GUEST DOODLEWASH: Sketching Utrecht

Watercolor Paintings by Sara Schlijper

These fantastic doodlewashes are from Sara Schlijper in Utrecht, The Netherlands (follow her on Instagram!). Sara says she was never interested in drawing until she came across the book The Creative License from Danny Gregory, last summer. “On July 31,” she says, “I made my first sketch and I’ve been sketching every day since then — now in my second sketchbook.”

She has discovered that she can trust her eyes and hand, knowing what they do, and she enjoys the effect of ink and watercolor. “I’m really surprised that I can make these sketches,” Sara says.

“I love the city where I live, Utrecht,” she says. “On a September day, I had the courage to make a sketch of a beautiful part of the city and of the landmark: the Dom Tower. Since then, I made more city sketches, and I really like doing that.” When Sara sees an interesting building, either riding her bike to the office, or walking through the city with her husband and sons, she takes a picture. At home, or wherever she has a quiet moment, she grabs her sketchbook, pen and watercolors. “My rule is that I sketch something that I saw that day, whether it’s a building, an everyday or special object, or food.”

When Sara started to draw, she took a ballpoint and a toy watercolor box that belonged to her children. She soon changed the ballpoint for a dip pen and India ink. “I like the deep black, but I didn’t want to take the India ink with me in my hand bag: accidents happen too easily.”

Now, she uses a Moleskine Watercolor Album, a Copic Multiliner SP 0.3, and a Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box with waterbrush. These are the only materials she uses, no pencil or eraser, following the advice of Danny Gregory. She also says she is trying to become an “imperfectionist,” as Koosje Koene says. “I take my sketching tools with me everywhere,” Sara says. “For that reason, I’m looking for a smaller watercolor box, like the Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours Sketcher’s Pocket Box.”

“I learned a lot in the three months that I’ve been drawing. I look at the world around me in a different way now: everywhere I see shapes, colors, color values and shadows,” she says.

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful sketches with us Sara. So happy to feature you on doodlewash! And don’t forget to follow her Instagram feed to see more of her work!

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. Kari 7 years ago

    It’s amazing that she only has been sketching for such a short time. These are gorgeous pieces! I’m going to follow her on IG! Thanks!

  2. kirkistan 7 years ago

    Wow. Gulp. So few months. These are great.

  3. Amazing! Beautiful city, wonderful sketches.

  4. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    Hooray! Someone else who dives into ink without using pencil first! I’m intimidated by drawing architecture though, and admire her work. 🙂

  5. Sharon Mann 7 years ago

    Amazing Sara, we have a lot to learn from your art journey. Thanks for sharing with us. Thank you Charlie.

  6. Jodi 7 years ago

    Three Months!?!!??! Wowza! See ya – gotta go follow……

  7. Tori 7 years ago

    Wow, these are great. Buildings and architecture are my personal nemesis so I’m completely in awe!

  8. Catherine Johnson 7 years ago


  9. Rachel Murphree 7 years ago

    These are wonderful, Sara! I’m following you on IG. Thanks Charlie again for a great guest!

  10. Moni 7 years ago

    wow! These are great! Very inspiring!

  11. Sand Salt Moon 7 years ago

    Looking at the world a different way – a wonderful way, I might add! Lovely

  12. Sara Schlijper 7 years ago

    O boy… Reading the comments… *blushing* ☺️🙏

  13. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Beautiful painted gems. Love hearing how viewing the world changes through art. Wonderful feature, thank you for sharing such a talent.

  14. corinnebekker 7 years ago

    Wow, such wonderful drawings of Utrecht. As it happens I also live there so this is extra fun for me to see them. You really capture interesting sites and buildings, Sara. Thanks for sharing , Sara and Charlie, very inspiring.

  15. […] Check out the wonderful works of Doodlewashers using Cotman paints- Jennifer Stout, Adelyn Siew, and Sara Schlijper! […]

Leave Me A Comment!

©2015-2023 Doodlewash®  Privacy Policy | Terms Of Use | Disclosure  Powered By


Want to say hi and connect? Do you make lovely things with watercolor and want to be featured in the next Guest Artist post?! Great! Not sure, just feel the need to say something? Awesome! Just fill out the form below!


Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?


Create Account

%d bloggers like this: