. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    Your works are so interesting and fun!

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