For Day 28 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Metallic,” I opted for this luxury watch. I like the look of metal watch bands like this, and my dad used to wear these types of bands. I tried on his watch as a kid, since this is something kids are often prone to do, and it seemed gigantic. Not surprisingly, it didn’t fit me at all. Today, I still can’t wear these types of watches as though I grew taller, my wrists stayed too small, making the watch hang there like a pretty bracelet. Beyond the alarming price, this is also why I’ve never owned a luxury watch like this. Though you can have links removed to get to a proper fit, I would end up paying for lots of metal I simply couldn’t display properly. But this all got me thinking about time itself and how it often feels like quite a luxury. To have a bit of time to do what we enjoy most in this busy and often chaotic life seems like an amazing, if not often impossible, task. I’m no exception, as in truth, I don’t have time to sketch each and every day. I make time, because I love it so much. And, it’s not a lot of time at all. Today, it was only 45 minutes. But, one can accomplish quite a bit in that amount of time. Or, at the very least, make a little sketch like this watch. My scribble, doodle, color approach was initially just a way to create something in the time I had, but I have to admit that it also makes it all a lot more fun!
I love that I can get a rather convincingly metallic look now, in a very short period time. This is entirely because I make an ink sketch first that I simply color it. If I were to attempt this as a true watercolor painting, I’ve no idea how to do that in such a short time. The ink lines provide much of the needed contrast for a true metallic look and provide me the guidelines of where to splash in some color to bring it to life. Since I used a reference photo on this one, I also used the grid method, which I feature in my Sketching Stuff Activity Book, because concentric circles are a bit tough to get right quickly without a touch of guidance. In my book, I provide a very proper grid that’s evenly measured, but in real life, I just quickly sketch a grid freehand, and view the reference in Photoshop with the grid turned on. It’s wildly unscientific but quickly gives me the basic idea of where to plot things in my pencil scribble. Once that looks roughly good to my eye, I doodle over it with ink, correcting lines as I go, and erase the pencil marks. This quickly gives me a bit of coloring book art, that I simply color with watercolor!
My process is not at all difficult, but isn’t exactly what we’ve been taught when it comes to watercolor painting. The traditional approach often involves many layers and lots of time that I simply don’t have. So my own method, involves reversing things by painting dark to light and using less water to speed up the entire process. While it was a process created out of sheer necessity, I DO rather like the look that can be achieved this way! It still has bits of that splashy watercolor feel with bolder lines and more contrast and detail. Yet, it’s all a bit of an illusion as it’s not hyperrealism by any stretch, but it’s a satisfying proxy when time just isn’t available. Yet, I don’t really want anyone to bother with attempting my style, I want them to find their own hacks and use them in their own way. I just hope to give people some more ideas to try and, most of all, the permission to try them, even if they don’t fit with the current trends. The way you personally want to use a medium you love is entirely up to YOU! If something feels right, it is, and I invite you to explore that further. When you make your method fit your life and not the other way round, like me, you’ll soon discover you have finally found the luxury of time.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. 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!