For those of you who have followed my posts for any length of time at all, you’ll note how much I enjoy painting glass whenever I get the chance. It’s become a sort of addiction to go along with my addiction to watercolor sketching. Part of the fun comes from attempting to get something that looks rather like glass while using my slapdash and quick style. It’s a messy process that involves a paper towel to scrub the highlights back into existence and I’m quite sure I’m doing everything “wrong.” But, I don’t really care, because it’s so much fun! I have no patience at all, but instead of fighting it, I’ve just made it my style. And just a bit of water with some lemons in it can be a fun little time spent painting. Particularly when you go a bit crazy with the colors and stir something unexpected into the mix. I’ve no idea what’s in this water, but I rather liked the effect. Philippe just looked at it and said, “it’s glowing!” which I’ll take as a compliment, but he was most likely just concerned about the radioactive contents that must surely be inside.
I’m wanting to play a bit more this month with my doodlewashes. I’ve fallen into particular colors and approaches that make me feel like I’m in a bit of a rut. So, I’ve decided to mix things up, quite literally, by giving myself permission to try some new things. That’s the fun of painting every day, as you don’t have to worry about screwing anything up, because there’s always tomorrow. Part of the joy of watercolor is letting those happy accidents happen. The frustration, of course, is that they’re nearly impossible to repeat exactly, but there’s still a lot to be learned in the process. My limited time frame actually makes this possible as if I had the patience to spend more time on a painting, I would surely attempt to be far too diligent and completely overwork it. Though to some, racing against the clock my seem a bit stressful, I find it exhilarating and perfectly suited to my style. And it’s really more like a cooking timer, telling me to take the darn thing out of the oven already and put in on the table before I burn it to a crisp!
Using a cooking reference is a bit like using a sports reference for me, because I’m rubbish at both, but you get the idea. This is my play time and I embrace it like the little boy I am inside. There’s a lot happening in the world right now, and much of it is stress-inducing and chaotic, so I’m thrilled to retreat to my own little world each day. My favorite bit of doodlewashing is always that moment when I don’t notice the clock and I don’t know how that color or wash appeared there. I’ve realized that my entire method relies on this intuitive feeling and approach. If I stop to consider what on earth I’m attempting to do, I’ll sort of muck everything up. So, if you’re curious as to exactly how I paint, there’s nothing exact about it. That’s the entire point. It’s simply a process of letting my mind relax and not fret too much about what’s happening in the moment. It’s less about technique and more about mindset for me. From this state, I can make pretty much anything I like appear on paper. Yet even knowing all of this, each time I sit down to paint, I still can’t fully explain why it’s something I simply must do each day. There’s just something in the water.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Photo Reference: Marco Verch. 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!
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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!