Welcome to April and a brand new Doodlewash adventure as we lose our inhibitions and have some fun painting & sketching like a kid again! It’s also both Easter as well as April Fool’s Day, which is a rather odd combination, so I’ll just say I hope you’re having a very happy day today whatever it is you’re doing. For our first prompt of “rainbow,” the first thing that came to mind was a rainbow Slinky. This little toy was invented in the early 1940’s, and was originally metal. It was essentially a metal spring that could walk down stairs on its own and it still fascinates me to this day. When I was a kid in the 70’s, they started releasing a plastic version as a safer alternative the the metal ones. Apparently safer because they posed no threat when inserted into electrical sockets, something I never really considered doing, but apparently some other kids did. The plastic ones didn’t work nearly as well as their metal counterparts, but what they lacked in function they more than made up for in color options and soon a rainbow version was released so you didn’t have to choose at all.
Though this seemed like a horribly complex thing to sketch and paint, I dove in with a scribbled contour and then just started drawing lines to hopefully create an illusion. I’m positive this one wouldn’t actually work if manufactured as not all the rings line up properly, but it turned out to be a satisfying facsimile. I actually have a metal Slinky that Philippe put in my stocking one year. After watching it walk down the stairs a couple times, I quickly lost interest, proving that not much has changed since my childhood. I’m excited for this month, because beyond the prompts of things kids love, there’s another goal. This month, I’ve opened up the challenge to drawing as well, since drawing is so fundamental to watercolor painting. If you’re just starting out with watercolor and haven’t yet taken drawing classes, then I definitely recommend starting there, before you grab for that brush. It will make for a far more satisfying journey in the end. I started with pen and ink drawing classes, then urban sketching, and right into classes focused on watercolor painting. You can see all the classes I took and recommend by clicking here!
The reason for the theme this month is more about the spirit than the subject matter. (check out my 1,000 days post to learn more). It’s about approaching each thing you sketch and paint with the courage and confidence of a kid. We were all fearless once, ready to try anything that came to mind and never thinking that we might not be able to actually do it. It’s how we learned to speak, to walk, and to play. At some point in adulthood, we often begin to question things, not in the fun “why” way as a kid does, but in the self-conscious way that makes us doubt ourselves. This, is no fun at all. So, for April, let’s just pretend that never happened and enjoy life as it should be enjoyed. With all the exuberance, joy, and confidence that we can muster! Draw, sketch, paint and be happy my friends! You’ll find that everything magically falls into place when you’re truly painting and sketching like a kid again!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, 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? Click Here!
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!