GUEST DOODLEWASH: Let Watercolor Be Itself!

Doodlewash and watercolor urban sketch of Teatro Municipal by César Rodríguez

Doodlewash and watercolor urban sketch of gardening tools by César RodríguezI’m César Rodríguez (follow me on Instagram and Twitter!). I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, but moved to Brazil to work in a consulting firm. So as you might be thinking, what’s my link with watercolor and sketching? Well, it just happened!

I always liked to sketch since I was a kid and I even thought becoming an architect or any other career where I could sketch & design all the time. I ended up taking a different path, quite a different kind of design: software design!


Doodlewash and watercolor urban sketch of streetcar trolley in Lisbon, Portugal by César RodríguezAfter a couple of years without sketching at all, I found the work of Wendy Macnaughton, a graphic journalist, and Marc Taro Holmes, an Urban Sketcher (also a Guest Doodlewasher). I got immediately connected with the freedom of sketching everyday things without the pressure of trying to do a great piece of art. Just Sketching. Just letting watercolor be itself. While sitting in a park. While passing by an interesting street. Capturing through sketches your visual memories of things. And that was the starting point.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of Buildings in Salamanca Spain by César RodríguezToday, I carry a sketchbook all the time, documenting interesting images throughout my day. It’s not only my favorite relaxing technique, but also it turns out to be an incredible “tool” to remember specific details about places and things. This is specially great while traveling. Sketching places actually makes you develop a better sense of your memories, remembering tiny details (that you sketched!) that are very difficult to retain otherwise!

Doodlewash and watercolor urban sketch of a statue in the park by César RodríguezI use different kinds of sketchbooks, from watercolor Moleskines, mixed media (Canson XL) and homemade sketchbooks (just buying sheets of watercolor paper and adapting them to the size I need). I usually do small sketches, around 8×8. I have 2 favorite brushes: an Escoda travel brush and a Winsor & Newton pure squirrel brush. Currently trying Van Gogh watercolors, combining ink lines and color, although I’m trying to do the transition of painting directly with watercolor, but still practicing. 

Doodlewash and watercolor urban sketch of Eiffel Tower in Paris by César RodríguezI found Marc’s Craftsy courses and they are a great way for learn basic techniques, specially for sketching people in motion which is, for me, the most challenging part of urban sketching. But the best lesson that I can tell you is: just sketch. Everyday. No matter what. try new things, and just keep your brushes moving!

Enjoy!

César Rodríguez
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Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!
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33 Comments
  1. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    You’re immensely talented, Cesar. I’m impressed by how much detail you capture on small images, and how expressive your paintings are. A pleasure to take a peek at your work.

  2. I’ll look for you on Instagram, lovely work!

  3. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    Wonderful art Cesar, thanks for sharing your story. Now I must get over and follow you on IG. Thanks Charlie.

  4. KD HUFF 1 year ago

    Truly enjoyed your bio and art! I will certainly check out your Instagram account.

  5. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    Beautifully rendered! Fantastic detail Cesar. Thank you for sharing this Charlie.

  6. YesterdayAfter 1 year ago

    Wonderful work Cesar and very well said “Let the watercolors be itself” I agree! Your urban sketches are beautiful I love that you leave the watercolors loose! Thank you Charlie for another great Feature! 😉

    • Author

      Thanks Carolina!! So happy you liked it! 😃

      • César 1 year ago

        Thanks! I love how the medium helps to express yourself! 🙂

      • YesterdayAfter 1 year ago

        You’re welcome yes it is a nice feature you have always very interesting pick ! 😉

  7. cedds 1 year ago

    Absolutely gorgeous!!! Thank you for sharing.

  8. anniedrawsthings 1 year ago

    Love Cesar’s work and the encouragement to just sketch without pressure. Beautiful, joyful urban sketches!

  9. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Your buildings have so much life Cesar! Wonderful. (K)

  10. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    Gorgeous sketches, love the story of the journey back to sketching and the philosophy of letting “watercolor be itself.” Brilliant. Thank you for a great feature post.

  11. Cathe 1 year ago

    What a lovely and delicate line quality you have Cesar. Super love for your beautiful work! Thank you for sharing!

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