Welcome to April and a brand new Doodlewash adventure! This month we are celebrating all of those things that make our inner child squeal and giggle with glee. And, I hope you’ll let that little kid guide you as you create this month just to see what fun things might happen. For my own little entry, I decided to paint my very first experience with watercolor! Yep, the first watercolor paints I ever tried back in July 2015 along with my first little doodlewash I ever created. While most of us had at least tried watercolors as a kid, I simply have no recollection of that ever happening. It was only crayons, markers and colored pencils for me back then. So when I very first tried them, it was like reliving a childhood memory I was meant to have had. And I truly felt like I was a child playing with crayons for the very first time. It was amazing! Perhaps that’s also what added to that magical feeling I felt, but either way, I immediately started a blog called Doodlewash. A fun name I made up to keep that feeling of simple, childlike wonder that I never wanted to lose. I kept practicing daily, and have for each consecutive day ever since (1,367 days today!). After trying all of the various watercolor painting approaches, my own greatest joy came in an unexpected form. I guess you could say I’m a coloring book artist who likes to make his own sketchbook coloring pages first! Then, instead of crayons, I use watercolor for its glorious blending and luminosity, but most often painting completely backward, from dark to light, and in a ridiculously short amount of time. Yep, I’m thrilled to say, I actually DO sketch like a kid!
While I’ve had many requests to share my “painting techniques,” I’m an unconventional sketcher and I don’t employ painting techniques in a traditional fashion. That’s why, instead, I always send you to my masterful friends who are actual art teachers and, well, totally phenomenal. And, not surprisingly, that’s exactly what I intend to keep doing because I’m not planning on becoming an art teacher myself. My goal is to write and illustrate books. But, I am a cheerleader, an instigator, and I hope someone who inspires people to simply try as much as they can, show up to make something new each day, and find their own wonderful path in art. That said, I’ve realized that there are some helpful things I can share with you, and the answer as to how to share them was always waiting for me in this very moment that I’ve doodlewashed here. I can simply share with you how I like to sketch and color in a way that gives you that same experience of being a child again. That exceptional creative spark that came with a full confidence of knowing that whatever you were making was awesome and worthy of a place on mom’s refrigerator gallery. Nothing too serious or technical, but just a bit of play between your classes. And my greatest hope, a way to help absolute beginner’s feel the same excitement I felt that will hopefully inspire them to take more drawing and watercolor art classes! Seriously, take as many as you can! That’s my real secret!
So, please stay tuned as the reveal of all of those recent epiphanies will be happening this month! It’s taken me quite a bit of time to find my place in the art world and I think my place is just a step or two outside of it. Or, at the very least, an odd and unique place in the middle of it all. You see, I’m still not entirely sure, but I hope you’ll join me on my next adventure to discover just what place you think I might be best suited. As ever, I’m all ears, so please let me know your thoughts in the comments! Like most artists and the art they make, I’m a work in progress. I know in my heart that I love making things and inspiring others to do the same. Beyond that, it’s all a lovely mystery that I hope to figure out by trying some new things that I never expected I’d try. I’ve always said I’m not truly a rebel, which is true, but I think in the end I’m an accidental rebel. If you’re reading this, I’m thrilled, because it’s not likely you got here through a search engine. I don’t write posts that they like. See? I’m a rather rebellious artist after all! In my heart, though, I just have to believe that there’s a place for someone like me. And I equally have to believe that there’s a beautiful place for each of you out there reading this as well. We’re all beautiful, creative people who deserve that chance to shine. To get that coveted spot on the refrigerator of life as we share what we make with pride and glee. It’s simply the art of sketching like a kid again!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Cobalt Blue, and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink and 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!