Today is the start of a brand new month, which always marks the start of a new Doodlewash Art Challenge. This month’s theme is simply “Make What You Love!” and the prompts are broad and open-ended so we can choose whatever we’d like to paint most. First up is a prompt of “art supplies” which could be a hundred things, but I chose to doodlewash my little Da Vinci “Vintage” Trio since I was totally hooked on it during October and many of my paintings during the month were done using only this little set of paints. I probably could have just as easily called it a “Fall” trio as the colors it makes are also perfect for the season. My love, and obsession, with watercolor started with a single realization. I found out that I could do really cool and amazing things with very little art supplies. Just three tubes of paint, some water, a brush, and a pen, and I could create all sorts of little illusions in my sketchbook in a very short amount of time. This one was done in less than 30 minutes, because that’s all the time I had today. But, for me, having a short amount of time is fun as I can’t overwork things as much as I might if I had a full hour. And truly, art supplies, in any form, just make me super happy!
When it comes these supplies we use to make art, they can be wildly different, depending on what creative outlet inspires us most. My sister creates wonderful and imaginative things for craft shows, and unlike me, paid closer attention to our mother and learned how to use a sewing machine properly. I tried it once and was such rubbish at it, that I never really attempted it again. That said, I did learn to crochet small things and was able to sew by hand in a rudimentary way. Truly, I was mainly just excited when I actually managed to thread a needle successfully. There’s quite a bit of precision involved in those things that I simply lack. That’s why I’m much more suited to happily splashing paint around and only giving the illusion of detail. Zoom into any one of my seemingly detailed paintings and you’ll find all the childlike joy and abandon of someone who simply forgot to take his Adderall that day. But this is my style and something that I’ve grown to enjoy and cherish. It’s bits of astute observation blended with wild impatience. Culminating in my little doodlewash that appears here each and every day.
Yet, to some, what I make is, forever, only a sketch. Art, after all, has long been considered a torturous and arduous process of creating something amazing and incredible fit for kings. But, in truth, the actual definition of art is creating something of beauty that’s loved for its emotional power. And as it turns out, this can be many things that don’t take hours and days to complete. The only real ingredients to make something people might enjoy are mixing in bits of our own passion and emotion. Each thing we make has the potential to touch someone’s heart or at its very best, awaken the soul. There’s no time limit required to make a connection like this. The way it happens is by merely pouring our own love into whatever it is we’re making in the first place. This is why we stand in awe before a painting, feeling a million things at once. It’s not the pigment that we’re perceiving, but the actual story of the artist, and the feelings that made that pigment swirl into place. And so, I have to pause in awe myself, and take just the briefest of moments to stop and cherish this wondrous phenomenon, by painting art supplies.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). 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!