berlin watercolors

I drew a comic for each day of my time in Berlin doing the Recurse Center Computer Art pop-up. They were an experiment with watercolored comics.

If you’ve been following me on social media you might have seen some of them. Here they are in full:

berlin daily comic berlin daily comic berlin daily comic berlin daily comic berlin daily comic berlin daily comic berlin daily comic berlin daily comic

on tools

  • Pentel watercolors in a DIY travel palette
  • Pentel Aquash water brushes
  • Copic Multiliners
  • Kunst & Papier Projektskizzenbuch A5 sized sketchbook (from Berlin).

on colors

As the days went on, I got a bit better at reusing colors from frame to frame. It’s a little hard because my frames are disjointed, sometimes they feature completely unrelated events.

my strategy now is to pick things that have the same colors ahead of time and paint them all at the same time. for example, paint all the yellows first, then blues. This helps me see the balance of colors from panel to panel as I go along.

on discipline

Today marks 75 days of daily drawing 1. It started as an exercise to get back into drawing, something I used to love doing. ‘One thing’ can just mean a single line. It can be anything, as long as I put pencil to paper.

To be fair, I didn’t draw all of the Berlin comics on the day itself. I missed day 4 and 9 due to exhaustion but made up for them the day after. There was a day when all I drew was two rectangles. I was disappointed with myself but maybe I don’t have to be on point all the time.

on imperfections

Sometimes the comic doesn’t come out as well as I could have liked (see day 8) but I decided that an imperfect comic is better than no comic. Seeing artists like Amber Cragg 2 being okay with posting honest and imperfect work has made me realize that it’s okay to not present perfect work all the time.

on being honest

I usually try to keep my comics on the positive side of things, so it was hard to draw about the not so good days (see day 3). At the same time, it isn’t fair to paint a portrait of pure positivity when that’s not how life goes. Here’s my new rule of thumb:

Any experience that shaped how my day went has to go into the comic, regardless of how good or bad it is.

Nobody else is going to know the difference, but sometimes it takes courage to be honest to yourself.


  1. started on September 26, 2017 

  2. h/t Katherine Ye for introducing Amber Cragg to me