Sarah's House


So for today’s part of the tour, the first stop is Plymouth, Devon, UK, at Guest Doodlewasher Sarah Smalldon’s home. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you might remember that Sarah and I drew each other’s dogs awhile back (Cockapoo Challenge), so we thought we’d try each other’s houses next. And it was much more difficult than either of us expected!

Above is my doodlewash of Sarah’s house, well it’s actually the gray one in the middle with the black door, as we both live in row homes. My version is extra wonky and the actual home is not as tilted in real life. I was hoping to do a better job of it since this is my first house portrait, but the idea of sketching someone’s home kind of freaked me out, so I think it shows in the doodlewash.

Doodlewash HomeI’m much more fond of Sarah’s doodlewash, and she’ll be taking over the KC tour today, by showing you our house in Kansas City! But she too, struggled and after the initial sketch, thought it was too dark so didn’t just doodlewash it, she actually washed it and hung it on an olive tree in the garden to dry! (click here if you’d like to see the stages of this piece as it’s super cool!)

I love it, and it definitely looks exactly like our home (which is a semi-attached row home). I’ve mentioned that I live directly next to a cemetery before and she even managed to pop in a couple of the headstones at the right!

Sarah said, “Ok, I have to stop this one now as I keep fiddling with it to try and make it better… which in turn usually makes it look worse ! It’s not the best house I’ve done but I really do think the minute you have in your head ‘this is for someone else’ .. Or ‘this is a commission’ something kicks in and the pressure starts which inhibits the work!” 

I have to agree! But this was super fun anyway! After trying my first portrait which caused the same angst, I definitely understand what she was saying. I don’t know why our minds do things like that to us, but it’s super irritating! 

But that’s why we DO it! Keep challenging ourselves to try new things, even when those things freak us out. Eventually, those fears will subside and we’ll discover that we can do anything we set our minds too. We go back to the paper and grab the brush again and again, and keep on trying, no matter what. Why? Because there’s always this wonderful feeling that keeps us coming back for the next doodlewash. A warm and comfortable feeling that you might even say, feels a bit like coming home.

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in By Charlie, Featured Artists

130 thoughts on “GUEST DOODLEWASH: House Swap

  1. Both drawings have a lot of personality. And they look architecturally solid, something I have yet to achieve. What a fun exchange you’ve started.
    I’ve run a painting underwater myself…Highly recommended when frustrated. (K.)

  2. Both are wonderful! Houses are difficult as I tried to draw my own. I did see Sarah’s IG post about literally washing a piece! I didn’t realize it was your house! Hmm.. I wonder what you two will swap next! 😜

  3. This is so encouraging to me! I’ve just taken up brush and pen again after *blushes* 30 years of doing everything but my art. I’m overjoyed that the talent (if not all the skills) is still there, ready to tap, but I do struggle with my confidence. It helps to know that even experienced, super-talented artists also face this self-dout–and overcome it. Thanks for this post. I’m about to become a loyal follower. 🙂

    1. Oh self-doubt is just part of the fun of doing art! Lol … If it ever went away entirely we’d just get cocky and nobody would like us much! 😉 Cool to hear you’re taking up brush and pen again! So you know the obvious next step right? Be a Guest Doodlewash on this blog!! Yay! Just send me a note via the Let’s Connect link! 😉👍🏻

  4. I love the idea of connecting with someone for inspiration and creative motivation. I once did that with a dear friend – we traded photos every day and it was really empowering and energizing. I loved the experience. Glad you are doing the same. Have fun! Great results!

  5. I can’t believe how amazingly good you both are at art! If I tried to render an artistic version of my own home, I’m sure people would still have no idea whether I lived in a house, an apartment or a shoebox. Most likely they would say, “You live in a squiggle?”

  6. I love your Plymouth pic. We have lived in two houses just like that in Plymouth and I’m having fun imagining where in Plymouth I might have seen Sarah’s house. In my mind’s eye it is just around the corner from where we used to live 😉

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