GUEST DOODLEWASH: Illustrated Journal by Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel of watercolor palette in Moleskine planner

My name is Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel (Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Flickr!). I was born in 1965 in Wolfsburg, Germany. After school, I did an apprenticeship as a photographer. In 1989, I moved to Kiel in the north of Germany near the Baltic sea, where I studied graphic design. I’m working as a graphic designer in the marketing and PR department of a medium-sized company in Kiel.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel photo of studio with stamp and stamping supplies

Since I was young I’ve always loved to draw. In my youth, I loved to draw animals and landscapes with watercolors or pencil. I spent much time with drawing, and my endurance in drawing very detailed animal studies and other motifs was very high. I worked with watercolors and very fine brushes so I could draw every fine hair or feather.

When I began to study graphic-design I didn’t have much time, so I stopped drawing for a while. In my diploma work, I did some illustrations, but my professor didn’t like them. She told me: “If you are not able to make illustrations, you should let it be.” Nevertheless I got my leaving certificate. 

After that I didn’t draw for about 4 or 5 years. In 2001, I discovered a Moleskine pocket diary, and at first I used it as a journal. But there wasn’t enough space for all my thoughts, so I began to draw the most important happenings of every day and wrote down only some words.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel of living room with couch and chair in Moleskine Planner

For me, it was a nice way to start drawing again – nobody could see my drawings, because I did the drawings only for myself. And I noticed that an illustrated journal is better than a written journal, because when I browse through my Moleskines I can see on nearly every page at a glance what I did on that day. One day, I discovered other people who loved to draw in their calendar books on Flickr, and I joined several corresponding groups.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel of Corgi in Moleskine PlannerA few years, I was only an onlooker, but in 2005, I began to also post some drawings. The exchange with other drawing people motivates me, and it gives me so much inspiration. For the last few years, I’ve also been an active member on instagram. (@illustratedjournal, feel free to follow me).  I also created an account on snapchat, but for some reason I’m unable to appreciate it. Perhaps I’m too mad or too old (or both).

My endurance isn’t as high as it was in earlier times – often I get ants in my pants when I want to draw very detailed things. So I like to do quick drawings. Unfortunately I’m drawing very slowly – which is hard for me, because I love the urban sketching community so much! 

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel of Tombow and Pentel fineliner pens in Moleskine plannerSo there are always more ideas in my head than time to draw them. My most beloved medium are fineliners and watercolors, but I also love pencils, colored pencils and markers.  (Attention, they bleed through!). I love to buy art materials, and I’ve got enough watercolors to last until I’m 250 years old. But that’s no reason to stop buying more watercolors! I don’t like to draw with oil colors, oil crayon or pastels. 

I use to draw very early in the morning before I had to go to work. I try to draw every day, because I hate blank pages in my calendar book. But sometimes there’s not enough time. I always begin with a pencil line, after that I’m using a fineliner (I’m admiring artists who are able to draw directly with a brush or a fineliner without doing a preliminary sketch).

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel of clothes and cocoa in Moleskine planner

After that, I color my drawings. Sometimes I add some stickers, washitape or stamps (I love letters and stamps!) and add headlines with my old rubber alphabet stamps. The Moleskine’s paper is somewhat less than perfect for watercoloring, treating with markers or colored pencils, but I’m not good at drawing on expensive paper. Obviously, I also need this calendar thing. There are so many nice sketchbooks with more suitable paper, but I love the lines and the date in my book. It reminds me when I didn’t draw for a few days.

Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel

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  1. Semua yang anda kirim sangat indah dilihat dan saya suka melihatnya..
    Anda sangat kreatif dan banyak inovasi yang bagus.. Anda pasti akan sukses.

  2. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    Oh my goodness, I am absolutely in love with Kathrin’s art! I’m so sorry that she had the worst art instructor ever. What horrible human being would squash a creative person’s soul like that?? I’m so glad that Kathrin has gotten back to art again or it would have been a loss for the world.

  3. Jessica Seacrest 7 years ago

    Thrilled to see you on Doodlewash Kathrin! I’ve been following your impressive journals on IG for a bit. So nice to read your story. 🙂

  4. memadtwo 7 years ago

    This is fun! You will treasure these journals as a reflection of your life. Much better than a camera! (K)

  5. Susan Feniak 7 years ago

    I love the corgi! Great journaling ideas Kathrin, food for thought, almost makes me want to journal. Thanks for sharing Charlie.

  6. Art by Daniel Alfonso 7 years ago

    Wow that stamping set is quite impressive. It makes me want to stamp descriptions on all of my artwork.

  7. Laura (PA Pict) 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful sketchbooks with us. Each page was inspirational.

  8. brushparkwatercolors 7 years ago

    Hallo Kathrin! Schöner Arbeitsplatz – tolle Sketches! Hat viel Spaß gemacht, Deinen Artikel zu lesen. 🙂 Vielen Dank!

  9. Jodi 7 years ago

    Wow! Beautiful Kathrin! Huge admiration! Look forward to following! Thank you Charlie!

  10. Teri C 7 years ago

    Lovely work. Will be following. Thank you for your story.

  11. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    First reaction is…WOW!….followed quickly by wow wow wow….These are fabulous illustrations, and in a Moleskine pocket diary is just amazing. Wonderful story of how the love of drawing will not be put down by anyone, and such a beautiful result. Your work space is making me drool over all the fun stuff you have, including the copics on the side. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful visual treat and inspiring story. Fantastic feature post.

  12. ann christina 7 years ago

    Great illustrations! Kathrin´s teacher war quite wrong about her illustrating ability. It´s all beautiful, love the style and the colours. And what a great idea to draw every day in a pocket diary, I wish I would be able to do that every day too. Thanks for sharing Kathrin´s art with us, Charlie!!! 😊🎨

  13. Natasart 7 years ago


  14. Jennifer McLean 5 years ago

    OMG, your desk makes me drool and your sketchbooks are sublime, so graphic!

  15. Teri Casper 5 years ago

    I’ve been following you in Instagram for awhile and love your inspiring journals. Fun to read your story.

  16. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    Fantastic work in your sketchbook! Thanks for sharing it.

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