As we end the week, we’ve reached the 8th day of our art challenge and I hope that everyone participating is having a wonderful time! Today, we’re heading to the beach and though I had an urge to sketch another conch shell, which I love, I opted for my second favorite beach accessory in the form a crab. These are fascinating creatures to me, and their odd little walk is fun to watch. Though we humans often tend to view moving forward as the general direction one should always go, I’m rather thrilled by the idea of moving in another direction entirely. I’ve been playing a bit with my sketches this month and trying new things. Today, I started with a single line contour sketch where I never lifted my pen. This was something I remember doing when I was young and actually won my first and only art award for a contour line sketch of a pair of tennis shoes. I decided to walk backward and give that approach another go. Of course, I love adding a lot of dimension so the lines get a bit lost, but it was a fast and fun approach to sketching stuff! So I might just try it again!
If you’re curious as to what my only art award was, it was a shiny blue ribbon that came with an inclusion in that year’s school art calendar. My mother was very proud. I think she still has the original somewhere in a box. Or I’m just imagining it was so awesome that she surely must have kept it. Chances are, it was nothing much at all. It was, after all, just a pair of sneakers and nothing more. Looking back, I now realize that not much has changed. I’m thoroughly and completed enamored with those little bits of life in close up that simply suggest a story. I like to add bits of background, but nothing that usually ever reveals a time or place. For that, I hope you’ll write the rest of the story that I failed to include here visually. Yeah, today, it’s just a crab hanging out on a sandy beach as the last rays of sun send it wobbling off in another direction. But I can still hear the ocean and enjoy the last time I was on a beach, ready to run into those waves and giggle like a kid again.
This has also been my secret to painting and sketching every single day now for over 1,070 consecutive days. I make just a quick little sketch of something that would likely be considered a study for a real painting and share it! Some days, I have a bit more time, but even when I have no time at all, I take a moment to make something, anything, and will it to appear. I do actually rather like how my quick little crab turned out. Yes, I’m always totally channeling my inner child and that kid who won that art award at all times. What I remember most about that boy was that he really just wanted to create and share what he made in the moment. The thrill of making something was so incredible that he couldn’t wait to share it with everyone. And that, in the end, is how I approach my art today. I don’t have a specific goal in mind other than showing up to paint and write and I get immense pleasure in doing so. I could choose to worry over my work or try to make it more commercial. But, in the end, I just like sketching stuff. And it’s in these moments that I can appreciate the life of a crab and the joy of walking sideways.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue, (my Da Vinci Trio, Click Here to Learn More!). 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!
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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!