GUEST DOODLEWASH: Colored Drawings And Everyday Moments

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of horses and little girl

My name is Olga Reiff, I am from Austria, from the beautiful town of Innsbruck, and I live in Luxembourg since 1995. I used to work as a translator for Russian and French (no, I am not a Russian myself) before I started to write my own texts and to illustrate them, about 4 years ago. My illustrations and my texts are about children and nature, the everyday life in my little town, and special moments that I want to promote, like a concert, a visit, a school event, or our urban gardening project (Visit my urban sketcher blog and follow me on Facebook!).

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff at the urban garden in Esch: Storyteller and his daughterI’d say, my style is more a colored drawing than a painting. I like line art, and I often use a nib pen, black ink from the tiny bottle, or a fineliner in several sizes. Before I do the black line, I try around with graphite pencil, until I am satisfied with the gesture and the proportions. I seldom use photos, but very often I do it by heart, or I draw on location.

Then, when I like the drawing, I color it with a rather restrained palette of Maimeri Watercolor, using several sable or synthetic brushes, mostly from Da Vinci. I paint on Arches cold pressed paper, 300g, or on Canson bristol white paper, or in one of my sketchbooks. I use every kind of size, and paper quality. I found out that the most expensive sketchbook does not automatically give me the best results.

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of little girl and dadMy inspirations come from everyday moments, and my life with my four children, the youngest being 4 years old. It is this little girl of mine, Marie, that inspired me in 2014 to do a picture book about a forest kindergarten and a little boy who is attending it. It is written in Luxembourgish language (called “Lëtzebuergesch”). 

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of little girlThis kindergarten really exists, and I love it. Every single day, children spend 3 hours minimum in the forest, where they have their fireplace, a tent, even a bread oven! They play with the things they find in the forest and they develop their creativity and other skills very easily. Last year, I started another blog called OLGAS KLEINE WESEN to show some of these kids characters. Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of Honey Tag bee and donkey

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of single page illustration of children's book boy and squirrelsNow, the exciting news is, that I have found an editor here in Luxembourg who will publish my book next year! It is my first picture book and I am sooo excited. 

I also do illustrations for clients like the farming animal zoo in my town (postcards, tags, story illustrations). Artists that I admire most of all for their line work, their drawings and humor are F.K. Waechter and Quentin Blake, but I also like contemporary artists like H. Craig Hanna, whose paintings I discovered lately in an exhibition here in Luxembourg.

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff - Alphabet of FearsSometimes, when I’m not too busy, I like to do watercolor portraits (like the one below). And when I am in a black mood, I do ink drawings like this one. 

My so-called “Alphabet of fears“consisted of 24 black and white illustrations, and were exhibited last year in Luxembourg and Austria.

I think that I’m a very lucky person. I can do what I love most: writing and drawing and playing around with color and ink, and yeah, creating picture books! Really, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. 

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Olga Reiff of portrait of little girl and vase of flowers

If any of you would like to ask me a question, please feel free to contact me via the comment form on my blog, or via Facebook!

Thank you Charlie, for this great occasion to share my work and thoughts!

Olga Reiff
Urban Sketcher Blog
Character Illustration Blog

World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in Featured Artists
  1. Arts & Rhymes 7 years ago

    Aww this is so wonderful! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story and your art! I love the idea of a kindergarten in the forest. Kids nowadays spend too much time inside and playing with pcs, ipads, and such, instead of being outside. Wishing you the best of luck in your art and books publishing! 🙂

    • olgareiff 7 years ago

      Hi and thank you for your comment! I really would like to show you around in our forest kindergarten… Good luck in your projects too!

  2. jmnowak 7 years ago

    I appreciate your child-like sensibilities, Olga, and wish you much success with your new book. 🙂

    • olgareiff 7 years ago

      Thank you very much. I am happy that you like my little ones 🙂

  3. M. L. Kappa 7 years ago

    Best of luck from me too! Lovely work. Found another good one, Charlie!

    • olgareiff 7 years ago

      Thank you! I am glad Charlie found me, too 😉

  4. Susan Feniak 7 years ago

    Yes, you have found another good one Charlie! I do love Olga’s illustrations.

    • olgareiff 7 years ago

      I am really happy to be part of Charlie’s Doodlewash! Thank you so much.

  5. Snehal Kank 7 years ago

    Olga Your work is very beautiful, refreshing and inspiring 🙂
    Thanks Charlie 🙂

    • olgareiff 7 years ago

      Thanks for your nice words, Snehal. I wish you a happy painting everyday!

  6. circadianreflections 7 years ago

    I love your color palette, and think your work is lovely!

    • olgareiff 7 years ago

      Thank you! My watercolors do half of the work for me 😉

  7. Fabienne Kinsch 7 years ago

    Hallo Olga,
    Ech free mech fir dech, datt däi Buch elo endlech publizéiert get a kann et guer net ofwaarden et an den Haenn ze halen a menge Kanner an der Schoul virzeliesen 🙂 decke Kuss

    • olgareiff 7 years ago

      Merci Fabienne… ech si gespaant wéi et weidergeet… an kommen och gaer bei dech fir ze liesen 🙂

  8. memadtwo 7 years ago

    Beautiful and delicate. I love your light touch. (K)

    • olgareiff 7 years ago

      Thank you. It is sometimes difficult not to use much color…

  9. Damita 7 years ago

    I love your work. Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

  10. KB Garst 7 years ago

    I love the drawings, they are all so beautiful! So lovely!

    • olgareiff 7 years ago

      Thank you. I really appreciate that you took the time to write a comment about my work 😉

  11. brushparkwatercolors 7 years ago

    Great work! Beautiful!

    • olgareiff 7 years ago

      Many thanks for your comment. Your sketchbook paintings are fantastic! Vielen Dank! Ich war gerade auf Deinem Blog und bin schlichtweg begeistert. Bin ab jetzt ein Follower!

  12. agnesmack 7 years ago

    These are just so lovely and pure. Thank you for sharing them.

  13. […] via GUEST DOODLEWASH: Colored Drawings And Everyday Moments — Doodlewash […]

  14. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Delightful feature post. The paintings are lovely and charming.

  15. […] via GUEST DOODLEWASH: Colored Drawings And Everyday Moments — Doodlewash […]

  16. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    Your town sounds lovely, if your paintings are an example. I hope your book has since been published and done well.

    • Olga 5 years ago

      Thank you so much, Sandra! My picture book will be published this spring. I am currently doing the last modifications for the publisher. Hopefully it will be available in the shops in Luxembourg before Easter.

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