GUEST ARTIST: Too Busy To Sketch?

By Hannah Ridout - Doodlewash and watercolor of jingle bells

Hi, I’m Hannah Ridout and I live in the historic market town of Devizes, set in the heart of the beautiful rolling hills of Wiltshire, UK (follow me on Instagram and Facebook!). I am a mother of three and a part-time piano teacher and part-time artist. Life is busy!

By Hannah Ridout - Doodlewash and watercolor of Emmaus SchoolI sketch anything and everything. I went to pick my kids up from school half an hour early, so that I could sketch their school! I try to capture my life in my sketchbooks. I recently had to get my car tyre changed so I had fifteen minutes to sketch the building where they do that car stuff…exhausts, and alignment…etc! I relish moments where I have to wait as I can pull out my sketchbook and get painting!!

By Hannah Ridout - Doodlewash and watercolor of building with peopleEven when I had flu, I managed to paint and draw. In fact, because I didn’t have much energy I painted different things to normal… patterns…circles and even illustrated a story my children made up round the dinner table. When the children take so long to eat their dinner I might end up sketching mine before I eat it, and still finish my dinner before they do!

When I was in my teens, my parents sent us to a friend for weekly art lessons. She taught us how to draw and use watercolour. I used to really enjoy these times and am so grateful for the time this friend gave up to teach us. She had a great love of painting flowers and has passed this on to me.

By Hannah Ridout - Doodlewash and watercolor pet portrait of black dogI sketched with various friends after that and slowly as time passed and children were born, I sketched less and less. Over a year ago I started sketching on a daily basis after coming across Australian artist, Liz Steel. She inspired me to get a sketchbook and get painting and sketching again. Since then I have sketched most days. I find it liberating, it has given me a sense of living in the moment, enjoying the little things of life. Danny Gregory has also been a huge source of inspiration.

I recently took an online course with SketchBook Skool, called Expressing. The course has opened my eyes to different techniques and a range of artists, but also a community on Instagram! I post my work daily and find it exciting and inspiring to see other artist’s daily work. I always carry a little sketchbook with me and a tiny tin of watercolours which I made from a sweetie tin. I glued velcro onto the back so it can be strapped to my wrist. This was an idea that I acquired from SketchBook Skool.

By Hannah Ridout - Doodlewash and watercolor of a church with treesWhen I’m out and about I also use a Pentel water brush, it has a hollow handle which holds water, if you squeeze it gently the water flows onto the brush, meaning no jars of water needed. If you squeeze the handle and place the brush onto a rag or paper towel, it washes the brush! The water brush took a while to get the hang of, but I realised I was squeezing too much water out and not using enough paint, which meant the paintings were very pale and washed out.

I have used Moleskine sketchbooks, which I really enjoy. The watercolour ones are great, the paper is good quality, taking some hefty washes, I love the elastic band which keeps the book together. Even the sketching Molskines take light washes. At the moment I am trying out Leuchtturm1917 and Seawhite of Brighton. I like the Leuchtturm for pen and very light washes, and the books come in awesome colours.

By Hannah Ridout - Doodlewash and watercolor of carton of free range hen eggsI am struggling with Seawhite of Brighton at the moment, the paint seems to do different things and takes me by surprise, which means my sketches are very loose in these books, this is not such a bad thing! I often use Staedtler pigment liner pens as they are waterproof and work nicely on Moleskine. I have started using Kolinsky Rosemary brushes of late, which are pretty amazing! They hold so much paint and are an absolute dream to use! I highly recommend them!

This daily sketching has taken me on an unexpected journey, as I am being asked to do portrait commissions of late which is a real joy!

Hannah Ridout
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Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
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
36 Comments
  1. cdumaine1 1 year ago

    It is inspiring to your dedication to sketching!
    Thank you for sharing your discoveries–it’s always interesting to see what sketchers find that works for them! And Doodlewash is great for bringing these stories to our attention. Thanks.

    • Author

      Thanks so much! Thrilled you enjoyed Hannah’s feature! 😃

    • Hannah Ridout 1 year ago

      Thank you so much! I’m so excited to have found Doodlewash.com!

  2. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    I very much enjoyed seeing your art Hanna and reading your story. Thanks for sharing this Charlie. I will try to like or follow Hanna on Facebook.

    • Author

      Thanks Susan! So happy you enjoyed this and yay to the follow and likes! 😃

    • Hannah Ridout 1 year ago

      Thank you so much Susan! Thank you for following me too! It’s such a wonderful place-Doodlewash.com! Looking forward to reading all the other features!

  3. kathiwerner 1 year ago

    It is so good to see how you are using your time to sketch! and Amazing sketchesas well!

    • Author

      So happy you liked Hannah’s sketches! Thanks Kathrin! 😃

    • Hannah Ridout 1 year ago

      Thank you so much Kathi, it’s amazing when you can fit in a sketch, even five minutes is a enough time!

  4. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Thanks for sharing your neighborhood with your sketches! I’m especially drawn to that dignified dog. (K)

    • Author

      Thanks Kerfe! Glad ya liked this feature! 😃

    • Hannah Ridout 1 year ago

      Thank you! It is a pleasure to be here! The dog was a commission, I worked at it for twenty minutes a day until it was finished.

  5. Carol J Forrester 1 year ago

    These are beautiful.

  6. Carol 1 year ago

    What a great idea to sketch while waiting! Seems like we do too much waiting, and I wish I had thought to do this years ago. Your sketches are delightful and I enjoyed your story, Hannah. Can’t wait to see what you post next on Instagram 😃

    • Author

      Thanks Carol! And so happy you’re following Hannah! 😃

    • Hannah Ridout 1 year ago

      Thank you so much Carol! It’s a pleasure to inspire! Thank you for following me on Instagram!

  7. jmnowak 1 year ago

    Hannah, You sound like me with dinner, only for me, often I have to photograph my meals before I eat them! If they’re worthy! lol. I like your artwork style, and your inventiveness with the velcro wrist kit! You’ll have to patent that idea. 🙂

    • Author

      Thrilled you liked Hannah’s work and story, Janina! Thanks so much! 😃

    • Hannah Ridout 1 year ago

      It’s fun to sketch your dinner! You remember that dinner in a special way too! Thank you so much for your kind words.

  8. Jodi 1 year ago

    Lovely Hannah! Look forward to following your sketching journey! 🙂

  9. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    I so admire Hannah’s determination to paint no matter what! I let every little thing deter me. Happy art making!

  10. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    The paintings are beautiful, absolutely adore the canine portrait and the bells. It is wonderful how the wait times in between the busy schedule is used so well, and so inspired by the daily recording of life through sketch and paintings…brilliant feature post and very encouraging. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hannah Ridout 1 year ago

      Thank you so much! I love to look back through my sketchbooks and remember the things we did and the places we went through my sketches. It’s a pleasure to share with you!

    • Author

      Thrilled you liked Hannah’s post! Thanks Haunani! 😃

  11. Lovely stuff! I grew up not far from where Hannah lives, so some of her subject matter feels very familiar!

  12. Hannah Ridout 1 year ago

    That’s so lovely Anna! Thank you for you kind words!

  13. anniedrawsthings 1 year ago

    Hannah, I love the inspiration you draw from everyday life and your dedication to creating! Beautiful work!

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