And now for something completely different, as I never usually attempt to draw the human figure, but in the spirit of experimentation here’s at least part of one now. I can assure you this is not a self portrait of any kind as I don’t actually play ping pong. Okay, yeah, I also don’t have abs like these, as who would want to do sit-ups when they could be painting. For this one, I choose 3 somewhat primary colors: Ultramarine Blue, Gamboge, and Pyrrol Red. Also, I just made a quick contour sketch in pencil and went directly to watercolor without using my trusty Lamy pen first. Looking at it now, I miss the pen as with a few extra lines, I could have made him look like a Ken doll.

I’ve always wished I could look like this and have a body one might actually use the word “physique” to describe. Though I’m trim, months of yoga failed to reveal those elusive abs so I just gave up. I figured if I actually did have them they were buried too deep to be bothered, so I should just leave well enough alone. And unless you’re blessed with a particular genetic makeup, which I’m not, keeping them requires way too much work. I also have a hobby I love and don’t have time for another one, so I’ll just stick to painting, walking and eating right…mostly. Wine is staying on the menu, of course, though this will shock exactly no one who knows me.

At the end of the day, I guess we just have to be happy with who we are naturally. Our quirks and flaws make us so much more interesting. And when it comes to painting, while experimenting is fun, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a particular process. I’m a sketcher who paints, and so I’ll be returning to my much loved ink. It’s not about sticking with what you know, it’s about honoring what you love most. Play, have fun, paint half-naked ping pong players even though you really wanted to paint a toucan. One thing is certain, you’ll always learn a lot in the experience.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Ultramarine Blue, Gamboge, and Pyrrol Red 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!

50 replies on “Day 16: #WorldWatercolorMonth

  1. Oh how this resonates–in MANY ways. Well done Sir Charles. BTW, you have nothing to worry about, you are a beautiful man. Abs are fleeting…sky blue eyes are forever. Oh, and just WHO was your model??? hee hee.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. hahaha…oops!~ Sorry, I was having a quiet giggle at what I thought I saw (no, not tellin’). I’m glad you had a go, Charlie…it’s quite good, despite no pen marks. Love the shorts!
    ps: Just sitting and meditating-type yoga won’t do anything for your abs…😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No you can’t! It would never enter your head, believe me, and No it’s not rude! Just my quirky sense of humour at play here…hehehe!! I’d not bother with the Bikram Yoga, try Hatha, gentler and more effective, in my experience.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You and your lovely desserts…er…paintings..*blush…lol. Seriously, love that you are stepping out into different territory and with a flourish. Beautiful painting, the shadows and dimensions of muscles are excellent, not even missing the usual ink as the your color layering express it all so well. You have a wonderful talent, there is no subject beyond your reach.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a great post Charlie. Good for you for painting abs guy. You know he had to give up all the wine and carbs for those abs. I think he’s just showing off, seriously. You have the best gift of all, super creative talent and the best sense of humor. Keep creating your magic dear friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I continue to enjoy your work. Growing up my Mom had a few watercolors around the house that she had painted. Your work brings me back to that moment of awe when I first saw the paintings. Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LOL, Charlie, I never really thought of it that way. I’m pretty much a sketcher who paints too. Although I absolutely love painting and I yearned to do it for years, I now find that the drawing part is so much part of the process that I’m unhappy putting my pencil down to just paint first. I’ve been told that starting with pen first is more freeing or just going in with paint is even better but I LOVE MY PENCIL. Not because it’s a crutch but because I LOVE MY PENCIL. The beauty of lead makes me happy so I join you in being a sketcher who paints. Or, how about just we’re multi media artists, sounds so exotic and multidisciplinary!! lol. Have a great day Charlie and don’t put down your pen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer! 😃💕That’s an excellent way to describe it! Yeah… if you like the tool you use to make art, you should stick with it. When other people talk about what you “should” do they are just referring to what they prefer. Doesn’t make a golden rule. We should just make art in the way that inspires us most!


  7. Oh yeah Charlie the dude has great physique! lol I loved you post and descriptions did bring a great smile for me, you are too much fun! Btw your watercolor is great, I love the colors you attempted the figure greatly! Like you I miss my pen when I paint without outlines as pure watercolors but sometimes is nice to work differently! Wish you a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ooh la la! What a pleasant surprise this is😉 This turned out great! I’m sure this actually is you, and that’s why you’ve gone for figure and conveniently avoided the face…

    I have intermittent desires to build a body like this, but then I realise the amount of effort involved and it quickly puts the whim to bed. Your doodlewash muscles are just as impressive, if not a whole lot more so!❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jacob! 😃Haha… yeah… let’s go with your theory! It is me! I like that! But sadly… it’s not me and even the photo reference lacked a head so we may never know who it was. Suffice to say it’s someone with time to only work on looking like that and no time to paint pictures or build amusement parks. So… not much to envy in the end. 😉


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