When it comes to travel, any journey down a new road will often do. For today, I took a journey down the road of a fast and loose watercolor sketch to see what might happen. This is what happened. In many ways, sketching with watercolor is always a journey down a new road. It’s never quite the same and no matter how many techniques you learn and hope to employ, there are always magnificent surprises. This is why watercolor continues to enthrall me each and every day. I don’t approach it in a very classical style, tending to work wet on dry and wet on wettish, never letting anything quite dry fully, and quickly doing whatever comes to mind in the moment as I paint and sketch. For me, that’s what transports me to new places. It’s entirely all of the fun. Were I to adopt a specific approach, there would be the pesky issue of possibly being wrong. There’s no fun in that. Instead, I approach each day like I’m a child eagerly grabbing for a new crayon. So results will always vary, and yet each little doodlewash still manages to exude my own personal style. Man, it’s fun to paint each and every day. And I hope all of you will continue to join me!
I’ve always had a thing for little roads and paths that seem uncharted. While traveling in a car with my parents when I was young, I would ask them to turn down any little road that I saw. They didn’t, of course, but I was so intrigued by what might be just beyond the horizon. A rambling trail of a road that seemed to head into something mysterious. These days, we have GPS to tell us precisely where we are and what’s around us. Back then, there was nothing that clever to guide us. It was just bits of impulse combined with bits of instinct that could lead us through a trail or wooded area. In many ways, I still prefer this approach. I don’t want to be so obsessed with where I’m trying to go that I forget to truly experience every little bit along the way. In life and art, the journey isn’t part of the experience, it’s the entire experience. Every little epiphany and each incredible discovery is the entire point of this ride we call life. Destinations are overrated. They are places where we already now what the outcome will be. To me, the thrill is in the journey itself. Taking steps forward to reveal the next piece in the puzzle.
In truth, my pursuit of the journey often leads me to do everything in a weirdly different way. This website, while generally adhering to many website principles, veers wildly of course each time I show up. I don’t talk to you about art supplies and watercolor techniques as one should rightfully expect from someone in this niche. That’s simply because my fellow artists are far more fabulous at doing so, and I choose to feature them instead. You’ll still find the content you’d expect from a site like this here, but then you’ll also find yours truly. Almost defiantly showing up to simply sketch and write about anything at all. My role in all of this is simply to inspire and remind you to be true to yourself. There are a million rules in the world that can feel a bit stifling and limit your creativity. Don’t get me wrong, we do live in a robotic world where algorithms rule and doing things by prescription will usually succeed in sending your posts to the top of the list. Do a bit of that, but never let it overtake your creativity. There are still people out there who crave real and original content written by and for humans. So, I hope you’ll also follow your own unique creative spirit and inspire ours, by maybe just sometimes, taking the road less traveled.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta 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!