It’s Sunday, the last day of Polar Week, after a late night of working on Pixel Movers & Makers, which my co-conspirator Kevin Pluck and I launched a week ago. In truth, while Kev toiled away with his numbers and his codes, I spent most of the evening dripping paint on paper. I really couldn’t have been happier. And I filmed it.
I’m about to show you my watercolor sketching process from start to finish. I’ve gotten a little bit brave, and I’m talking my way through the video, explaining what I’m doing at each stage. (This is about my fifth attempt to do so, and most times I have pushed the wrong button on my phone and waxed poetic, only to find I’ve recorded a lovely shot of the ceiling or nothing at all. Pity about the Mr. Squiggle anecdote, but you’ve missed out. Or have you?)
My point was (apart from Mr. Squiggle being one of my early heroes) that I often turn my paper while I’m painting. Gravity is a key player in each of these creations, as are the paper itself (Arches hot press) and the paint (Windsor & Newton, the professional grade stuff). Skimping on the paint and paper quality is entirely self-defeating when it comes to watercolor.
What I most want you to know, though, is that polar ice is beautiful.
It’s extraordinarily beautiful and, even more so, it’s incredibly important to our planet. I cannot even begin to do it justice.
So, what is the Polar Ice Sketch Project anyway? It’s an ongoing project in which I paint and tweet as I finish each one, often with information about our vital polar ice. I hope you’ll enjoy this window into my process and my playtime.
It’s quite long. It’s a bit silly. But it’s real.