GUEST DOODLEWASH: The Story & Moods Of Places

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Ritvik Sharma of city street

Hi , I am Ritvik Sharma (follow me on Facebook!). I have lived in many places in the US and a few other countries, but call Albany, New York home for now. I spent about 5 years in Pacific Northwest and was mesmerized by the abundant natural beauty. I think Pacific Northwest naturally brings out the landscape painter in you. There was a time in my watercolor journey when I could not paint enough evergreens!

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Ritvik Sharma of Venice

I have no formal art education or degree, mostly all self-taught, with help from the mighty internet. As a kid I did dabble in watercolors, but it was shelved for math and sciences. But the artist me never quit and a few years ago, I picked up watercolors again. Since then, I have been painting frequently.

As a kid I was fascinated with the paintings of Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir and found them incredibly inspirational. When painting, I like to compose a scene that tells a story. I have always been drawn to paint such subjects and my goal is to convey the mood. It is a slow learning process and each painting is a step towards that goal.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Ritvik Sharma of mountains water and trees

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Ritvik Sharma of rural town

I started mostly as a landscape painter, inspired by the beautiful and lush green valley of my home town Chamba, India, surrounded by mountains, trees and rivers. I wanted to capture the beauty of nature in my paintings. My stay in Pacific Northwest Seattle and surroundings ignited that desire of painting again.

I do more paintings and less studies. Because I always want to capture the mood I mostly end up doing a painting. So much against conventional wisdom. But I love it! I do, however, do a single painting many times and keep all the old versions.

Over time, I have been inspired to paint amazing beautiful architecture around me. I learnt that buildings teach perspective in a hurry! Over time, my goal is to learn painting loose streetscapes.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Ritvik Sharma of arch

When I restarted painting again a few years ago, I ignored all conventional wisdom and dabbled with lots and lots of colors. At one point I had around 50 different colors! During my journey, I realized that as you start to grow as an artist your palette might start to shrink. I have used Winsor & Newton Cotman, Van Gogh and Daniel Smith watercolors.

About 5 to 6 months ago, I decided to restrict my palette to 12 colors and see what happens. My palette currently consists entirely of Daniel Smith colors. I found that I like a metal paint box style palette more than the plastic ones for palettes. I am currently using a Holbein style palette at home and a small metal box with half pans when I do plein air.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Ritvik Sharma of hillside

I use Arches 140lb cold press paper for all my paintings, and in addition to that, I keep two sketch books 90 lbs and 140 lbs. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to practice a little before a big project.

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Ritvik Sharma of red buildingI am member of Urban Sketchers group of Albany and we meet every other Friday to sketch and paint at locations. Being a member of this group has helped me not worry about people watching you paint and sketch. I have to admit an easel draws some attention!

For inspiration, I like to also look at kids’ paintings and if there is an exhibition in the town I would go. It is amazing what you can learn from kids’ painting. Can you imagine what would you paint when you are free as a kid!

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch by Ritvik Sharma of house and sailboat

I am an avid fan of John Singer Sargent and in contemporaries I follow Alvaro Castagnet, Dusan Djukaric and former Guest Doodlewash artist, Thomas Schaller.

I am enjoying every step of this artistic journey and feel very lucky. Thanks to Charlie for giving me the opportunity to share my journey with all you wonderful artists.

Ritvik Sharma

Join us for World Watercolor Month in July! Click here to learn more!

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in Featured Artists
  1. anupriyarvind 6 years ago

    Wow Ritvik! Your skill and technique wrt to architectural scapes is quite good esp. knowing that you’re a self taught artist. 🙂 really interesting to know about your journey. Great read. More power to you!

    • Ritvik Sharma 6 years ago

      Thanks Anupriyadrvind for reading my story. Thanks to Charile and Doodlewash for giving me opportunity to share my art with other artists.

  2. Sharon Mann 6 years ago

    Beautiful painted scenes Ritvik, thanks for sharing your story. Thank you Charlie.

    • Ritvik Sharma 6 years ago

      Thank you Sharon for reading it and thanks for your kind words !

  3. memadtwo 6 years ago

    Even your buildings are serene. It’s so true how painting can take over your life! With good results in your case. (K)

    • Ritvik Sharma 6 years ago

      Thanks Memadtow ! I agree painting does take over and moments spent paintings are filled with joy ! . For me its a sliding scale and results vary with time and experience. If you ever saw my hidden book of portraits lol …

  4. Susan Feniak 6 years ago

    Beautiful art Ritvik! Thank you for sharing it Charlie.

    • Ritvik Sharma 6 years ago

      Thanks Susan. Your words mean a lot. Your art is amazing too ! and yes I cannot thank Charlie enough.

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 years ago

    Ritvik, I love the delicacy of your paintings, as if every stroke has meaning and nothing should be overdone. Quite a beautiful effect.
    Thank you, Charlie, for bringing us Ritvik.

    • Ritvik Sharma 6 years ago

      Sharon, Thanks for very generous comments ! Its overwhelming to hear so many good things about my art.
      Thanks to Charlie !

  6. Teri C 6 years ago

    Very beautiful Watercolors!

  7. KB Garst 6 years ago

    Really nice! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Vinodhini 6 years ago

    Lovely work happy I saw your creation.

    • Ritvik Sharma 6 years ago

      Thanks Vinodhini !

  9. artandmoondreams 6 years ago

    Beautiful paintings, gorgeous landscapes. Thank you for sharing your journey with watercolors, this was a great feature post.

    • Ritvik Sharma 6 years ago

      Thank you so much . Your generous comments means a lot !

  10. Jen 6 years ago

    The painting with the Arch is gorgeous!

    • Ritvik Sharma 6 years ago

      Thank you ! This is so busy during the day that you would not believe what Washington park looks like at night

  11. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    Lovely landscapes!

  12. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    I’ve lived in Oregon all my life and agree with you about the Pacific Northwest! Your work is beautiful!

  13. Ben and Judy Stanley 3 years ago


    all attendees enjoyed a comfortable and exciting watercolor art lesson at the shirt factory Glens Falls New York

  14. Ben 3 years ago

    Looking forward to our next meeting I’ll give you a call

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