1,500 Days Of Sketching Stuff

Sketcbooks Stack Sunflower Butterfly Illustration

Our prompt of “Sun” today happened on a rather fun personal milestone for me. Today marks 1,500 consecutive days of sketching stuff! This isn’t a milestone I set out to achieve. It actually just sort of happened easily enough due to my daily sketching habit, but it’s a rather large round number so I figured it was worthy of celebration! A huge hug and thanks to all of you who’ve enjoyed my sketches and thanks so much for your comments. They really help keep me motivated to know that there are folks out there who still enjoy my daily doodles and stories after all of this time. As for a prompt of sun, I decided to sketch some of my sketchbooks sitting in a sunny spot with a sunflower and butterfly on one open page for a bit of a sketch within a sketch today. I’ve actually filled around 25 various sketchbooks by this point, but a tower that tall wouldn’t fit easily onto one page. Sitting on the top of this stack is a little red sketchbook I bought while visiting family in Paris, so it was fun to flip through it again and relive some of my moments there. As you know, I don’t often sketch exactly what’s in front of me, but what I’m thinking about in the moment. Sort of a mental urban sketch, if you will, less of a documentary and more of a personal commentary. If nothing else, I hope I’ve inspired many of you to join me in making regular sketches, and illustrated how fun and easy it can be to DO, every single day! 

I’ve mentioned before that my very first doodlewash was of a tree and that I was so excited by what I’d done, I signed my name to it and started this blog the next day. I actually haven’t signed my name like that since, so I thought today was the perfect occasion to do so again. I still remember the excitement I felt when I very first tried painting with watercolor. It was so much fun! I then tried urban sketching briefly, but wanted to write about things that I couldn’t illustrate in person. And though I still adore watercolor, what I love most is simply sketching stuff. Starting with my podcast last year, Sketching Stuff has become my personal brand for how I approach art and life. I love drawing most of all, and I love to color my drawings with watercolor more than any other medium. But, I don’t make traditional paintings, and though sketchbooks are typically seen as something used for practice, they’re what I also love to use most. Since I’m an illustrator, I simply need a clean scan of whatever I made and the original then stays safely inside a book. I’ve never worried over the lightfastness of a pigment because in my case, it really doesn’t matter. And it’s so freeing to color with any “crayon” you like!

Some day, I hope to make full illustrated scenes on large pieces of proper paper, and those illustrations will accompany a little story I’ve also yet to write and end up in a picture book of some kind. Not one just for kids, of course, but for people of all ages. A good story doesn’t have an age limit. And I’m still just that little kid hoping to make my mark in this world. Quite literally, as it turns out. Anyone can make a little something each and every day, and unlike me, one doesn’t have to necessarily post every little thing created. It’s not only possible, it’s easy. Like, insanely easy to do. And the more you do it, the easier it gets. Not just for me, as I possess no particular superpowers, though yes, I’ve always wished I did. But, it’s easy for anyone at any age and skill level to just take a moment and make something. That’s all I’ve done for these past 1,500 days, and it’s what I’ve passionately tried to get others to DO as well. Why? Because, I feel great each time I DO, no matter the outcome! My life is now rich with fellow artists, wonder, possibility, art, and stories. I honestly can’t think of a better way to live than that. And, I’m thrilled and excited to see what the future will bring next, as I begin a new chapter in my own little story, and humbly begin my next 1,500 days of sketching stuff!

Want To Sketch Stuff With Me? Check Out My New Activity Book!

About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Sketcbooks Stack Sunflower Butterfly Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
56 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 7 days ago

    Congratulations, Charlie, what a wonderful accomplishment!!!! Thank you for posting your sketches and thoughts each day! Here’s to many, many, many more!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 It’s a crazy big milestone! hehe… but happened totally accidentally as I’m well and truly hooked on sketching stuff each day! 😉

  2. Prior... 7 days ago

    Four plus years – congrats!
    And love the signature and all of your work and blog
    Cheers

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 So thrilled you enjoyed my stuff! It’s been an amazing journey!

      • Prior... 6 days ago

        You are so talented with art and writing (and seem like a very genuine and nice dude)

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 5 days ago

          Thanks so much! Yeah, I’m the real and genuine sort of guy! 😉 I still blog like it’s 2009!

          • Prior... 4 days ago

            hahah – hard to believe 2009 was ten years ago – whew –
            and I am still “So 2000 and late” (I mean stuck in 2008 – kidding)

          • Author
            Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

            hehe… yeah… ages ago now, but it was a fun time back then to be sure! 😉

  3. Jacob 7 days ago

    “Look what you’ve done” is becoming a bit of a catchphrase for me at the moment, but it needs saying even for the umpteenth time this week. It’s crazy how much this place has blown up, but hardly a surprise – 1,500 days (and counting!) of joy forever wrapped up in those sketchbooks! And I think you should bring back the signature – be all retro and stuff, and it looks great!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      hehe… thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s been a crazy journey indeed! But, thrilled to see your face appear here… you’ve been such a fabulous part of the journey. I mean… you gave me a Zonkey for my birthday… enough said. 😉

  4. Linda M. Gigliotti 7 days ago

    Congratulations SuperSketcher!!!! Right on!

  5. Susan 7 days ago

    Yes Charlie, Congratulations🎉 You and your 1500 doodle-washes have created a fantastic world of creativity and enthusiasm for soooooo many people. Thank you So very much for all the drawings and the words.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks you SO much, Susan! 😃💕 That means a lot to me! It’s been a fun journey, but the most fun is seeing what everyone else creates. It’s like endless inspiration!!

  6. Karen Fortier 7 days ago

    Congratulations Charlie! 1,500 days in a row is very impressive! It is fun to look back into completed sketchbooks and recall memories. My stack is smaller than yours but my husband thinks I am going to bury us in sketchbooks. 😂 I’m afraid I have a few in process for various purposes. I do try to finish each one. My Doodlewash ones always get finished. Again, congratulations Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕hehe… yeah, you can go ahead and warn your husband he’s about to be well and truly buried in sketchbooks! lol 😉 Philippe just makes casual comments like… “how many of those do you HAVE now?”

  7. Ellen 7 days ago

    Congratulations! I believe that these words by Vincent van Gogh are fitting to this momentous occasion : “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” 1500 single days that each contain one small Doodlewash have become a great thing indeed. Now onto #1501! Thank-you for sharing your talent and wit.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Aww.. thanks, Ellen! 😃💕 And what a fabulous quote from Van Gogh! I couldn’t agree more!

  8. Robert J. Coleman 7 days ago

    Wow, 1500 sketches and counting! There’s truth in the old saying: time flies when you’re having fun! And four years, that’s a lot of fun! The link to your first sketch shows how much you have developed your own unique style. Writing and illustrating your book can be done a little at a time too, inspired by the inner child you have nourished for years. And keeping that little Charlie busy will power the book to completion!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks, Bob! 😃💕 It’s been such a fun journey… wait… it IS such a fun journey! I’m not stopping now! But yeah, so much I want to do and it’s tough to sneak in time to make it all happen. But… step by step… I’ll figure out a way!

  9. Sandra Strait 7 days ago

    Congratulations! What a marvelous milestone! I wish I’d been here from the beginning just so I’d have a milestone like that as well. I have many unfinished journals, especially since I’ve been doing the daily postcards for my hubby, but I imagine they’ll all get filled eventually!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 I feel like you were there from the beginning! It’s still been over 2 years, so that’s rather amazing! Thank you SO much for your support… it really means the world to me!

  10. Lisa 7 days ago

    Color me impressed! That’s a big number. I painted black-eyed-Susans and Queen Anne’s Lace today. From memory because it is kind of a cruddy day out. It feels as if fall is coming. Not cold, but gray and damp. We got over 3 inches of rain last night. We needed it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s a crazy big number, but just a side effect of being addicted to sketching. And wow that’s a lot of rain!

  11. louiseaprimeau 7 days ago

    As I recall, you and I started blogging at about the same time. I was so excited when you asked me to be a guest on your blog! It was validation for the work that I was doing at the time, and I thank you for that vote of confidence. Since then, I am still amazed at all the ideas you have for sketching and then writing the accompanying text. It is certainly something to be proud of! I congratulate you for all the wonderful posts and sketches as well as all the encouragement you give to all of us to create on a regular basis.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Aww thanks so much, Louise! 😃💕And that was over 3 years ago!! So I’m honored and thrilled that you’re still seeing and enjoying my posts. Thank you so much my friend!

  12. memadtwo 7 days ago

    A wonderful milestone! Thanks for all the smiles, Charlie. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 And right back at you my friend! You’ve been there from the beginning… in my second month I remember saying thanks, Kerfe and/or Nina! And I was so encouraged! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

  13. Linda Murray 7 days ago

    Nothing left to say, Charlie, except “thank you!” You’ve come a long way, baby! 🤣

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Aww thanks, Linda! 😃💕I truly appreciate the encouragement! It’s nice to know that my daily offerings are enjoyed!

  14. Sharon Nolfi 7 days ago

    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing it all with us. Lovely painting of a painting, too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕We’ve been connected for almost 4 years now…. that’s a fabulous thing indeed!

  15. Moony 7 days ago

    Congratulations! I wish you afun and motivation for the next 1500 sketches.

  16. M. L. Kappa 7 days ago

    Congrats, Charlie! The biggest achievement, though, is the number of people you’ve inspired to join in! Me included. Big hug! 🍾🎉💕😘

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Aww thanks so much, Marina! 😃💕 And a huge hug to you my friend! It’s been over 3 years ago that you first showed up to make me smile. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! ❤️

  17. Tilly Collins 6 days ago

    Wow, 1,500 days of sketching, that’s incredible. Congrats. ^^ Your work is very inspiring.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Tilly! 😃💕 So happy to know you’re inspired! Hope you join me each day!

  18. Everett Cossaboon 6 days ago

    That’s great. I am working on my list too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Everett! 😃💕 And hope you’ll create everything you set out to create!

  19. Laura Hale 6 days ago

    Congratulations Charlie! Thank you for inviting the rest of us on this marvelous ride. Your blog has been instrumental in my humble watercolor journey, in addition to your world wide audience. Thank you again for all your hard work while sharing your talent and contagious joy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕Huge hugs to you my friend. You’ll never know just how much your comments mean to me. They have helped me through many a day when I wasn’t sure if people were still paying attention. hehe… that’s a true gift! Thank you! ❤️

  20. Sharon Mann 6 days ago

    You must be glowing inside, congratulations.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I honestly just realized it at the last moment… hehe… when you’re hooked on creating, you’re just hooked. But it’s cool to know I’ve done something this long. It’s a personal record for me. 😊

  21. Fatima Chamkha 6 days ago

    Great job Charlie!I like to be part of you community of painters and sketchers you such a wonderful person that i admire!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      That’s such an incredibly sweet thing to say! Thanks so much, Fatima! 😃💕 You just made my heart smile.

  22. LoriCtoo 6 days ago

    Congratulations!! That’s a great accomplishment and one I hope you continue for a long time. You are my daily inspiration!!! :p

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕Truly, I hope you know how much your comments mean to me. Even when you show up each day like this, it can feel a bit lonely at times, but you always appear and make me smile. Thank you my friend!

  23. alice 6 days ago

    1,500 days! wow! what an accomplishment! I am daily inspired by your work – even though I don’t usually comment. thank you for all your work – your love for the art shines through in all you do.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Alice! 😃💕 You’ve inspired so many people as well my friend! It’s wonderful that we can all connect in this community!

  24. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 6 days ago

    “Holy smokes Batman!!!” Congrats Charlie. Here are to 1500 more lol 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      hehe!! AND, I love Batman, so that’s the coolest comment EVER! Thank, Lisa! 😃💕 Here’s to 1,500 more!

  25. Ellie 4 days ago

    I’m a bit behind, Charlie, but congratulations!!!! What an amazing milestone, that just happened because you kept up with a fun thing every day. Such an inspiration!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      Thanks so much, Ellie! 😃💕Yep! I can barely take credit for anything amazing… I just keep doing what I love and hope others will follow along with me!

  26. jeandrawingaday 24 hours ago

    Congratulations, a huge milestone. I always seem to miss mine, they creep up and suddenly are there! I’m at 2560 today so my next is 3000 sometime in late 2020!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 19 hours ago

      Thanks so much, Jean! 😃💕And YAY!!!! That’s awesome!! Congrats to you YOU my friend!! It makes me so happy to know I’m no alone in this worthy and wonderful addiction! hehe It’s SO fun, why would we ever stop! I’ll see you at 5,000 my friend!

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