GUEST DOODLEWASH: Looking For Mood And Atmosphere

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by André Mangabeira - Brazil - #doodlewash

Hello all! My name is André Mangabeira and I live in Brazil (visit my website). I define myself as an enthusiastic and experimental painter who occasionally has some fun with art. I had worked for quite a few years with digital media, illustrating educational books and other small commissions, but always keeping in the back of my mind the desire of improving something more geared towards the traditional techniques. Very recently (two or three years ago) I was introduced to watercolor and ever since, it has been a pleasure and a struggle at the same time. 

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by André Mangabeira - Brazil - #doodlewash

I’ve taken workshops and studied by myself through videos and books in order to learn more about this magical painting method. The only frustration is not having enough time, because I work during the week in something completely different.  

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by André Mangabeira - Brazil - #doodlewash

I have read somewhere that watercolor is the art of light. I agree, but due to a natural tendency, my painting style is more geared towards the dark and strong values. Mood and Atmosphere is what really draw my attention and my main rule is that I never use pure black in my paintings. 

There is no reason for using a dull black, once you can achieve very interesting darks just mixing pigments like Ultramarine blue, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin crimson, Hooker Green and so on. It is important not to mix more than three pigments in order to avoid the undesirable muddy effect.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by André Mangabeira - Brazil - #doodlewash

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by André Mangabeira - Brazil - #doodlewashRegarding my process I would say that it’s pretty much standard: 

  • A very light and loose sketch using 6B pencil.
  • A first weak wash. Thinking and shapes and soft edges. Letting the colors merge.
  • After absolutely dry, I go with the second and thick wash combining dry and wet brush strokes.
  • A bit of details here and there with a smaller rigger and some highlights using chinese white.


I basically use four brushes. 

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by André Mangabeira - Brazil - #doodlewashThe largest on the right is a mop size 10 from Winsor & Newton which is excellent for large shapes like skies, streets or buildings.

The next is a size 12 synthetic brush. It is pretty decent and allows me work with details too.

Next is a PERLA White Toray Synthetic from Escoda. It holds the exact point shape even after hours of heavy use and provides a nice job with medium and fine details.

The smallest is a simple and ordinary rigger brush for very tiny and fine details like wires, for example.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by André Mangabeira - Brazil - #doodlewash

My paper preference is Arches. Cold press and rough 300gsm. I like to use a plastic palette rarely cleaned and the main pigments are those I have mentioned above with some others like Dioxazine Violet, reds, Cobalt Blue and Neutral Tint. One nice thing about the palette is that I love to use the leftover pigments to make sketches with black ink on sketchbooks. It’s a real therapy for me.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by André Mangabeira - Brazil - #doodlewash

My inspiration comes from everywhere. Urban scenes, everyday life or even fantasy. Plus, there is another natural tendency for decay stuff, horror and nostalgia. I work mostly in my studio, although I would like to practice more plein air paintings. It is a bit complicated especially in my country where sometimes the temperatures can make you burn. Literally. 

One last thing I would like to share is how I choose what I want to paint. As much as possible, I try to get involved with the subject of my desire looking from different angles or even in different hours. Within the morning lights for example. I also like to take pictures with my smartphone and then print out some copies to study the values. Once the subject has drawn my attention, I try to build up a kind of obsession with it in order to make a good painting. 

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by André Mangabeira - Brazil - #doodlewash

Well, that’s it. Thank you for reading my piece and thanks so much for Charlie O’Shields from Doodlewash®! I am waiting for your visit at my blog later:

André Mangabeira
Curioos Shop

Recommended2 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. creatingincolors 6 years ago

    I love the “mood and atmosphere” of your paintings! Beautiful!

  2. John 6 years ago

    Beautiful, atmospheric and evocative – really stunning, thanks so much for sharing and to Charlie again for introducing us to such wonderful artists!!

    • André Mangabeira 6 years ago

      Thanks John! It is really rewarding to share my experience with other artists here at doodlewash. Thank you for your visit at my blog too. All The best.

  3. gwenniesgardenworld 6 years ago

    these are absolutely fabulous !!!!

  4. creativeworldm 6 years ago

    These are AMAZING.Beautiful💞Thank for sharing💕💖

    • André Mangabeira 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your feeling about my art !

      • creativeworldm 6 years ago

        Thank you for touching my heart by your art.I felt so peaceful,overwhelmed,by soft emotions.💞

  5. memadtwo 6 years ago

    Mysterious! Definitely great atmosphere. (K)

  6. KathyAnne 6 years ago

    So enjoy seeing your different — dark, mysterious — use of watercolors. Beautiful thank you!

    • André Mangabeira 6 years ago

      Hi Anne. I feel glad you like it. More mysterious than beautiful I guess. Tha’s the goal. Thank you.

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 years ago

    Andre, your art is atmospheric as you want and also compelling to see. You know exactly how to get the paint to carry your image and how to elicit energy or serenity. Very exciting to look at work so masterfully rendered.

    • André Mangabeira 6 years ago

      Hi Sharon. Sometimes things go awfully wrong… LOL , but i keep trying until gets better. Thank you so much for your kindness.

  8. slightlyunnerved 6 years ago

    Such evocative images – your use of colour achieves a real atmosphere. Thanks for sharing these images with us.

  9. André Mangabeira 6 years ago

    Grateful. sorry…

  10. ramaink 6 years ago

    What gorgeous work!! The last 4 are especially sumptuous! Very evocative!

  11. André Mangabeira 6 years ago

    Thank you so much ramaink. The last one is my favorite too!
    Best wishes.


  12. Web Development 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your feeling about my art ! !

  13. Mary P 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your feeling about my art ! !

  14. Daniel MacBride 5 years ago

    Wow, love your work! Beautifully atmospheric and interesting 🙂

  15. Nancy Jackson 5 years ago

    How amazing!!! You totally capture the mood! 8 feel like I’m there. Mesmorizing.

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