So it seems fitting that today is Bundt Cake Day as, personally, it’s the perfect day to celebrate with cake. I’ve just hit a major milestone here on Doodlewash. Since I started last year, I’ve been painting, sketching, and blogging stories for 500 consecutive days! I didn’t really set out to do this, even considered taking breaks along the way, but then changed my mind. But, my doodlewashing addiction kept pulling me back in. And I really couldn’t have done it without all of you out there, showing up to comment, like and generally acknowledge my work as I’ve gone along. The community of artists we’ve created together is my favorite part, and continues to inspire me to keep right on painting each and every day. I thought a good way to observe this day might be to share with you some of the things I’ve learned along the way for anyone else who wants to form a daily painting habit. So I’ve shared what I’ve learned in the rest of this post.

How To Form A Daily Painting Habit

Find A Little Time Each Day – I set aside an hour a day for my painting, and when I’m super lucky, another 15-20 minutes to write a blog post. Most of the time, however, it all has to be done in just one little hour. But, even if you only have 30 minutes a day, set it aside and make something! The point is finding a little time that you can regularly commit to painting.

Protect Your Painting Time – This one is toughest. I am fierce about having my time to paint and will turn down social plans in order to make sure it happens. For example, I paint after work each day, so I strictly turn down happy hour requests and convert these to lunches instead. Painting actually is my “happy hour” so that time is precious and I protect it!

Choose A Format That Works For You – Since I’m a hobbyist and only have a little hour each day to paint and write a blog post, I usually stay inside my sketchbook. And my sketchbook is rather small. So, this allows me to make something new each and every day. If you have an urge to paint really large, just be sure you also have the urge to work on the same painting for many days in a row. I don’t have the attention span, so I keep things super small and quick! If you’re like me, then this trick works really well!

Share What You Make – Whether it’s a blog or a social media feed, sharing what you make helps create an audience with which to share your work. This helped me to establish a sort of accountability for my painting and made me post more. I chose to post every little thing I made, good and bad, but posting anything as often as you feel comfortable makes a big difference. Art loves an audience and when you find them, it makes your painting habit more meaningful.

Make “DO” Your Only Goal – I’ve always had the same motto at Doodlewash from the beginning – DO! That’s really it. Don’t worry about the outcome or demand certain results from yourself. Just keep on doing it and improvements will come over time automatically. Your personal style will eventually reveal itself. I’m actually not sure that I’ve found mine yet. It just takes time. There will be some days that feel like you’re moving backward. Ignore them. Just DO more!

Quickly writing all of this now, it seems rather simple and not particularly earth-shattering or potentially even useful. But these are the main reasons why I’ve been able to create a lasting daily painting habit. And the best part is that it brings me so much joy! Since I actually created more than one painting in my enthusiasm at the start of this journey, I’ve made well over 500 paintings so far. Sure, there’s that awkward tree that started this whole thing as well as many little hits and misses along the way. Yet, each of these paintings is a step in my journey and so they’re equally special to me. Little lovely steps that have created a lifelong passion for painting. And that’s definitely cause for celebration!

Join us for the November Doodlewash Adventure: A Celebration Of Food,
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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle:  Perylene Maroon, Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Torquoise and Ultramarine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 15 - #WorldWatercolorGroup National Bundt Cake Day watercolor How to Make a Daily Painting Habit

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86 thoughts on “500 Days of Doodlewashing!

  1. 500!!!!!!!! Wowza!’ In reality it is NOT a simple thing for most people to actually carry through . . . this would be a different world if it were simple. You done did it! Kudos Charlie ‘O.

    P.S. The only thing missing from the cake are 500 candles.

  2. Congratulations, Charlie, on this milestone and on creating this great community of artists. Your tips are motivating for me and your blog posts are always full of joy and optimism — something we need more of these days!

  3. Congratulations on your achievement of 500 days! I tremendously enjoy your posts, both your paintings and your writings. Thank you for sharing it all. I’ve learned a lot from you!

  4. 500!!!! I may have missed a few. I’m going back to look again. I love them, for their color, bold lines, and simplicity. The subject matter is fun too. I’m looking forward to number 1,000 so keep doodling.

  5. 500! That’s a massive accomplishment. Congratulations! This is the first of me seeing your tree, the one that kick started it all. How apt that it’s a tree since your painting bug has taken root and you’ve spread your branches with your experience. Look how far your abilities have come in 500 paintings! You are an inspiration.

  6. Congrats on the 500 painting/blog posts! I love the casualness of this blog and the accepting way of “whatever you are creating, is enough” feeling that I get from reading your blog. Please keep going!

  7. Cheers Charlie! And Congratulations for your amazing 500!!! So beautiful, sure you deserve a celebration! 😉 <3
    Your doodlewash days have been greatly inspiring for all of us here nonetheless you created a great community of artists which I am so proud to be part of, and don't forget that this year you accomplished to get "The World Watercolor Month" up running, this year, and for many years to come! 😉 <3 keep up with the happy doodlewashes!

  8. Congratulations Charlie, that really is some achievement. I really don’t know how you do it, being someone who also tries to beat the tiredness to do some drawing each day after the office. And you take the time to answer many of the comments. I raise my hat to you and hope that your stamina sustains you for at least another 500. They’re a wonderful start to my day!

  9. Gongratulations Charlie and all the Artist who are joining here.
    I have enjoined to watch your Doodlewashes and your stories plus the comments and shall continue this in the future if I can make the time.
    Wish you a happy celebration today!💕

  10. What an amazing milestone, Charlie. Shows off your work ethic as well as your talent. I’ve been following you for several months and always look forward to seeing your daily posts. Though I love your art, (and am so impressed by your steady improvement) what impresses me even more are the thoughtful posts that accompany each Doodlewash. It’s been a pleasure not only to see a bit of your world, but also to follow Jessica Seacrest’s reviews and all the guest artists who have been featured on your site.

    Here’s to the next 500! May your paint be worthy of the next part of your journey.

  11. Congrates Charlie, I admire your tenacity and do think you have your style. Have you a photo reference for each painting ? I know sometimes you have the real thing in front of you, but when you have not, do you paint with your imagination or with a picture? I wish you many more “painting a day” and thank you to share them and for the clear advices you give in your post.

    1. Thanks so much, Laurence! 😃💕 So happy you found your way here and enjoy my little posts! I often use a photo reference, as much of this subject matter for prompts isn’t readily available. I use copyright-free images from searches and sites like Pixabay as well as some of my own reference photos.

  12. Congratulations, Charlie! It’s not that simple at all, and all the little accomplishments on the way are great encouragements. Bravo for all your good work, and thank you for your enthusiasm and your generosity.

  13. Congratulations Charlie – amazing achievement but moreso than the 500 consecutive days (impressive enough!), but for discovering and fueling your passion for painting. Thanks too for being such an inspiration to those of us who follow in your wake!

  14. Congratulations on 500 posts, Charlie!

    “Doing” and then “reflecting” are so important to me, also. When I finish a piece, I always display it (leave it on my desk or some other place where I will see it throughout the day), and I critique myself and find mistakes and make mental notes of possible improvements. Helps me grow.

    Thanks again for having included me as a guest Doodlewasher.

    Love your posts.


  15. I protect my “happy” hour and also turn down social invitations. At first I felt silly about this. But along the way I’ve learned that my daily dose of art is most important to my delicate balance!!

  16. Hi Charlie

    You’ve completed 500 paintings.

    You’ve touched hundreds of thousands with your art and that, my friend, is the most important aspect of your work.

    Thank you for your commitment to lead and inspire through this site.

  17. A naughtier cake you will not find! Marvellous. And well done on 500 – that’s an amazing achievement! Just look at what that ‘awkward’ little tree grew into, and the ever-growing forest that has sprung up around it. Look at what you have done!!! Long may the Doodlewash Express chug on.

      1. Didn’t you land yourself in it well and truly by doodlewashing a windmill! 😉

        Ha ha ha, and all the others – dik diks, the legendary Cliche Day (!!), and Rex!!! Such love for Doodlewash Rex. I’ve no doubt there’ll be lots more fun throughout the next five hundred editions! Here’s to ’em! <3

  18. Aah, congratulations! I am so glad that Doodlewash is here and thriving with so many awesome people. And these tips are great for the daily painting time! Here’s to the next 500 days! Long live DO-ing and DO-odlewash. 🙂

  19. Wow! Congratulations! I can’t imagine how excited you must feel! I’m working on my 1st monthly challenge- on day 16 and can’t believe I’m doing it- and all because of YOU!!! Thank you!
    Shine on Charlie O’Shields- shine on!!!!!!

  20. Wow! Congrats to you! That is an amazing feat. I love all your doodle washes. I look forward to seeing a new one everyday. I am so glad I found your blog. Thank you for bringing a little bit of art into my life each day.

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