Today marks the beginning of our Doodlewash August Art Challenge called “Travel Fun!” I hope everyone enjoyed World Watercolor Month and I sincerely hope you’ll keep right on sketching with me in August! Seriously, why on earth should we stop now? For those unfamiliar with the regular monthly challenges, watercolor and gouache are still the only painting mediums, but all types of drawing mediums are welcome (yep, colored pencils, pens, and even crayons if you like! Your inner child will be so thrilled with that last one!). So, yes, watercolor paint is optional once again, but as many of you know I’ll personally still be using it all of the time. It’s just way too much fun! Here, I’ve shown my current little travel palette with my usual 12 colors (listed in the About The Doodlewash section of the full post), a little collapsible water cup that came in a set from Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, and my Escoda Versatil Size 6 Travel Brush. If I had only these things, a couple of fountain pens, one with black ink and one with sepia ink, and my sketchbook, then I would have everything I need to make something daily. That’s the honest truth! Though in reality, of course, I have 6 fountain pens, lots of different brushes, and a bag full of various art supplies. The thing is, I only used this tiny set of supplies throughout all 31 days of the World Watercolor Month challenge. I love that I don’t need very much to create something new, and it’s a joy to return to my tiny little studio each and every day!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what really matters. About simplifying life a bit and focusing more on things that truly bring me the most joy. These daily doodlewashes and posts are definitely at the top, so check! As I mentioned previously, I’m not actually traveling this month. In truth, I don’t travel that often, yet I always use a travel set because I don’t have a permanent studio. Many of you already know that I paint on the edge of my kitchen counter and therefore need to have a pop-up studio that only shows up for an hour or less each day. With my limited time, I have to pop it up and dismantle it in a ridiculously short amount of time. So, I’ve adored travel painting supplies from the start! Sure, I had dreams that I would take my little travel set with me to Paris and paint en plein air, but even that goal faced a very different reality. When I’m in Paris, I’m visiting family and friends non-stop, and can only paint in the wee hours of the evening. So, it’s no different, in the end, when I’m there. My new pop-up studio becomes the desk in our little apartment that particular visit or indeed, once again, the edge of a kitchen counter. But, what I’ve accidentally proven in my own art journey is that you don’t need hours of time set aside to create something. If you truly want to DO this, and make a little something each day, it’s always entirely possible.
So, yes, if you make traditional watercolor paintings, which I don’t, then it can take a lot more time and effort. What I hope to inspire in people is to continue to make a little something, anything, in those times in between. Personally, after over 4 years of sketching and painting consecutively each and every day, I’ve yet to even sit down long enough to attempt a proper watercolor painting. I just lack every ounce of the patience required for such a thing. While this is totally embarrassing to admit, I hope that by admitting it, I can give you the freedom to create whatever the heck you can! What I do is what professional artists call “practice.” I simply practice each and every day. What you see posted here are my sketches, my honest little attempts. A captured moment of me trying something I wanted to try that day. I present them as actual art, because I don’t actually know or understand when something becomes what they call art. I’m equally uncertain as to who “they’ actually are and why they get to choose in the first place. It’s the same feeling many people expressed when I started this site and why they couldn’t quite develop the courage to call themselves an artist yet. The reality is, an artist is simply someone who is driven to create something new. That’s all it takes to join the club, and then, yes, there will always be those awesome masters. And, we’ll continue to learn from them and enjoy every step of this journey, even if we’re always just painting with a little travel palette.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Nickel Azo Yellow, Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Blue, Terra Cotta, Leaf Green, Indigo, Vermilion, and Aureolin. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!