Slap-Dash Noodle Doodle

What is the Slap-Dash Noodle Doodle method? 

Aside from being something fun to say, it's a technique courtesy of artist JW Teaford that allows you to create a series of hand made greeting cards quickly and efficiently in a fun, whimsical way.

What does it mean? According the JW, the "noodle doodle" part comes from him using his imagination to dream up a doodle which he then paints. The "slap-dash" refers to rapidly and loosely painting a couple of cards at a time by mounting two of them to a board and rotating it during the painting process. 

Follow along to his tutorial to see the process:

Materials Used:

  • Strathmore Watercolor Cards - 140lb (300gsm), Cold Press Surface
  • Watercolor Paint - JW uses these colors:
    • Raw Sienna
    • Burnt Sienna
    • Brown Madder
    • Antwerp Blue
    • Burnt Umber
  • Paint brushes - JW uses:
    • 1/2" Flat Brush
    • #8 Flat Tip Shader Brush
  • Flat board large enough to tape 2 cards to (JW uses a 12"x16" watercolor board)
  • Artist's tape (can also use masking tape or painters tape)

The Process:

Step 1 - Tape 2 greeting cards to the board so your finished pieces will have a slight border. JW mounts the two cards so the top folds are facing each other (the card openings are facing away from each other). He tapes the side edges and the bottom edge and leaves the top untaped. Some people might prefer to tape the top as well - it's completely up to you!

Step 2 - Lightly sketch an outline with a pencil. Add a few loose lines for the boulders with a black ink pen.

Step 3 - Begin painting! JW starts by laying in a wash of watercolor onto the dry paper with his flat brush. He rotates the board and repeats it on the other card. As JW mentions in the video, you can let each layer dry between, or continue laying in more colors using a wet-on-wet technique and continuing to turn the board around to paint each card. 

JW starts with raw sienna, then adds in burnt sienna.

Step 4 - Add a series of vertical paint strokes to the rock peaks. JW uses his shading brush and a higher concentration of watercolor paint that isn't as diluted. He follows a sequence of burnt sienna in the middle, antwerp blue on the right, and brown madder on the left to simulate the look of light on the left and shadows on the right. 

Step 5 - Continue adding in colors and layers. 

One of the great benefits of this method is how it allows you to loosen up and paint quickly and freely without overthinking. You can set up multiple boards at a time for a studio session which will leave you with an assortment of hand painted cards that are similar but still unique and individual from one another. 

Step 6 - After the paint has dried, use an ink pen to sketch & doodle outlines and details into the rock formations. Don't forget to sign the card!

Step 7 - Carefully & slowly remove the tape, reload the board, and repeat the process as many times as you'd like. 

The finished watercolor cards make for great personalized gifts or greetings. 

Thank you for sharing your process with us, JW! 

See more from JW on his website and YouTube Channel:
JW's Website
JW's YouTube Channel

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