GUEST ARTIST: The Astronaut

Astronaut by Nicola Schofield

Today’s guest feature comes to us from Nicola Schofield in the UK (click here to follow her on her blog!). She’d never painted an astronaut, so she had no idea how a subject like this “should” be painted. In the end, she just went with whatever felt right. (Yes! Love that! And you definitely got it right Nicola!)

Nicola has always dabbled in art, but decided recently that she’d like to “take it up a notch.” So she signed up to a watercolor painting course at a local college. Unfortunately the course was cancelled as only she and one other person enrolled. Not wanting to give up, she decided to teach herself.

She says, “I bought a bunch of books (mostly second-hand) that cover a myriad of different ways of working with watercolours (from the basic different techniques to in-depth books on sketching, glazing, vibrant colour use, tight botanical diagrams, quick landscapes and throwing paint around.) some were recommended on forums, some have won awards and others I just liked the look of.”

Nicola’s aim is to try them all out, along with various online demos and tutorials that she finds in a dedicated effort to improve her skills and find the style/techniques she prefers to work in. And you can follow her on her amazing journey by visiting her blog! 

This post is also special for me, because Nicola was supposed to have been a feature here a few weeks ago, but fell ill. We put the post on pause, but then I hadn’t heard from her or seen a post, so I began to grow worried. I sent her a simple email to check in and see if she was okay and received the best response, I could ever imagine…

Street Scene by Nicola SchofieldThis gorgeous new doodlewash! And a “comeback” post from Nicola saying:

“I’ve been ill the past few weeks and couldn’t face looking at everyone’s lovely sketching blogs when I didn’t even have the energy to pick up a pencil and draw. This made me quite sad and then an odd thing happened – I started to feel a bit better but by now it had been almost two weeks since I’d drawn anything and I realised that I was avoiding it because I was worried that 1. maybe I will have forgotten everything I’ve ever learned; and 2. if I rush back when I’m still ill then I might find it hard/exhausting and be put off drawing forever! Very dramatic I know but I wasn’t thinking straight at the time. I picked up my pencil and paintbrush again today after receiving an email from Charlie over at doodlewash asking if I was ok because he’d not seen any posts for a while. That someone actually noticed I’d stopped drawing made me dive in and have a go. And I think it worked out just fine.”

This post brought tears to my eyes when I read it. I’m seriously passionate about wanting to inspire people to pick up their pencils, pens and brushes and make art. That I was able to get someone as amazingly talented as Nicola to push through her fears and start again with just a simple gesture was truly incredible. I shared this here as a simple reminder that it can sometimes feel lonely being an artist. That’s why we doodlewashers need to stick together!

It occurred to me that, in some ways, all of us who chose to go on this art journey are a bit like astronauts. We’re exploring new worlds each and every day and facing fears we never even knew we had before. Sometimes we’re actually inventing the new worlds that we explore! And even when we feel alone, we should always remember that we’re all doing it together. One small step at a time.

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)
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!
14 Comments
  1. kirkistan 2 years ago

    Great post! I’m a big fan of Nicola’s work and I learn something every time i see what she has done. Charlie–way to carry forward with such a solid purpose!

    • Author

      Thanks Kirk! Yeah, Nicola is super talented! It’s been such a fun journey and I realized how much I’m relying on people to stay energized and keep going. (You included my friend!! So thank you)

  2. […] write up of my recent trials and tribulations and featured my astronaut sketch on his site. You can read that here and you should also check out one of my favourite of his own paintings, a colouful Corsican […]

  3. Eric Disney 2 years ago

    And yet another wonderful Doodlewash–love her work

  4. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Wonderful post! Beautiful art, (amazing astronaut), and heart-warming words of encouragement and support. Nicely done.

  5. memadtwo 2 years ago

    Her work is indeed wonderful. (K.)

  6. S. A. Smith, Author 2 years ago

    Oh wow, I choked up reading this post. I haven’t picked up a paintbrush for awhile because I’m working on my third e-book which is isolation on speed. I can only hope to find someone as passionate about my writing as you are about encouraging people to paint.

    • Author

      I’m passionate about getting people to create! Hope your writing is going well, but when you ever experience writer’s block, that’s when you should grab that brush again! You’d be surprised at what ideas you come back with after you take a little doodlewash break! 😉👍🏻

  7. Lindsay Baker 2 years ago

    This is very well done! I’ve always aspired to that kind of loose style but it’s not my natural way of painting. The use of wet-in-wet in the visor is particularly effective.

    • Author

      Just DO it Lindsay! It’s not my natural way either, but it’s fun to break out and try something new. The results can be insanely bad or awesomely impressive. So it’s 50/50…good odds… go for it! 😃

  8. Yolanda D 2 years ago

    The astronaut is amazing!

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