When thinking of a prompt of the “best time of day” I immediately thought of a coffee break. I have these a few times a day and then the last one in the evening is a bit of espresso, signaling the very end of the day. That’s what I chose to sketch because no matter how much I failed to accomplish, the end of the day marks a moment of pure relaxation. And, better yet, the promise of an entirely new day where I can see just how much I can get done. This entire week has been a bit crazy as our only car has been in the shop the entire time. Rather than get a rental car like most sane people, we’ve adopted a new lifestyle of living without. So, I’ve walked to work all this week and grabbed rides home from coworkers and Philippe has taken the bus. Tonight, we were out of wine so we walked to the wine shop to get some. This all took a bit of extra time that a car would certainly expedite, but in my head, I couldn’t help but compare it to a coffee break. For a blissful moment through all that charging forth to get things done, I paused and did something that moved none of those things forward. It was cathartic and I loved it. And when I came back to those things, I was energized and excited to do them. There’s much to be said for taking a little break in during the day.
All throughout my career, I’ve always struggled with my attention span. It’s really short. Like totally crazy, I don’t know what we’re talking about anymore after this lovely 30 minutes of conversation short. It’s always been an added challenge for me throughout my life. What I’ve done to combat it is to take frequent breaks during the day. Thankfully, I’ve always been in creative jobs where something like this isn’t usually questioned. I just need a few moments to redirect my mind and then I can focus again properly. Sketching with watercolor has been incredible because I’ve been able to spend even more than 30 minutes, though usually much less than an hour, making something each and every day! People often talk about needing their caffeine to function properly. Though I adore my coffee, I truly think that I really just need my sketching break! It’s an adrenaline boost that no lovely cappuccino or espresso could dare compete. And though today, I was exhausted and feeling a bit uninspired when I started, I was rejuvenated by the time my sketch was complete. This is the exact reason I hold monthly challenges and get nearly crazy with excitement in encouraging others to form a sketchbook habit!
Sometimes, during the day at work, I grab my coffee quickly and finish my little break by sketching a bit. Yes, despite posting my finished sketch each and every day for almost 4 years, I still, on still rare occasions, manage to sketch things that I don’t post here. Stranger still perhaps, this only happened recently. When the euphoric feeling of drawing truly took hold. When I started, I would simply focus on making my answer for the prompt each day. Today, I can’t seem to stop sketching in every little moment I find. My earlier sketchbooks are quite linear, with exactly what you find posted here. My latest sketchbooks are filled with scribbles and doodles that never make it to a main stage post. I’m sure this is normal for those who do art full-time, but since I’m just a casual artist doing things frantically on the side it feels amazing. Sketching has officially become my new coffee break and I’m thrilled to do it each and every time. In this doodlewash, I added a cube of sugar to my espresso that I don’t ever use in real life. But in my artistic life, my sketchbook habit has become my cube of sugar and energizes me each time I enjoy that little break during the day.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. (My “Shiny” Trio! Click Here To Purchase It!) + Cobalt Turquoise. 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!