Today’s doodlewashes come to us from Melissa Nicholas, who lives in Liverpool, UK (follow her on Facebook!). “I’m a 28 year old full time mum and part time student currently studying a Fine Arts Foundation Degree at the City of Liverpool College. I plan to go on to become an art teacher in adult learning.”
Although Melissa has always been a creative person and loved and studied Art during her GCSE’s she says she doesn’t have the fairy tale life story where she’s always wanted to be an artist- or a teacher for that matter! But she is now living the dream.
“This came about only a couple of years ago,” she says, “when my partner noticed my ‘doodles’ were more than the average smiley face and graffiti autograph. It’s simply because of his encouragement and belief that I decided to apply for a college course on a whim and happened to get in. Although I studied a UAL Level 2 in Art and Design I excelled myself over and over and passed my 1 year course with a Level 3 Distinction- giving me the opportunity to then skip straight to university.”
Melissa refers to her style as ‘splashy’ silhouetted wall art. “The process is fairly simple,” she say, “I begin by sketching out a faint outline of the character, not adding too much detail to the piece. I always work with watercolours and my favourites have got to be Winsor & Newton– same for my brushes! They allow you to build up colour, creating beautiful quality tones.
“I then, using only water, brush on drips and splashes inside the sketched lines and then simply dip the paint into the water. This allows for the colour to spread naturally and unevenly, creating different levels of tone. I add extra colour to brighten up certain parts once the first layer of paint has dried.
“I like to leave a lot of white negative space around splashes, this creates a more natural splashed look. Although I love it when the colours naturally flow into one another and allow for this by simply adding a touch of extra water between splashes.
“Once I’m happy with the amount of colour and it’s all dried completely I rub out the remaining pencil marks, leaving a neat and perfected silhouette.”
Although Melissa’s career is only just starting out says she’s in love with art – especially painting! “I have always loved to doodle and sketch, but never in a million years did I expect it to become such a huge part of my life and who I am. It allows me to find myself over and over in each and every painting, not only do I learn, every single time, something new about my technique and process, but I learn more of what I love.”
Melissa is currently attempting to build up a base of clients and network by selling her work to locals and family and friends for a small fee, creating framed pieces to order for use in the home. “This does mean that most of my work is for children’s bedrooms and such,” she says, “hence the TV characters. I hope this will eventually enable me to one day be able to paint full time and become a freelance artist.”
Thanks so much for sharing your doodlewashes and your story with us Melissa! (Be sure to follow her on Facebook!) Best of luck to you in your art journey and can’t wait see where you’ll go next!