GUEST DOODLEWASH: Painting A Single Leaf

Doodlewash by Zoya Makarova

My name is Zoya Makarova and I’m currently living in Central Victoria, Australia (follow my blog and my Instagram feed!). I’m attracted to the small things in life and inspired by nature’s variety of shapes, colours and textures, I am more likely to paint a leaf than a tree, a feather than a bird, a single flower than complex still-life.  At the same time I yearn to have enough skills and time to create complex illustrations for some of my favourite books.  

“He had a number of pictures on hand; most of them were too large and ambitious for his skill. He was the sort of painter who can paint leaves better than trees. He used to spend a long time on a single leaf, trying to catch its shape, and its sheen, and the glistening of dewdrops on its edges. Yet he wanted to paint a whole tree, with all of its leaves in the same style, and all of them different.”
J. R. R. Tolkien “Leaf by Niggle”

Doodlewash by Zoya MakarovaI always thought that one day I’ll find time to study drawing and painting, but always there was something else to be done first. On the 20th of April 2012 I decided to draw everyday and for the next two years I stuck with this resolution.  However, while dealing with the physical and emotional demands of moving from London to Australia, the routine of daily sketching got disturbed and I’m still trying to get back into it. 

Doodlewash by Zoya MakarovaMost of my sketches/drawings were done with black pen (Staedtler pigment liner or Lamy Safari pen with DeAtramentis Archive Ink) and eventually I wanted to add some colour.  I chose watercolours, because I already owned some paints and brushes and the watercolour materials are relatively inexpensive, portable and kid-friendly (I have a fear of my two kids getting hold of my art supplies and painting all over the walls and carpets).  The more I painted with the watercolours the more I fell in love with this fluid, unpredictable and magical medium.

Doodlewash by Zoya MakarovaPainting and drawing are my form of meditation. I lived for 16 years in Russia, 10 in Australia, 9 in UK and now am back in Australia. Sketching my surroundings and simple everyday objects, helps me to to anchor myself and to get to know this new place I live in.

Sometimes I daydream about one day trying out pastels, acrylic or oil painting; but for now, I still have a long and exciting road of mastering the watercolours in front of me.

Zoya Makarova
Step, Skip, Pause

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!
Published in Featured Artists
27 Comments
  1. thepaperbaker 2 years ago

    Absolutely Outstanding Guest Artist! Love the simplicity of single or small things…..hmmmm maybe I’ll start down that doodlewash avenue 🙂

  2. Jessica 2 years ago

    I like your painting philosophy Zoya. Your paintings are beautiful! I also want to learn more about pastels. I hope that one day you get the opportunity to try out the different mediums that you are interested in. I do admire your watercolors 🙂

    • Kari 2 years ago

      There’s an art supply that you don’t have?? 😊

      • Author

        Hehe…that made me giggle

      • Jessica 2 years ago

        My secret is out ;)! Certainly I should be making much more art. I could start a blog on supplies alone. I was planning on cutting myself off in 2016. Funny you should say this Kari- I was going to message you about a super deal on a Cotman pallet, but then the price doubled the next day. Keeping my finger on the pulse 😉

      • Kari 2 years ago

        I’m glad you’re keeping me supplied.. 😊 And yes, you should start a blog.. It would be so helpful for those looking for an honest assessment of various supplies!

      • Author

        I agree! And if you don’t feel like starting a full blog, Jessica, I’d love it if you wrote guest posts about supplies on doodlewash.com! Hehe 😉

      • Kari 2 years ago

        Great idea!

    • Author

      Thanks for commenting Jessica! 💕😃

  3. Jodi 2 years ago

    LOVE everything about this! Thanks for sharing Charlie! New blog and instagram follower! 🙂 Look forward to getting to know you Zoya!

  4. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    Zoya, your artwork is so eloquently painted. Thanks for sharing with us. I’ve started following your blog and IG. Thank you Charlie.,

  5. Wow! Very impressive work and I’m so glad you’re on WP, Zoya, as that’s the only social media I have time for at present. Thank you, Charlie! Love the delicate detail in your work, Zoya!

  6. Snehal Kank 2 years ago

    Zoya your work is outstanding! Specially x-mas greeting card, love the rhythm you crated with forms and colors! Charlie thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  7. Kari 2 years ago

    Beautiful doodlewashes, Zoya! I think pairing small items make you really study the details. I will be following on IG!!

  8. Zoya 2 years ago

    Charlie, thank you for featuring my work on your blog. I found few (new to me) artists via your blog, who’s work inspires and teaches me. You are doing such a great job of introducing artists and art lovers to each other and making art/sketching community into warm & welcoming one.

    • Author

      Awww thank you so much for saying that Zoya! Love that you found new people! It’s my passion to connect artists with one another. And it was an absolute honor to feature you and your beautiful work!! 💕😃

  9. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Beautiful paintings! Lovely philosophy…adore the Tolkien quote…nicely done, am definitely going to follow the blog…inspiration and encouragement…Thank you so much for sharing a lovely feature post.

  10. Phil Cooper 2 years ago

    Beautiful paintings, really goes to show less can be more, they’re stunning!

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