Thank you to Charlie for inviting me to present my scribbles on Doodlewash! My name is Tazab (follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and visit my website!) I live in Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne, in the center of France. For the past six years, I took the furious mania to keep a notebook with me and draw my surroundings.
I’ve practiced painting since adolescence, with more or less success, and when the time came for me to make the choice of a profession, I chosed to be a doctor … but without releasing the brush as well!
I covered canvases with paintings of human bodies, inspired by what I could see in the hospital, it was exciting to learn how it worked inside (or the dysfunction) and on the other hand, to try to translate the complexity by painting. The faces did not interest me, I had solved the problem by replacing them with dog heads, haha!
In my city, Clermont-Ferrand, there is an international festival of Travel sketchbooks, which was for me a revelation. I had the chance to meet a lot of exciting artists (who have become friends), such as Lapin, Gerard Michel, Vincent Desplanche, Emde, Miguel Herranz and many others in the group of Urban Sketchers . They were for me a great inspiration, and even if I have never actually taken lessons of drawing or painting, I do not consider myself as a complete autodidact: I learned from them.
Over time, my practice has evolved. I left aside painting to devote myself to drawing, first with ink, quietly at home, and then, little by little I felt the need to bring equipment during my skiing or mountain bike escapades. Watercolor was naturally the most convenient and fastest medium in uncomfortable circumstances and it has become a real challenge and a real dope for my creativity to sketch at anytime and anywhere.
Initially, I had a very big paintbox and I always felt that I was missing a color. During a discussion with a friend, Luis Simoes (a Portuguese friend who is traveling around the world), in a bar in Rome, everything had changed. We had emptied all the contents of my paintbox on a table, and we discussed the usefulness of keeping a particular shade, one by one. The next day I was completely lost opening my box, I couldn’t paint anything, and I think that this step was decisive for me.
The reading of Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo also opened new perspectives to me: He was literally obsessed with color, he talked over it in many letters. Since then, I note the color combinations or hues that I can see here and there, filling the pages of my sketchbooks with large watercolor drops. I often come back to these pages when I paint.
I learned one thing so simple, and yet so fundamental: we must mix! I almost never use a pure color as produced by the manufacturer, and I always try different combinations and different brands. A blue sky, a brown tree trunk and green grass, does not exist in real life, right?
Every year is a new stage of progress: my stroke changes, my range of colors changes, framing and implementation seem to become more and more evident. This constant evolution is in the lot of any artist, and I do not particularly try to achieve a goal, I just like to draw and improve in different ways.
I think each of us can paint or draw: all is to develop his creative intelligence, which is often blocked after many time of nonuse! All I could humbly advise is to practice, with different mediums, regularly and out of your comfort zone…and enjoy! Thank you for reading, and thanks again to Charlie for his invitation! Hope this page will give someone the envy of opening a first sketchbook!
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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!