A Big Gorilla

Gorilla Doodlewash by Charlie O'Shields


By popular vote we have something big and well… more than kind of hairy in this doodlewash of a gorilla. I have no idea why a gorilla came to mind, but that’s what happens when you’ve eaten too much Christmas candy and can’t really think of what to paint. I think this notion was born out of a brief conversation with Philippe about me trying portraiture and me suggesting maybe a gorilla would be close enough for practice.

I remembered seeing a National Geographic article that said these guys are more related to people than we think (we share more of our DNA with chimpanzees). If I recall, the best part of the article was the subhead which read, “Surprising differences include gene that aids knuckle walking.” As if this were the first time any of us would realize that humans, unlike gorillas, don’t walk on their knuckles.

When I was a kid, the Ape House at the zoo was my favorite. I was too young to worry about whether animals should or should not be caged for our viewing pleasure. I just thought it was super cool to see them. The best part of the visit was getting a little wax toy of an ape at the end. These toys were hot to the touch at first and smelled like some chemical that would likely shorten your lifespan, but they were super cool! Except the giraffe, whose neck would usually break before you made it back to the car.

The gorillas always seemed like they were staring into your soul with their deep set eyes. I used to wonder what they were thinking about. If they found us as intriguing as we did them or if they were simply bored. I bet they were just wondering why the view never changed. Each day they were met with these strange looking apes who were practically bald and couldn’t even walk on their knuckles properly.

Now that Christmas is complete, I’m probably in the same reflective mood as this gorilla. It’s always a bit sad the day after my favorite day of the year. But it will be nice to have a little break this week to play games and doodlewash. And since the lights and tree will not be going away anytime soon if I can help it, they’ll still be a touch of Christmas lingering in the air all week!

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Nancy 7 years ago

    Great ape!! Seriously, he is wonderful. The eyes especially. You really should try some portraits.

    • Author

      Thank you, Nancy!! 💕😃 Glad you liked him. I don’t know why, but animal eyes are much easier for me than human ones. 😊😊

  2. Sharon Mann 7 years ago

    What a sweet fellow, I do think portraits are in your future Charlie! Go for it!!

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks Sharon! 💕😃 I think I’ll try more animal portraits first and slowly work my way to human. Lol… I just enjoy painting animals more! 😊

  3. Marcus 7 years ago

    Uncle Peter!

  4. This is beautiful and I don’t think there’s any subject you couldn’t conquer if you set your mind to it. You did a great job with P! You can totally do it, Charlie! 💜💛💜🎨👍👏🎄🎁😉

    • Author

      Thanks Laura!! ❤️💜😃I’ll get there..I just enjoy animals more. I love the hard lines in a gorilla face, so maybe I’ll need to start with humans that look more like apes first! Lol

  5. memadtwo 7 years ago

    Very poignant. I agree with Sharon. If you can do this wonderful face, humans will be easy! (K)

  6. Jill Kuhn 7 years ago

    WOWZA Charlie!!! This is AMAZING! I really like how you painted the depth in the gorilla’s eyes. Such emotion! 😊 And I agree with the others, I think you can paint anything. After all, you are AMAZING Charlie! ❤️🎨😍🌟

    • Author

      Awww…you’re too sweet, Jill!! ❤️😃I’m actually blushing now. Thanks for the sweet encouragement!! The eyes are my favorite thing to doodlewash! 😊🎁

  7. kirkistan 7 years ago

    Terrific eyes. Really good. I’ve always been struck by the intelligence behind gorilla eyes.

    • Author

      Thanks, Kirk! I know, right?! I’m pretty sure they know and think more than the rest of us. 😉

      • kirkistan 7 years ago

        Funny how the eyes say so much.

        • Author

          They do don’t they? And always try to make them so they do when I doodlewash. I always start painting eyes because if I mess them up I’ll just start over and try again.

  8. Kari 7 years ago

    Love the gorilla! I remember drawing a gorilla holding a poster for my daughter when she was in the 5th grade doing a report about Diane Fossey. I think these creatures are remarkable too.

    • Author

      Awww thanks Kari!! ❤️😃So glad you like him!! He was super fun to doodlewash! And wow! That your drawing sound so cool! You’re like the coolest mom!! Hehe 👍🏻😉😃

  9. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Soulful eyes and a wonderful portrait… Beautifully done. Thank you for sharing.

  10. waynejacques 7 years ago

    Fantastic painting Charlie, you nailed him.

  11. Jodi 7 years ago

    Talk about eyes staring into your soul!!! I feel this ape is alive through those eyes! I am running out of flattery for your amazingness Charlie O so forgive me if I repeat daily how talented you are. Charlie – I think there is a Doodlewash book to be published in your future. You art speaks for itself and can stand alone but when your dialogue is added it really all comes to life. What a gift you give us every day. Now. When are you coming to Mars ? We must celebrate! 🎉😊

    • Author

      Uhm…feel free to repeat all that daily!! Lol My head will grow large and I’ll likely become intolerable, but MORE importantly, it makes me smile and encourages me to do more!! Hehe Thank you so much Jodi!! ❤️❤️❤️😃 And I know!! Would love to visit your in Mars!! (Oh…autocorrect just tried to say “on Mars” …oh well…wherever! Would love to meet one day!!😃😃)

  12. ArtsyDot 7 years ago

    Very pensive indeed. “I bet they were just wondering why the view never changed” ah ah ah…yes 🙂

  13. Teri C 7 years ago

    Whoa, I thought you posted a pix of a gorilla! Awesome job!

  14. Jacob 7 years ago

    That’s such a beautiful take of the gorilla, Charlie – you can see such thought and intelligence in their eyes. Reminds me of Koko – I think that was her name? – the gorilla who learnt sign language and adopted all the kittens. Awesome creatures they are!

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob!! I remember that gorilla … And awwww a gorilla with kittens would be a cool image. But super hard to doodlewash I’d think. Hehe… Perhaps just one kitten though. I’ve never been into cats, but think animals babies are cute!

      • Jacob 7 years ago

        Yes! You need to doodlewash a kitten!!! 😀

        • Author

          Hehe… I’ll add it to the growing list of things I still need to doodlewash. I should probably stick with one subject matter all month so I actually get good at one thing, but I’m too easily distracted. 😊hehe

  15. Cathe 7 years ago

    I don’t know how I missed your gorilla but I love him! Awesome doodlewash!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Cathe! 💕😃 It’s been so busy for everyone these past few days, I almost thought about taking a break. But I can’t stop doodlewashing. 😊hehe

  16. debiriley 7 years ago

    hi Charlie, you conveyed such exquisite expression in the gorilla’s eyes! Beautifully done! 🙂 cheers, Debi

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