Doodlewash by Rob Nopola urban sketching pink house and street

Doodlewash by Rob Nopola bird in watercolor sketchbookHello, I am Rob Nopola from the north metro of Minneapolis, Minnesota (follow me on Instagram and Flickr!).  I have been drawing digitally for over 25 years, as a mechanical, electrical and now graphic designer.  I also enjoy digital photography.

Doodlewash by Rob Nopola winter landscape with snow and trees in watercolorAll these years sitting in front of a monitor for work and pleasure tapped out my creativity.  Last autumn I decided to get back to my pencil and paper drawing roots in my high school days and have fun.  Enter analog art.  I bought a number of Moleskine Arts notebooks and an assortment of Derwent and Pentel graphite pencils.  Of course this was only shades of gray; color was missing.

Doodlewash by Rob Nopola beach scene in watercolor sketchbook waterscapeAs a newbie to watercolor painting, I find it a fun and frustrating challenge.  When I think I figured it out, something goes awry, one wash bleeds into the next.  Be patient, let the wash dry.  But that’s its beauty and the fun is in the learning. 

Doodlewash by Rob Nopola bird in watercolor sketchbook red and blackI am painting on 300g/m Strathmore Watercolor paper with Winsor & Newton and Da Vinci tube watercolor paints and various brushes.   I also paint in Moleskine Watercolor notebooksCurrently, I am going through my photos to sketch on paper with 2B pencil or Micron pens.  I am finding watercolors an extension of sketching, layers of washes creating tones of color.  I do like the simple colorwash sketches but to paint a composed scene is quite thrilling. 

Inspiration comes from many forms.  Everyday life provides many vignettes worthy of capture.  My cell camera is perfect for these captures for later reference.  And yes, it does get spattered with watercolor wash. 

Doodlewash by Rob Nopola wooden buildings in watercolor

Instagram has been a fun source experiencing so many wonderful artists and their art.  Its like having an art community and art crawl every day.  I find watercolors fascinating with their translucence and the differing styles from sketches, detailed paintings to impressionism.  I’m anxious to explore the different styles.  But first, let the wash dry.

Rob Nopola

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  1. Sharon Mann 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful watercolor sketches Rob. Thank you Charlie.

  2. Jessica Seacrest 7 years ago

    Rob! I’m so thrilled to see your paintings and read some about you here! I’m with you on the IG, I have fondness for that community. I love being able to see your watercolors on there and have the dialogues that we do. You are quite the photographer!

    • Author

      Thanks Jessica! Yes… Rob’s photos are stunning… he didn’t mention that in his post so I’m glad you did! 😃

      • Rob 7 years ago

        Thanks for showcasing my watercolors, Charlie! Glad you enjoy my photography, too.

    • Rob 7 years ago

      Thank you, Jessica! It took me a bit to jump into watercoloring, but I have learned so much in our IG community.

  3. kirkistan 7 years ago

    Yeah Minneapolis! Rob–I just followed you on Instragram. I love drawing the old buildings and train tracks in Northeast Minneapolis. I love your analog sketches.

    • Author

      Yay to the follow! Thanks Kirk! 😃

    • Rob 7 years ago

      Thank you, Kirk, how cool is that, we urban trek the same area! We watched the tear down of the Purina Mill on Hiawatha. I should post s few pics…. 🙂

  4. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    Way to go, Rob, for trying out new media and expanding your artistic vision!

  5. memadtwo 7 years ago

    Great geometry in the landscapes. (K)

  6. That Aussie Geek 7 years ago

    If you’re in a hurry, you can dry wet watercolour with a hairdryer. Just not too close or too hot!

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