W2: Wash it Away: Wabi-Sabi Sketching with Water-Soluble Materials



Friday afternoon

Eleanor Doughty


Learn to harness the impermanent qualities of water-soluble media (that is, materials that react in contact with water) to highlight a sketch’s focal point. By adding water to a drawing made with common materials such as markers or fountain pen ink, we soften a background or supporting details to heighten interest in our main subject. Discover the secret abilities of your drawing tools to create unique, unpredictable tonal textures!

Following the tenets of wabi-sabi — the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of appreciating the inherent beauty of imperfections — we will learn how to embrace it in our sketches, whilst keeping a strong foundation with dark and light values. 

By the end of the workshop, students will have an appreciation for how giving up control can create interesting, playful, and clear sketches, and enjoy using new techniques with materials they already carry with them.

Supply List:

  • 1 black water-soluble drawing pen 

➢ suggestions: most fountain pen inks, Tombow brush pen, LePen fine liner, PaperMate felt tip pen, many calligraphy pens 

  • 2 additional water-soluble drawing tools (black/gray/color all work) 

➢ suggestions: watercolor marker, watercolor pencil, fountain pen ink, brush pens, etc.

  • 1 fillable water brush, or regular brush & cup for water. Small or medium size (size 4+) 

➢ I prefer to use a 12mm square water brush, like this one 

  • Paper towel 
  • 3 sheets of smooth cold press or hot press paper, at least 300 gsm, A4 or about 9×12” (feel free to use a watercolor sketchbook as well). 

➢ For an inexpensive decent paper, use Fabriano Studio cold press (140 lbs/300 gsm) 

  • Drawing board with clip 
  • Bonus: watercolor set, colored pencils, markers, or anything else you’d like to use to add some spot color at the end. 

Please test your materials to make sure they’re water-soluble: Put a line down on paper & wait for it to dry for a few minutes. Then add water to it. If it softens and bleeds, it’s water-soluble.

Out of stock

Event Details

Date: July 19, 2024

Start time: 02:00 p.m.

End time: 05:30 p.m.

Directions: Graphite Arts Center. 202a Main St, Edmonds, WA 98020

Sketcher Fest Artist

Eleanor Doughty is an illustrator, painter, and urban sketcher originally from the Washington, DC area and is now based in Seattle, WA. Her work captures realistic subjects and imbues them with significance and character. Eleanor has traveled internationally to teach art and to explore new locations through her practice of sketching. She teaches through Urban Sketchers organization and Gage Academy in Seattle, and has illustrated for clients including QFC, Hilton, Marriott, Penguin/Random House, the Seattle Times, and VICE Media. Eleanor also enjoys cartoons, riding her 180cc scooter, and drinking a good americano on a rainy day.

IG: @herbcoil. Substack: Hand to Paper