When faced with a prompt of “kitten” I was going to attempt something with a bowl of milk, but as ever, got distracted by seeing an actual kitten. He’s still patiently waiting for that milk, since this is all I had time to make, so I hope you’ll be kind enough to give him some. I’ve always struggled with sketching cats, though that’s a bit of an overstatement as this is only the fifth time I’ve ever attempted one. So, I wanted to give it another go. I’ve never actually owned a cat, preferring dogs instead, but I find them adorable and still enjoy watching their antics on those videos that get passed around. But the baby version of any animal always makes my heart melt. I love those innocent eyes that seem a bit too large, waiting for the body to grow and catch up to them. The look of complete wonder that comes with seeing things for the very first time. That blissful time before any judgements can be made and everything is just beautifully new and wonderful. I think that’s why I like to approach my paintings with the eyes of a child. Pretending, just for a moment, that I’ve never before encountered what’s in front of me.
It’s fun to look back through all of the various sketches that I’ve made. Even though it hasn’t quite been two years since I first picked up a pen and brush, my daily painting habit has generated over 650 paintings. The originals are mostly small, and trapped inside a little tower of sketchbooks in the corner. People have asked me what I’m going to do with all of them, but I haven’t a clue. I actually consider this blog my real sketchbook. It’s where you’ll find my little rambles and thoughts I had the day I was making whatever little bit of stuff I decided to doodlewash that day. Yeah, you’re totally reading my diary that I forgot to lock you cheeky devil you! But that’s the fun part about blogging. It’s like having an art journal with endless pages and a search function. And since I can’t remember all that I’ve painted at this point, that’s rather helpful. But no matter how much I paint the same or similar subject, I always force myself to pretend I’ve stumbled across for the very first time.
This childlike feeling that comes from looking at things this way is what keeps me motivated to sketch, paint, and write. Without it, I’d likely get bored. Looking at things this way always keeps things fresh and exciting, and helps me to not repeat the same mistakes. That’s part of the reason why I’m primarily focusing on edibles this month. I want to try things I’ve done before to see what new things I can discover. I’ve doodlewashed lots of beverages in various glasses, but each one teaches me something that I didn’t realize before. A new thing that I can enjoy as though I were a small child finding it for the very first time. And it’s equally possible with this mindset that you’ll get a bit distracted. That’s also part of the fun. After sketching a bit of hummingbird cake during your edibles series, your inner child might just scream out and simply demand that you stop what you’re doing and take a little kitten break!
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Indian Yellow, Red Orange, Sennelier Red, Phthalocyanine Blue, Phthalo. Green Pale, Burnt Sienna, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
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!