For our prompt of “Crayons” today, I didn’t have my crayons with me when I was ready to sketch today. So, I closed my eyes and thought back to when I was a kid. Then I grabbed a brush pen and very quickly sketched what I remembered. This was, I recall, the usual scene. A cup of some kind held the crayons that had already been orphaned from their original box. Just a handful of colors were selected from that cup and those would be the ones that I’d use to make my next amazing work of art. The tips were usually much more worn out, but I also remember that getting a box of fresh crayons was the coolest thing in the world. And that familiar smell of fresh wax and hope was all I needed to be inspired to create something wonderful. Did I always make wonderful art as a kid? Of course, I did! We all did! Every single time. It would be years before I would ever question that. Years before I would think that what I made wasn’t particularly amazing every day. Now, as a busy adult, I still have to keep myself from questioning what I create. But mostly, I’m just excited I was ever able to make something in the first place.
When I look back to those young artistic days, I remember that I always loved to draw. Yet, I also remember that I didn’t love to color quite as much. Crayons were clunky and didn’t blend very well. Colored pencils were fun, but it took too long to color things. Weirdly, I didn’t use watercolor as a kid, so hadn’t yet found that one way to color that would ultimately thrill me. Most of the work that my mother kept, the ones that won awards, were all black and white drawings. So, that’s why I got so excited when I discovered watercolor. It was just the “crayon” I’d been looking for all my life. And, truly, that’s how I use it. I color my illustrations, but I don’t make proper paintings. I’m a huge fan boy of watercolor painters, of course, so I feature them as often as I can on this site. No matter how one chooses to use a medium, there’s so much to learn from absolutely everyone else who’s using it as well. I’ve borrowed techniques from my awesome watercolor painting friends and applied them to my illustrations. It’s the same kind of learning I employed back when I was just playing around with crayons.
But, today, my “mom’s refrigerator” has become this blog as well as the various social media spaces where I post. My audience of just one has grown to be quite a few more these days. Yet, I still like to think that each time I post, I’m just handing in a coloring page to Mom. It takes all of the pressure off and makes me super happy to remember back to those times. Sure, I want to improve as an artist and do better and better work, but that just happens naturally when a person continues to show up. Nobody gets worse at something by practicing. And even if the improvements seem slight or too small to even recognize from day to day, the magic is always happening. There are things I wish to improve upon, though, so I just try them more when I can. It’s also why there have been a lot of critters around here lately. I’ve not really mastered any of the things I’ve set out to learn on this art journey, but there’s plenty of time. Thankfully, with my childlike view of the world, I don’t have to be a master to make that next masterpiece.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Opus (Vivid Pink), Vermilion, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Kuretake Sumi Brush Pen 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!
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