Gorilla Doodlewash by Charlie O'Shields


By popular vote we have something big and well… more than kind of hairy in this doodlewash of a gorilla. I have no idea why a gorilla came to mind, but that’s what happens when you’ve eaten too much Christmas candy and can’t really think of what to paint. I think this notion was born out of a brief conversation with Philippe about me trying portraiture and me suggesting maybe a gorilla would be close enough for practice.

I remembered seeing a National Geographic article that said these guys are more related to people than we think (we share more of our DNA with chimpanzees). If I recall, the best part of the article was the subhead which read, “Surprising differences include gene that aids knuckle walking.” As if this were the first time any of us would realize that humans, unlike gorillas, don’t walk on their knuckles.

When I was a kid, the Ape House at the zoo was my favorite. I was too young to worry about whether animals should or should not be caged for our viewing pleasure. I just thought it was super cool to see them. The best part of the visit was getting a little wax toy of an ape at the end. These toys were hot to the touch at first and smelled like some chemical that would likely shorten your lifespan, but they were super cool! Except the giraffe, whose neck would usually break before you made it back to the car.

The gorillas always seemed like they were staring into your soul with their deep set eyes. I used to wonder what they were thinking about. If they found us as intriguing as we did them or if they were simply bored. I bet they were just wondering why the view never changed. Each day they were met with these strange looking apes who were practically bald and couldn’t even walk on their knuckles properly.

Now that Christmas is complete, I’m probably in the same reflective mood as this gorilla. It’s always a bit sad the day after my favorite day of the year. But it will be nice to have a little break this week to play games and doodlewash. And since the lights and tree will not be going away anytime soon if I can help it, they’ll still be a touch of Christmas lingering in the air all week!

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

40 replies on “A Big Gorilla

  1. WOWZA Charlie!!! This is AMAZING! I really like how you painted the depth in the gorilla’s eyes. Such emotion! 😊 And I agree with the others, I think you can paint anything. After all, you are AMAZING Charlie! ❤️🎨😍🌟

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the gorilla! I remember drawing a gorilla holding a poster for my daughter when she was in the 5th grade doing a report about Diane Fossey. I think these creatures are remarkable too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Talk about eyes staring into your soul!!! I feel this ape is alive through those eyes! I am running out of flattery for your amazingness Charlie O so forgive me if I repeat daily how talented you are. Charlie – I think there is a Doodlewash book to be published in your future. You art speaks for itself and can stand alone but when your dialogue is added it really all comes to life. What a gift you give us every day. Now. When are you coming to Mars ? We must celebrate! 🎉😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uhm…feel free to repeat all that daily!! Lol My head will grow large and I’ll likely become intolerable, but MORE importantly, it makes me smile and encourages me to do more!! Hehe Thank you so much Jodi!! ❤️❤️❤️😃 And I know!! Would love to visit your in Mars!! (Oh…autocorrect just tried to say “on Mars” …oh well…wherever! Would love to meet one day!!😃😃)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s such a beautiful take of the gorilla, Charlie – you can see such thought and intelligence in their eyes. Reminds me of Koko – I think that was her name? – the gorilla who learnt sign language and adopted all the kittens. Awesome creatures they are!

    Liked by 1 person

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