For Day 19 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Splashes Of Color,” I chose this little mandarin duck. I think these birds are fascinating with all of the different textures and varying colors. I used my usual scribble, doodle, color approach in my style I like to call faux realism. What I love is that no matter how complex something seems, if I just scribble in some lines, and then start gleefully coloring it with watercolor, the doodle suddenly comes to life in the wash! I adore the illusion that can be created by splashing color about on paper. It’s magical and amazing how our brains fill in the gaps! It’s also true, that I wanted to be a magician when I was a little kid. I could perform several card tricks, but was a bit too clumsy for sleight of hand. This is called “close-up” magic and is quite a revered skill. My solution was simply to ask my audience to stand on the other side of the room during each performance and sometimes close their eyes at key moments while I fumbled with a coin. This stumbling difficulty with absolute precision followed me into adulthood. So making a little watercolor sketch is the perfect way to combine my actual skills with the ones I lack in a fast and fun way each day!
Looking back, I think now that it wasn’t so much about becoming a magician, but thinking I’d finally get that rabbit I always wanted if I managed to do so. Neither ever happened, but that feeling of wanting to create a bit of magic is still with me. It’s likely why I don’t suffer over technique and focus more on lines and splashes of color. Even though I’m coloring like I’m holding a crayon again, watercolor creates unusual and fascinating special effects every time. So, it’s my absolute favorite way to color my sketches. Also, as a kid, I focused on having fun first and foremost. I hope the same for all of you in whatever creative endeavor you choose. Sure, there are artists who enjoy the struggle and difficulty of art, but I don’t quite understand that. If that’s your thing, then by all means DO it! We should always follow whatever path our art demands. But, if like me, you simply enjoy the more therapeutic side of art that comes without any stress at all, then come doodle with me! As I always say, I’m recess, and after you’re done playing you can go back to class feeling refreshed and ready to create!
And in the spirit of playing with color in fun ways, I also have something fun to give away! Official World Watercolor Month Sponsor Winsor & Newton is inviting you to think outside of the tube with their watercolour markers! You can combine these with brush, tubes, pans, and water to expand your watercolour painting possibilities. Ten winners can try a Winsor & Newton watercolour marker for themselves with a sample of Winsor & Newton professional watercolour paper. This one is limited to US/Canada only, so definitely check out the main World Watercolor Month international giveaways here! If you’d like a sample, simply add “I Want Watercolour Markers!” to your comment below! To give everyone a bit more of a chance, I’ll draw 10 names from everyone who comments with the phrase tomorrow night before I post, and those 10 lucky folks will get a sample (be sure to look for my reply to you so I can let you know, and you can then send me your name and address for shipping). We should always be experimenting finding new ways to enjoy the journey that comes with splashing color.
UPDATE: Sample giveaways for this post have ended.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Vermilion, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, and Cobalt Blue. 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!