Saturday, 15 June 2013


aquadoodle im Stil von Fabio Cembranelli

This morning I watched one of Shirley Trevena's great videos and was inspired to not only take up my paintbrush and dig out some of the other tools she uses with such skill and enterprise, but also to start this new blog to keep account of what I do in this genre.

I'm not sure if the term 'aquadoodling' already existed, but it does now.

aquadoodle I im Stil von Shirley Trevena 35x48cm
Aquadoodle I ist my first try at Trevena's method. I used a graphite pencil, watercolour pencils, watercolour paint, bright oil pastels, shavings from watercolour pencils, a comb and splatter technique. I painted on dry acrylic paper

Aquadoodling is really the first step to free and easy watercolouring, forgetting anxiety (mistakes are hard to correct), forgetting those detailed drawings and elaborate preparation - in fact, forgetting all the rules and just getting started. As a mainly abstract painter, I find this a wonderful gateway to abstraction. 

One tip to start with: If you think your aquadoodle is finished, put it away and start a new one. Come back to it later and decide what to do with it. That is definitely better than just plodding on. The main thing is to have fun.

an old aquadoodle
In her video, Trevena shows how she focuses a frame on parts of her aquadoodle. She suggests making cards from the best bits. That could of course be where zentangle starts, as it does for many who are involved in that art form, but I'm thinking of getting started here. If it helps you, good. If you already know all about what I'm saying, that's good too!

Here are three bits of the above Trevena style aquadoodle. I'm going to call them cutouts! I'm sorry they are a bit out of focus. My really good camera decided to photograph only in black and white today. I've no idea why, but my second camera does not care too much for diffuse light and the light is very strange today.

The 3 cutouts do show the different moods of this aquadoodle and at least one is leaning towards a figurative image. Each cutout could stand on its own.

In contrast, the first aquadoodle (at the top of this post), painted about 2 years ago, is really a composition and leans very much on Fabio Cembranelli's style and method. Below these cutouts is a demo of his. Very cool!

cutout 1

cutout 2

cutout 3