While thinking about our prompt of “heroes or villains,” a mischievous kitty cat came to mind, which could be either one really, so that’s what we ended up with today. I’ve mentioned my cat allergies before, but I still adore them and love sketching them as it’s always like getting a kitty of my very own, if only virtually. And I adore watching cats play, from a safe distance, of course. They seem so intent on what they’re doing, even if what they’re doing is a bit naughty and not something their owners think they should be doing. When it’s time for a bit a play, cats are seriously focused. In many ways, I feel like a cat when I’m sitting down to make my little doodlewash each day. I scribble my outline and then doodle around it with a pen and erase the pencil. Then I start splashing some color in and bat that around like a ball of yarn. While I’m doing so, I achieve a level of focus that I lack much of the rest of the day. It’s a zone where I’m intent on having a wonderful time and enjoying the moment as it happens. Not the “process” as I don’t really have a strict one of those, but simply the moment itself. It’s a magical moment where a blank sheet of paper gets transformed. That awesome and heroic moment where a villainous little kitty cat prepares to attack an innocent plush animal right there on a page of my sketchbook!
It’s indeed a bit strange to be allergic to an animal you resemble so much. While I’d love to think I’m a cuddly puppy, in so many ways, I’m a finicky cat instead. I enjoy the company of others, but also quite happy just being off on my own and in my own little world. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy sketching cats. There’s a kindred spirit there that I just can’t quite explain. But, I have to admire such focus when it comes to playing around. That’s the trait that cats and I share, and I cherish. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a watercolor painter, this is a completely different sort of discipline and one I absolutely love, so I promote it as much as possible on this site. Seriously, if you haven’t looked through the archives of all of the amazing watercolor painters on this site, stop reading this drivel and DO check them out now! My own approach is simply taking a sketch and coloring like one might in a coloring book. Just like I did when I was a kid. For me, it’s a moment to shake hands with my inner child and follow my heart. My heart just wants to sketch and color, so that’s what I DO! Yet, every little approach to color and blending has been influenced by those awesome master teachers who have inspired me! So, sure, I still just color in my sketchbook, but those amazing artists taught me everything I know, so please check out their classes!
What I adore most about this art journey is that I can soak up all of the wonderful tips and tricks that I find and apply them in a way that’s unique to me. This uniqueness is quite impossible to avoid as each of us possesses a beautiful and very unique talent. So, if you like what I make and would like to paint like me, then that’s rather easy. Just embrace your inner child and hand that paintbrush over, forgetting any of the adult rules you might have in your head. I’m so thrilled when people enjoy my coloring pages. I’ve spent the entire existence of this site celebrating the wondrous things that watercolor can achieve and I’m honored to have featured some of the world’s most amazing artists. This has been a lesson in humility as I share so much work that is far superior to my own skills. But, each time, I learn a little something in the process and I hope you do as well. My heroes, when it comes to watercolor, inspire me each and every day. I don’t have the patience or time to create what they made happen, but that never stops me from showing up with my own quick little doodlewash version. Some day, I’ll make that large scale watercolor painting, but for now, I’m quite happy just showing up each day for a bit of serious play.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, Opus (Vivid Pink), and Cobalt Blue. 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!
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!