I’m starting week two of World Watercolor Month today with this little doodlewash of a kingfisher.  If you’re following the daily creative prompts for the month, then you might be painting a bird as well today. Also, you might just have made a bird today if you’re one of the WordPress art community that celebrates Draw a Bird Day on the 8th of each and every month (officially on the 8th of April, but so much fun that my soul sister Laura, who has a fabulous blog at createarteveryday.com, hosts it monthly for us now!).  Birds are deceptively hard to paint, at least for me, but I keep trying each month to see if maybe I can finally get one that I rather like.

I also keep wanting to paint a bit looser and not render all the details, but I can’t seem to stop. When I look at something, I’m instantly fascinated, like a child experiencing a new toy for the first time. My eyes dart around it and begin to pick out every minute detail. This makes it extremely hard for me to abstract the painting. Once I see that detail, I simply can’t unsee it, much like walking in on your parents being intimate. I do these very fast, thinking that perhaps the speed will force some level of abstraction, but in the end, there’s always more detail than I originally wanted. This may simply end up becoming my definitive style, but I’m still determined to go looser at some point this month.

The cool part is, after just a year of painting, I’m not worried about finding my style. I just love sketching and splashing watercolor around. I’m enjoying World Watercolor Month so much as it’s fun to see the very serious painters mix with folks like me. New to this medium and still exploring what I can do with it. It’s wild when people ask my advice since I’ve only been painting a year, but then I realize I’ve been painting for 360 consecutive days. That has to make a difference right? I hope this month, more people will discover the joy and satisfaction of daily painting. My only secret to offer is that I don’t judge my work. I just post whatever happens that day and let you be the judge. Art is totally subjective, so I know that someone out there, somewhere, is bound to enjoy it! And that’s all I ever need to know.

Join us for World Watercolor Month in July! Click here to learn more! 

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Azo Orange, Viridian, Gamboge, and Neutral Tint. 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!

56 replies on “Day 8: #WorldWatercolorMonth

  1. Oh Charlie – this one is amazing! And your style is totally recognizably Charlie! Funny how others can recognize our styles before us sometimes – eh? You are so talented. Maybe you are never meant to be “loose” in your painting as you are so gifted in painting the details. I so admire what you are able to create every day. Truly – every single day – you blow me away with your amazing talent. Keep on being Charlie and inspiring us and making us laugh and think and spreading your wonderful joy! Hugs from Mars!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awww thanks so much for the wonderful words, Jodi! 😃💕 I may try some loose, but it’s never as satisfying for me. I just love exploring details!! Glad you see a style though! Lol I reply can’t! This month has been sooo cool, but I never anticipated so many people. Hehe…lots to keep up with!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You did a wonderful job with this bird….sometimes I am amazed thinking that you are relatively new to watercolor….what? you paint like you have been painting for a while. I am not being nice, I am honest! by the way, Laura has corralled me to try painting a bird! I adore birds, they are my favorite things out there besides the river and trees…of course when you have trees, you have birds. I have never ever painted one. I have drawn them now and then but never painted them. So we’ll see!

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  3. AWESOME Kingfisher, Charlie! I too would like to paint looser but I have a hard time leaving it alone. It is fun to try different painting styles. I like your current style with all the details. I also like how you add shading to your work. Well Done!! :-)))

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  4. Great bird Charlie. Details and all.
    I like your remark about someone, somewhere, liking whatever you do. I once worked for a woman who would never reject any designs: “There’s a customer somewhere for everything.” I do believe she (and you) are right! (K)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s much less wiggle room in the working world these days…it changed completely when computers arrived. Too easy to compile actual statistics now, I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I like your detailed style but if you want to try looser then have a go at doing a whole painting with only a single, large round brush. My loosest paintings are when I’m too lazy to go find all my brushes😉

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  6. Love your kingfisher, Charlie! It´s great! And I love all the detail in your pictures, I always think: Wow, I couldn´t do that! I´m simply not patient enough. I think to have this patience and accuracy is a gift. And not being loose your style is absolutely unique. I can always directly tell if it´s your´s or a guest doodlewash. 😊
    I forgot Draw-A-Bird-Day – so it´s gonna be a belated bird today for me. 😉 Have a wonderful weekend!!! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t realise you’ve been painting for only a year, Charlie (I think you have mentioned it before but for some reason it didn’t register with me!) so that’s given me a boost no end! I like your detailed work, and you most definitely have your own style, which is good. And you’ve done a splendid kingfisher!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You do have a style and your kingfisher is wonderful, Charlie. Painting every day, drawing every day, we should all have a daily creative habit, because we need it in the crazy environment we live in. We have to recycle this stuff into beauty and you do it every day right here. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A very charming and sweet kingfisher! I sometimes see these out on the Broads – what a sight they are.

    I love your eye for detail! But that’s probably no surprise as I: a) tell you as much every day, and b) tend to be in the same position. Maybe it’s just the way we roll! I built that fearsome wheel in the hope of time limits ‘abstracting’ my work; the only ones with any interesting departures were the really nasty ones, seconds or just a few minutes. There wasn’t time for much detail! Maybe that’s an idea if you want to really force it this month – nick the wheel and go for a spin?😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jacob! Yeah…details are where I find joy I think. I did some loose really abstract last night and just felt both lost and then got bored. 😊hehe…it’s entirely possible it’s just not for me, and I’m cool with that, but I’m going to keep trying anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I often feel that way when trying looser drawings. Seeing the results, my Graphics teacher at college basically told me never to draw again if I wanted to pass.

        You go for it though! (waves banner, foam hand)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful bird🙂. I love the way you imply the feathers with your ink and paint strokes and the way you vary the tones and add little highlights here and there to make him look 3-dimensional. I finally painted my first watercolour birds! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

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