With very few options for “U” except for creatures most people have never heard of, we ended up with a unicorn. The other well-known option was urchin, as in sea urchin, but those didn’t inspire me today and end up looking like weird naughty bits in an illustration, so the unicorn was really the only place to go next. Also, these are legendary creatures that have been described since antiquity, and were once considered real. By antiquity, I mean the really old 2nd century AD kind, not the 1980’s version.

If you did happen to go to school during the 1980’s, however, you were probably surrounded by rainbow-colored unicorn school supplies in a fad started by Lisa Frank. Though, these candied cousins are not the unicorns from the early days. The original unicorns were simply white and could be lured into submission by virgins. They were ferocious and wild, but according to Leonardo da Vinci they forgot themselves when in the presence of a damsel and would go to sleep in her lap. Apparently unicorns were much smaller then, or Renaissance virgins had really big laps.

My research has been reduced to one minute as we’re going to see a show tonight and I need to head downstairs and leave shortly. And since there’s no proof of this creature’s existence, I’ll leave it to your own imagination as to what you’d like to believe about this one. It was really just a way to try doodlewashing a second horse for practice. I’m thinking of creating an ABC poster of this series once complete so I may end up making some alternate doodlewashes for a couple of these, and this could include that little urchin after all. From here on out, there’s really only “W” that offers many options, so you’ll likely be able to guess what’s ahead.

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal


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!

58 replies on “U Is For Unicorn

  1. Lisa Frank! Yikes.
    Yes, the traditional white unicorn seems the way to go. I kind of think there may still be some hanging around somewhere. Perhaps they’re waiting for Renaissance Virgins to make a comeback.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How could I have forgotton about the “UN – I – CORN!” (remember the song?!) 🙂 You made this one so refined and beautiful. JUST LOVELY!! Hey – what show are you going to see? Hope you are enjoying! Very much looking forward to Vaterver you come up with for V day! 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol…I don’t think I know that song. Or it’s escaping me now. Glad you liked my unicorn. Wasn’t sure what one should look like so I went with this. 😊 We went to see Disney’s Newsies… It was okay… nothing too thrilling and a bit boring in parts. Disney is at their best when there are animals involved! Haha


    1. Thanks so much Sharon!! I’m glad you liked this one. 💕😃Wasn’t sure if unicorn fit this series or not, but he tends to show up in ABCs a lot in the search for a recognizable U creature. Hehe And yay! One buyer! I put it together with what I have so far and it actually looks cooler than I thought. 😊hehe… As long as I don’t mess it up in the last 5 letters, that is! Lol I think I’ll need to replace grumpy cat with a more traditional kitty though.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. An utterly utmost unicorn, Charlie! 😍👍🎨 YAY! I know you will miss my comments, lol! 😜 And your alphabet animal poster sounds like a fabulous idea. I will buy one too! 😊 I vote for a vole for V. Hehe! 💕💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You won’t sneak on and comment?!! 😢 yes!! I will totally miss them!! ❤️Hehe… But just don’t stay away too long or I’ll have to stalk you which is just creepy and something I don’t want to resort to. Glad ya liked my unicorn!! Hehe… And yay that you liked my poster idea. I’m hoping to post a sample of it on leap day as a finale since this series will actually end on the 28th!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, unicorns on laps, what a sight. I did not know that. I think your poster idea is a fabulous plan, can you blog a picture of it for all of us in far far away land…..so we can live happily ever after!
    I would love to see how it looks ( I still think all those toys should be published into a little book😉)
    P.s I have no idea what the 1980 unicorns are about, I don’t think they made it to the uk- or I have forgotten?


  5. I agree with Debi, the mane flowing contrasting with the hard yet smooth lines of the face are rocking this one for me. Well done, Charlie! Love the horn too! (I endlessly drew rainbows and unicorns in middle school lol.) I agree with Vole that some others have said. And you’d make a cute walrus!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Laura!! 💕😃 This one was different for me as I didn’t really have any photos of unicorns handy! Lol Glad you liked it…and too funny that you drew unicorns! Hehe…. Those would be awesome to see!! Definitely considering a Walrus and Vole is on the V list for today, though the ugly bird could lure me in for the details! 😊hehe

      Liked by 1 person

  6. White is so difficult to render and you did such a beautiful job! I hope some day you can do the entire unicorn! My girls always liked the unicorn until they heard a story at school about a unicorn bully.. Lol. Only a few letters left!! 👍🏼😜👊🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A bit late to this – how I’ve missed the Doodlewash fix and it’s only been a single day out of the loop! Your unicorn is awesome and so majestic – I love the movement in the hair; it’s affirming its existence by galloping toward us. Not that there was ever any doubt that they are real 😉

    I’m looking forward to seeing how the poster turns out. They’d look awesome as a pack of cards, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Jacob!!😃Glad ya liked my unicorn…it was fun to make one. He may not make the cut on the poster though. I think I’m going to swap him out for an urchin after all. He’s too close on the page to the inevitable zebra that’s coming. lol A pack of cards would be so cool!! No clue how to print those though, so I’m stuck with whatever those online shops can make for me. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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