During previous challenges, I’ve included the prompt of lighthouses, but have personally always opted for a closeup of the interior and never actually painted a proper one. So, for today, we finally have the exterior, but quickly sketched from a much higher vantage point. Lighthouses are fascinating structures, and the reason I love the interior is because of the cozy cramped spaces and the cool spiral staircase inside. Though I’m not a fan of towering heights, and usually get a bit squeamish, I’m equally enthralled by them. As a kid, I always wanted a proper attic that I could use as a bedroom. Our split-level house didn’t come with such a thing, so it only stayed a dream of mine. I took this dream into high school and even wrote a poem about an attic for the literary magazine. I can’t remember if the poem was any good at all, but I still remember that love of attic spaces. So, it’s no wonder that a lighthouse, which is almost entirely attic space would hold my interest, even though I’ve never actually been inside one.
One of the things I enjoy about sketching stuff and writing each day is the ability to explore things I can’t see from my kitchen counter. It’s a bit of virtual travel that also takes me traveling back in time to previous memories. As a writer, I’m not a good travel sketcher. I prefer to soak up the scene mentally, often focusing on nearby conversations and other bits of interest that I might miss if my goal were only to focus on the visual. Though this is fine, one would assume I would at least jot down notes in a journal, but even that escapes me in the moment. I get so lost in a new place that I can barely focus on any one aspect at all. Thankfully, I journal here each and every day, so whatever events, thoughts or feelings happened are captured soon enough. For me, this works out just fine. And though I’m not actually traveling at the moment, it’s a blast to journey to new places via a little doodlewash. I’ve never been on a lighthouse tour, but in a sketch I can imagine being a bird and soaring over the top! Something, I’m rather sure they don’t offer on the official tour.
For me, my posts are always all about travel, whether I’m visiting family in Paris or simply sailing back through time to relive a childhood moment. I believe that imagination itself is a form of travel. It’s far less stressful and doesn’t require train tickets and waiting in a horribly long cue. Unless that’s what you’re imagining, of course. Many times, I find myself feeling like I’m stuck in a routine and with no trips planned on the calendar, I feel like I’m in a bit of a rut. During these moments, I always have to stop and remind myself that travel is only an imagined thought away. I can go absolutely anywhere I like, if I just stop and take the time to dream about it. And when I reach for my pen and paintbrush, I can make that place appear on paper. Then, I can simply let my mind wander through whatever just appeared there and visit my own creation. And though I’ve been to several different countries and experienced amazing sights and sounds, I’m equally enthralled by where my daily sketches can transport me. When you let you imagination take you where it wants to go, you’ll always have the pleasure of experiencing the view from the top.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Indian Yellow, Pyrrol Red, Cobalt Teal, and Turquoise. 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!