Though I think I imagined painting a lovely sky full of clouds when I wrote this prompt, my mind drifted as usual today and I just wanted to paint a bird instead. For a prompt of “in the sky” I should have chosen a bird that was soaring with wings open wide against a cloud-filled sky. But, that’s not the kind of bird I am. Instead, I’m often just perched somewhere simply starting into the distance with my head totally in the clouds. Since this is also a month of stories, I figured it also marks the perfect time to make a full confession. If daydreaming were an Olympic sport, I’m rather sure I would take the gold medal. While others around me are doing that go-getter thing and making awesome things happen seemingly every second, I just keep dancing along my little circuitous path doing things as they come to mind. Luckily, the sketching thing is something I do every single day, so that’s a dream that gets to inch forward as I go along. Little bits of improvement present themselves as I take a few steps forward after a few days of taking a few steps backward. And then I start daydreaming again. Lately, as my head spins in those clouds, I’m starting to get a much clearer picture of what I’d like to DO next. And it’s not exactly what the other kids are doing, but I think it’s something that will be the most ME!
When I started this site, I had zero idea of where I wanted to take my own artwork. I was just enamored with watercolor and was crushing hard on masterful watercolor painters who made amazing things happen. That hasn’t changed at all! I’m still in total and electric awe of watercolor painters and love this painting medium first and foremost. And while I started by trying my own paintings, I quickly moved back into drawing and well, just sketching stuff. I realized that what I loved most was the way that I could color my drawings with watercolor. It was far quicker and smoother than colored pencils and only require a handful of colors. So my paintings turned into illustrations, or more like a bastard child of the two. And I personally loved this little love child that was accidentally created, thanks to watercolor, and it’s become part of my style. There’s a luminosity and brightness in watercolor that made my coloring pages shine a bit more. My “watercolory book” was more compelling and interesting than any coloring book I made as a child. Mostly, because all of the drawings were now my own drawings and not something that someone had made for me. My inner child giggled with glee and cheered me on as I made a towering stack of my very own coloring books.
When I first starting blogging, people often questioned me on the name of “doodlewash” by saying that my “paintings” where much more than doodles. In truth, they aren’t. They’re quickly scribbled with a pencil then more thoughtfully doodled in ink. The pencil marks are then erased. Next, they are colored in a ridiculously short amount of time as my inner child sticks his tongue out of the side of his mouth, roughly eyeing where the next jab of color should go next. When things don’t look quite dimensional enough, he jabs a bit of dark into places and then gleefully presents it to Mom! Well, since my mother doesn’t read my blog, I show them to my husband Philippe instead. Sometimes, the reaction is very positive and I know that means my mother might have placed it on the refrigerator, the most coveted spot. Other times, it’s a bit lackluster, and I know that it will likely just be going into a stack in the drawer. Either way, I’m just as thrilled as I was when I was a kid. I made something new and had a blast while DOing it! This is the real me and so as I imagine how I might share what I’ve learned, it’s going to come out in a rather different way, which should surprise none of the regular readers of my blog. But’s that’s exactly what I plan to DO next! So, stay tuned over the next several weeks. The most amazing things come to mind when you find your head in the clouds!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. 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!