I made it through all 31 sketches for the #DrawingAugust challenge on Twitter (using the slideshow feature for the first time, so hope it works for you!). My theme was France, although you’re not required to have a theme, because I wanted to make sure I had some sense of structure. And I really wanted to take at least a virtual trip back to France! I don’t think I sketched this regularly before in my life, even in art school, and at times it was tough to stay motivated to finish.
Many of you have seen my doodlewash versions of most of these sketches, but I thought I would share their origins in this post. I realized I didn’t have time to do two completely different things in a day, so I early on decided to share the sketch on Twitter and then doodlewash it later. Three of the sketches didn’t get doodlewashed… since I did find some extra time, and so I tried some things that were only posted here. And the second to last one is with my new Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen!
The first time I posted, I simply supplied the doodlewash version of my Paris metro sketch of a man with a trumpet. I immediately realized that this was a drawing challenge, not a doodlewash challenge, so it wasn’t received very well. From there I switched to showing my sketch first on Twitter, and then doodlewashing it later and posting it here, which seemed to work better for that audience.
I would definitely recommend trying challenges like this, as it does force you to stay “in the game” and sketch every day. I would also tell you that having to do something every day is really, really hard. Some days I just wanted to splash paint around and didn’t feel like sketching first, and those days were tough. But I did it anyway. I would also recommend dedicating a single sketchbook to an exercise like this as it would have been cool to have them all in one place at the end.
I hoped to see steady improvement, but I think it’s a bit of up and down instead. In the end, I did improve overall and quite quickly. My confidence and ability to accurately see what was before me increased considerably. I have a long ways to go on this art journey, but one thing is clear. DO something every day. Even if it’s just something small. You will definitely see improvement and start forming one of the best good habits you could ever form – making art.
At first I wasn’t going to continue with another challenge, other than the ones Laura at Create Art Everyday flings my way (she’s so sweet and charming… I can’t ever say no to her! If you’re actually not already following her, please do so immediately!). But this month it’s #paintseptember which means I can simply stick to doodlewashing and post what I’m already making! And if any of you are on Twitter, just send a shout out to @antsgreentree and asked to be included in the list! Would love to see you there!
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!