Today, I decided to doodlewash an old vintage camera because it has lots of little details and interesting perspective. I also wanted to try using only 3 colors. I love vintage cameras and my first foray into blogging years ago was as a photographer. At that time, I still hadn’t picked up a pen or a brush, and my introduction to watercolor was still years away. But, I was committed, and started my photoblog by posting a new photo each day for more than a year, hoping that through the process I would become an amazing photographer. I wanted my photos to look like the professionals I so admired. But they never did. I was kind of bummed out at the time, but looking back, I realize I simply had the wrong goal. So when I started with watercolor, I approached it with an entirely different goal: To simply have fun without ever worrying about the result.

Even after a year of painting, my goal has never changed. I don’t aspire to be a famous painter and I don’t hope for skills beyond what I naturally possess. The weird part is, unlike photography, this approach has made me a better artist. After a year of sketching and painting daily, I’ve actually gotten better and I can feel the difference when I go to sketch something. When I see something beautiful made my someone else, unlike those professional photos I used to fawn over, I no longer get impressed – I just get really inspired! It makes me want to try again the next day. And that’s all art is… that thing you tried one day. Sometimes you love your attempts and sometimes you don’t. But that’s what makes it so exciting!

I think if everything I did came out perfectly, I’d get bored and quit. That would feel like mastery, which has always felt like an end to the journey. I don’t want this journey to end, so I’m not hoping to achieve the hand of a master. I’m just happily hoping for those little surprises that come on that day when everything comes together. Sure, I’m hoping you’ll like it too when I share it with the world, but even if you didn’t it wouldn’t bother me. It would just make it more personal. That one, I would have to guess, was just for me alone. And that’s just fine. There’s always tomorrow. When, I might just make one you’ll love.

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

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Pyrrol Red. 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!

49 replies on “Day 11: #WorldWatercolorMonth

  1. Charlie! Oh, look at the lovely blacks you got with these dynamite colors! Not sure which I love best, the painting, the underlying drawing or your dynamite words here. So much fun to watch your progress, and thanks to you for encouraging the rest of us. We do appreciate you, bro! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cool! Somewhere around this house we have a camera just like that. Awesome gadget of its day. I will say thank you again for all your encouragement. Have you looked at all the artists that have joined in on Facebook? It is amazing. I can’t keep up. You should be very proud of this months accomplishments and its only the 11th. XX 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an amazing inspiration you are Charlie O – who just happened to become an AMAZING artist along the way! This one is so YOU – so uniquely YOU! Love it!!!! the details and the caricature of it – amazing!❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great job on the camera. Better to paint them than use them. Painting is such an individual thing. I really related to your guest today and realized I paint to keep my sanity in this crazy world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. agree with you…having fun doing art is what really matters.❤ there may be failed attempts and magical discoveries but in the end we ask ourselves, did we truly enjoy the journey or just aim to impress. btw, i love love seeing all the details in your doodles. they help me see things i never see before.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I totally understand why I enjoy your art and stories so much, Charlie! 😍 We both have the same goal – to have FUN! I think this is my favorite post you have written. ❤️💕🎨 Thank you! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great doodlewash – I love the idea of limiting the palette to stretch a bit out of the comfort zone. And such fantastic thoughts on just painting (or writing or doing whatever!) without expectations and judgments. Thanks, Charlie!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You live by a wonderful philosophy, Charlie. Have fun for the journey is everything and the accomplishment is an after taste.
    The camera is so much fun. I remember when taking a photograph was a major event. Nowadays, it’s just a click.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A very flash camera! Liking the colour magic, and the metals get more convincing with each visit.

    I love looking at old cameras like this, though to me ‘vintage’ harks back to them mahoosive camcorders we used to lug around in the 80s and 90s. Hilarious. I’ve often wondered if a such a model would make me a better photographer, or if it’d offer an excuse for my shocking efforts. I doubt either are true! But intriguing gadget nonetheless!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, a lucky escape! I think similar about Facebook and the many home movies we were forced to star in back then! I don’t think I shut up (or let the camera leave me) for about an hour. Who’d think that today? (angelic smile)😉

        Liked by 1 person

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