For our prompt of “Art Supplies” today, we have a little mouse putting the final bits of paint on a painting similar to one I did last month starring a tiny white mouse. Though it is actually me sketching all of these and I truly don’t have a mouse helper of any kind. But how cool would that be? There are so many days where even with just a little bit of time to play with my art supplies, I feel like I can’t even see what I’m sketching anymore. I can’t tell if something is nearly finished or if I’m just finished messing with it. Usually, it’s the latter that happens first. And though I’m often pleasantly surprised that a rushed doodle turns out well, I love having a little bit of time to add a few more bits of detail. That all makes it sound rather studied and careful, but truly it’s just my way of adding a touch more dimension by gleefully jabbing bits of dark into various places.
Sometimes working with watercolor feels like waiting for a bit of Polaroid film to develop. It’s all a touch blurry at first and then things slowly begin to take shape. There have been so many times on my art journey that I wanted to do as I used to do with Polaroid pictures and just toss that one aside and take another one. Yet, I only have time to make one little thing each day. So, by the time I think it might not be going as expected, it’s far too late to start over again. In many ways, I think this routine has helped me quite a lot. Rather than get frustrated and feel like I failed something, I simply have to change course and try to make that something work out. Yet, there are many pictures that I’ve posted that I didn’t really love at all in that moment. They were my nemesis. A failed attempt. Yet, when I look back today, some of those sketches are actually among my favorites.
Since I’m an illustrator and not a painter, I sometimes have an ink drawing that I really love. Many times, it doesn’t need color at all in order to work and can stand alone. I adore playing with watercolor, of course, so I’ll always jump in and color it anyway. Yet, I have to admit that there have been many times where I was a bit terrified that I’ll screw it up. Having just one shot to make something seems like I’m putting a bit of pressure on myself, but in reality, I’m simply creating constraints. Creativity loves to have a few constraints, and that’s equally why I enjoy using prompts as well. It’s like when I was a little kid and was given those awesome assignments by the teacher where she told me I could “be creative.” Just gave me just the basic idea of what the project had to be about and nothing more. Once I know the simple perimeter of my playground, it’s far easier to just relax and have some fun. Right up until that very last energetic moment when I apply the finishing touch.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Pthalo Blue, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? 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!