Today for the prompt of games, I wasn’t sure what game to choose, so I chose some dice since that’s a staple of many games. And I tried a bit of gamble with a faster, looser doodlewash, not fussing over details as I’m normally inclined to do. I’m also getting a really late start as I had to meet with my financial advisor after work, which I now realize gives this post’s title a totally unintentional meaning. I was instead thinking of how my best friend in college and I enjoyed evenings playing Yahtzee when we were supposed to be doing our coursework. Evenings mostly being startled out of my chair when she would gleefully scream “Yahtzee!” in my face when all six dice matched accordingly. I’m usually not into games of pure luck, preferring games with a bit of strategy or knowledge required instead. But back in those days, the dice became a lovely mindless way to distract ourselves from having to think too much. We’d spent the day in classes trying our best to pay attention, so it was an escape of the very best kind.
In some ways, watercolor is like a game of chance. You can’t control every little thing that happens and have to make the best of what appears. But I love combining a touch of strategy as well, which is why I’ve likely never gone very abstract with my paintings. For me, it’s adding a touch of the illusion of reality that I like, even in the loosest of sketches like this one. A sense of dimension and form that pulls it off the page a bit. I’m astounded by the painters who can do so in just a few brush strokes. They are the masters that I continue to follow and marvel at their sense of style. It’s not a style I choose to paint in, but there’s so much to learn from every little brush stroke. Choices made, when choices are allowed with watercolor, that make all the difference in the world. It’s amazing to watch them paint, and if you haven’t, I invite you visit the archives of our previous guest artists to explore the wonderful and diverse range of styles they have to offer us!
As for my college days, well, I was actually a Studio Art major, but my emphasis was in computer graphics, such as they were at the time. I only took a couple drawing classes and just one painting class in acrylic. I was horrible at that medium, made huge messes, and put it down vowing to never paint again. That’s part of the reason why back in summer of 2015, trying watercolor was such a big deal for me. It was like I was breaking an age old promise to myself and journeying into the abyss. I found it equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. And honestly? I still do to this day. Painting is so rewarding, but also quite a challenge, particularly when you commit to trying it each and every day. And my doodlewashes have become a bit like performance art, combined with the words you’re reading now, creating a quick little something to share publicly. If the painting isn’t appealing enough, less people will read the post, so I’ve sometimes found myself experimenting far less and staying with proven subjects, even color combinations. But that’s not really my style, so on some days, like this one, you’ll find me throwing caution to the wind, and once again rolling the dice.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Blue and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
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!