Today’s prompt of “bones” was another one that seemed naturally beautiful and wonderful in theory, but rather difficult to decide what to sketch for it. Bare bones, though perfectly natural, can be rather macabre in a painting, so I added a bit more orange to brighten things up a bit. Adding to this, I had the least amount of time yet today to make a post, and so you have some random bones I found, sketched furiously fast in nearly a single contour line drawing and then lots of splashing around of four colors. Yet, I did manage to fill the page once more, so that’s definitely something. As I continue to experiment, this doodlewash was sort of freeing in that I literally just attacked the page and didn’t hold up until my time ran out, much like the subject matter. On the other hand, I do find bones rather fascinating as they represent the foundation of so many living creatures. They’re the building blocks that make us who we are, and hold that something together. But yeah, when laid bare like this, they’re also the signal of things to come. Best not to dwell on that bit too much though.

I initially considered sketching a dinosaur skeleton, but given my time constraints, opted out. But seeing a giant T-Rex reassembled at a natural history museum has always thrilled me. It’s incredible to think that something so gigantic once roamed this planet we call home. It’s equally comforting to think that birds are the only living dinosaurs we need to worry about these days and that they’ve shrunk to a less terrifying size. That said, when served a chicken for dinner, I truly prefer it to be decoupled from its carcass first. I’ve never much enjoyed the idea of eating meat directly off the bone, which is probably why, as an adult, most of my meals are largely vegetarian. But looking at bones, sans meat, is a rather interesting lesson in life. Though solid and strong, there’s a certain fragility to them that makes it incredible that we’re able to exist at all. So, I don’t know if I’ve done them justice in this blazingly fast rendition, but I do have an admiration for everything they represent.

I’m enjoying the freedom of these recent paintings. I’ve no idea whatsoever what I’m doing and approaching each one with no plan at all. Grab for an idea, and then jump in and see what happens next. Just a bunch of shapes and things in front of me that I attempt to put down on paper. In the middle of making these recent doodlewashes, I’ve gotten sort of lost in a good way. Each one is wonderfully random and not at all what I anticipated when I started. After to spending a year and half studiously sketching daily, I hope that I’ve laid some sort of foundation. Something I can use to help me jump forward and attempt things I haven’t tried before. Each scratch of the fountain pen and each flick of the brush takes me to something new. Though it’s been rather daunting, I just take a deep breath and remember it’s all just a little joyful exercise. All I have to do is have fun in the process, and always focus on getting a good start for each sketch by simply laying down the bones.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Indian Yellow, Red Orange, Perylene Maroon, and Phthalocyanine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink and second pen with sepia ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 7 - Animal Bones on Red Orange Dirt
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!

32 replies on “Laying Down The Bones

  1. Wonderful colors! I like to draw from bones but haven’t done it for a while. When I spot skulls or bones around here, I grab them! to some people it might be odd but they are great for drawing or just because. I am mostly vegetarian as well. I used to call myself one but since I do eat fish now and then, that disqualifies me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a wonderful, non-macabre take on “bones,” Charlie! Although I hope that someday when you have more time you will still tackle a T-Rex, this beautiful little painting really does capture the freedom and joy you describe in your post. Also, it looks like it’s smiling just a little bit! I hope my skull also looks like it’s smiling when I’m done with it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Made me think of Camille Saint-Saens’ Danse Macabre – all those bones having a wonderful time at the party since no one has to worry about how they’ll feel the next morning. I know you get it because look at the grin on this character.

    Again, your writing is as entertaining and thought provoking as your art – two creative ends on the edges of a brilliant mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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