For our prompt of marbles today, I think I was losing mine in that I sketched way too many of them. This often happens when I happily make a sketch, add a bit too many elements and realize I have to actually paint everything in it during my limited painting time. But it was fun attempting my typical mad dash painting session with a rather complex image. Equally fun was grabbing for all 12 colors in my current daily palette (listed at the end of the full post) and giving a little stage time to colors that I haven’t used much most recently. I have other colors that make cameo appearances, of course, like Viridian which is the totally required if you’re ever painting a mallard duck, but this is my staple palette. It’s actually well suited for marbles or even a candy dish, as I love bright and happy colors. The cool thing about these colors is that if you need earth tones, they’re still there in the mix. And I adore mixing colors and constantly amazed at what colors appear. The subtleties of watercolor are incredible. No matter how many times I mix the same paints, there are still those times when I’m astonished by the color that’s created. And that’s just one of the many things that keep me coming back each and every day.
As for marbles, I did collect them as a kid, but I never played the game for which they were meant to be used. I just thought they were pretty and sparkly, so having a little jar of them felt wonderful and almost magical. When it comes to mixing colors, I still use marbles to do so to this day. If you missed it, you can see my marble mixing palette in this post, as well as this one! Sure, it’s the inner child in me that chooses marbles over swatches, but it’s also more like the way I paint. As many of you know, I have a few attention deficit issues that making waiting for paint to dry rather painful. When I first started painting with watercolor, I made a feverish attempt to do so “correctly” and wait for each layer to dry properly. This is certainly something I support and recommend for watercolor painters, but it’s not been something that I myself can adhere to on a regular basis. In many ways, watercolor is like marbles for me. I’m fascinated and inspired, but I never quite use them by design. I learned some of the rules of the game, but then started playing with them like I might with marbles as a kid.
The result was super fun! I could make a little doodlewash in a fraction of the time, but I knew it lacked much of the finesse that my instructors had taught me. But, my instructors are awesome and totally correct in their approach, and this is why I happily promote them! My own approach is a strange cobbling together of various techniques that works with my terribly short attention span. In my head, I’m imagining the image my masters have taught me to create, but in reality, I’m just hoping I can make a little something before time runs out. Not necessarily the time I have left in a single day, but knowing that I don’t have the ability to revisit a topic more than a single day in a row. Once I start sketching and painting, it needs to finish in the little bit of time I’ve set aside and simply must happen in that single day. I’ve no idea if you, dear reader, are like me, but if so, don’t fret. There’s a lot that can be accomplished in a single moment of time. And creating anything at all is something worthy of celebration! If you also lack the attention span for paintings that take a week or more to complete, just make a little something each day and enjoy the moment. It’s a wonderful feeling to make some stuff appear that didn’t exist before. A feeling that brings back all of that magic of childhood and playing with marbles.
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, Vermillion, and Aureolin. 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!