GUEST DOODLEWASH: Painting In Rennes

Doodlewash by Etiou Malonga

I don’t often show my real civil name as an artist. So my artist name is Etiou (follow me on Instagram!). You can also say Etiou Malonga. I live in France, Brittany, city of Rennes. This name was given to me a few years ago by African friends. At that moment, I had lost a great part of means to live in the society, and they welcomed me and gave me that name. I was willing to be an artist and nothing else, so I had lost my home, bank account, and most friends and family support.

Well, I also had lost my place to work as an artist. But then I got myself a little watercolor set and a sketchbook, and that’s how I started to dare try to make portraits and also to use watercolor paint. Before that, I was quite good at drawing things, but not living creatures. 

Doodlewash by Etiou MalongaI first learned drawing. Color was not so natural for me and I had to learn it by myself later. But as a kid I learned drawing the classical way… perspective, copying plaster sculptures. I also had the chance to have a first opening to modern and contemporary art going to the school of the museum for modern art in Villeneuve d’Ascq (Lille) when I was about 10-12 years old.

I also spent a year in Paris when I was 18, in a school for applied arts. I learnt a lot there, and failed with a kind of extravagance. Then I decided to start painting a more abstract and expressionist way. I had a few years of hesitation in the while, but I also realized I had to read books and other things to be an intelligent participant to culture.

Doodlewash by Etiou MalongaI did research about medias and modern and contemporary art. I did a few hundred big paintings on canvas. Then I went bankrupt. That’s when I started again with that name Etiou Malonga. I did finish my studies, with a PhD in design as a communication device between art and industry. And I also had a little job on the side, always.

But most of all I wanted to remain and be an artist. So I spent all my nights and days off painting. And I try to do at least a little sketch every day. As a meditation, as a way to keep being fair to my dream, as a way to make love to the world, and I love sharing it and being linked with other artists all over the world.

Doodlewash by Etiou MalongaMy favorite tools are graphite pencils (from B to 2B), Staedtler pigment liner (especially 0.05 and 0.1) as I’m crazy about details. I use Winsor & Newton watercolor paint with little brushes in natural martre (n° 0, 1, 2).

I often use a mix of Chinese or Indian ink with coffee and acrylic golden paint (Liquitex heavy body) with a paint brush to redo the line over a drawing that I colored with watercolor (like in my handmade postcards). I use that ink in my paintings on canvas as well and also on much bigger projects like a 17 meter long mural that’s in progress. I use acrylic paint on canvas (Liquitex heavy body, pebeo, prismo, amsterdam, artists’ acrylic), to do mostly flowers and portraits. I also use silk paper and newspaper that I stick with diluted acrylic paint. 

Doodlewash by Etiou MalongaI love to go outside to sketch and paint. Most of the time, I do architecture sketches, and flowers. I am very lucky to live in a city that provides a great variety of architecture, so I think I could still have fun here for quite a long time even if I already have done a few hundred views of the place. We also have a lovely public garden named thabor, with a botanical space that hosts a few thousand species, among which a few hundred roses.. and I just love to sit in front of them and watch them gently to try to make them express their beauty under my brushes.

I always start with graphite pencil, to set the main shapes, then I redo my drawing paying more attention to details, angles, distances with pigment liner. I erase the first drawing and then I do the color with a little water. But sometimes I also use a more traditional technique of watering the page and adding touches of colour that dilutes all over the drawing… or sometimes I do quick sketches with any drawing tool I have at reach.

Then I do copies at home. For the architecture, I redo my sketches on a piece of luxurious watercolor paper, two or three times bigger, and I try to do it better than the sketches, paying more attention to details, playing with colors and shades to create an atmosphere. For the flowers, I redo them on a little watercolor postcard-sized paper, finishing with ink and a brush ; I also do big paintings on canvas, up to 1/2 meters wide; and I also do them on kraft paper, in diamond shape frames to stick them on walls.

Doodlewash by Etiou MalongaI have a website on which I show mostly my paintings on canvas, some architecture watercolors, some of my street art pieces : etiou.eu. Then, I have a page on Google+ on which I post new works every week, and on which you can see most of my sketchbooks of the last ten years. I have a little store on alittlemarket.com on which you can find some of my watercolor paintings and architecture drawings. And the most active link is through Instagram, where I try to post every day, and you get to know when I do exhibitions or other things like that.

Etiou Malonga
Artiste Peintre Rennes

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!
20 Comments
  1. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    Oh my goodness, I think Etiou should write an anonymous memoir…I would read it; it sounds fascinating! Plus, paired with this beautiful, heartfelt art, I think it would be a best seller. Off to follow on IG!

  2. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing your incredible story Etiou, your paintings reflects your passion for your art and life. Thank you Charlie.

  3. Eric Disney 1 year ago

    Fabulosity!!! Love the linework, the color, the story–the real deal.

  4. Phil Cooper 1 year ago

    Wonderful post and beautiful watercolours. Thank for sharing and showing us your work, plus a fascinating insight into your world 😊

  5. jotsfromasmallapt 1 year ago

    *Liking* this a lot more than just the one time!!!

  6. Kari 1 year ago

    I agree with Teresa, what a journey you have had! But through it all, your art shows positivity to me with colors and mood you create! Will be following on IG!

  7. Beautiful work Etiou and thank you to Charlie also!

  8. ann christina 1 year ago

    I really look up to that much dedication to art and creating! Love the very special style of Etiou´s paintings. Thanks for sharing, Charlie! 😊💕

  9. lindabeachstudio 1 year ago

    Charming sketch! I will try to remember your vision of the town and not my memory of our rental car that seemed too big for the narrow parking garage.

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