A Little Unicorn

Baby Unicorn Watercolor Illustration

For our Doodlewash prompt of “Unicorn,” paired with the Inktober prompt of “Legend,” we have this tiny little napping unicorn. Though often depicted as large horses, I love the depictions found on old tapestries where you’d often find a much smaller unicorn laying in the lap of some lucky maiden as though it were a small dog. The earliest stories of the unicorn described it as a fierce creature who would impale pretty much anything that got in its way. It was impossible to capture one alive and it had elephant feet while sporting a three foot long black horn. This one doesn’t seem quite as attractive, so I opted for a magical one with only horse parts, save the horn. Yet, unicorn horse were once said to  possess the magical ability to detect poisons and purify water. This made them all the rage for the royal types, and bad news for narwals who possessed the only thing resembling unicorn horns that anyone could successfully find. It’s actually not a horn at all, but the more prominent of only two teeth. I far prefer to think of unicorns in the tiny, friendly dog-like version. I think it would be lovely to have my own little pet unicorn. Of course, it would have to be properly trained as having a clumsy unicorn would really do a number on the family sofa.

As a kid, I was also a fan of Pegasus, the flying horse, no doubt due to my own dreams of being able to fly. A little flying horse would be lovely as a pet as well. But, this type of creature requires even more care as it carries thunderbolts around. Despite this odd habit, each step it takes on the ground causes water to burst forth, so a little Pegasus would be very helpful for lawn care during the summer months. But, since I live in the city and don’t have a lawn, a unicorn seemed like the best option.

Day 15 - Baby Unicorn Inktober 2019 IllustrationI’m having a blast this month exploring different styles. This coloring book style that I tried in yesterday’s post is quite fun to DO and it’s been a great way for me to practice composition and simplification. I tend to get a little crazy with lines while cross-hatching so this is a perfect way to exercise a bit of restraint, choosing only the necessary lines to convey the idea. I’ve always approached my sketchbook like a coloring book, so this style is extra fun! At this point, my inner child is completely in charge, so I’m just walking down that magical path to adventure and have no idea what will appear next!

Tonight, Philippe and I are watching a British show that pairs homeless dogs with potential owners. The owners-to-be go through an interview process and then are taken to meet their match. It’s terribly sweet and made us want to adopt several dozen dogs. Phineas, of course, doesn’t want a sibling, since he really doesn’t care for other dogs very much. So, that’s no likely to happen. I’m not sure if he’d take to a fantasy creature, but he’d most likely consider it a monster like the spooky owl outside that freaks him out. I rather enjoy the spooky sound effects as we head toward Halloween. This time of year takes me right back to my childhood more than ever. Autumn was my favorite time then, and is still my most favorite time of year now. All of the wonderful memories of my youth come flooding back to me and I happily embrace each one. And what I adore most is that embracing my inner child becomes easier than ever. Sure, I made not ever get a fantasy creature as a pet, but for one lovely night, I can still imagine a mythical time when I stumbled upon a little unicorn.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Cobalt Turquoise, Benzimida Orange, Opus (Vivid Pink), and Leaf Green. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Baby Unicorn Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook


Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Sweet unicorn, Charlie! Loving this style.

  2. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    I do love your fantasy style! My favorite unicorn was Lancelot, Ringling Bros living unicorn in the 1980’s. So what if he turned out to be a billy goat whose horns were manipulated shortly after birth so they would fuse into one horn. He was proof that unicorns exist! And could be that perfect little unicorn pet!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Oh wow! I remember Lancelot! He WAS a unicorn! And definitely pet-sized! hehe

  3. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    I love the fantasy world you created Charlie! I have not seen the show you mentioned which matches up homeless dogs with people. I think that is a great idea. I spent the afternoon trying to capture the beauty of Autumn in watercolor. The colors are amazing this year. It is hard to do them justice. Trying to add qouache which is helping. I’ll continue to try tomorrow. Hoping to create a series of 9″ x 12″s.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one! Sounds like you have a very productive afternoon! I was just mentioning to Philippe that we haven’t quite gotten the colors we normally get yet. Hopefully they’ll appear before all the leaves drop!

  4. Walter F Pierluissi 3 years ago

    Cute guy… It drive to my childhood….

  5. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    Cute little unicorn. They do exist. 😉 If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be any pictures of them.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Hehe… yeah, I’m thinking all of the unicorns we made are definitely proof they exist!

  6. Lisa 3 years ago

    Jumping back to last night’s comment, you said you can’t decide on a children’s book, or a book for all ages with a message. Trust this retired librarian…books with messages almost always suck. Write a good story. That’s where the magic is. If there is a message DEEPLY buried in the story, that’s fine, but if you come at this project with a message as your lead, it will turn off a lot of readers, both kids and adults.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Haha! Oh no.. I didn’t mean a preachy book, those do suck. I just meant it would appeal to adults and kids alike with a real story and not be too “young” like most picture books. 😉

  7. Gary Middleton 3 years ago

    Great picture Charlie. I like the idea of the sketchbook being a colouring book.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Yeah, it way fun to think of a sketchbook as a coloring book. No pressure… just pleasure!

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 years ago

    Aw, this little uni is adorable. Love the fun colors – my youngest granddaughter would definitely approve.

    Sorry I’ve been so absent. I’m not only not writing on my blog, I’ve hardly been able to pay attention to anyone else’s. Multiple crises with our house are taking over, and I won’t be around much in November either. But I will be back. Someone much more famous said that first, but works for me too.

    I’d love to stumble upon a mythical creature, especially one as sweet as this little napper – very tired of stumbling over all our aging house issues.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Glad you liked this little unicorn. And ugh… so sorry about the house issues… that’s never fun. WAY too much adulting to be a good thing. Hope it all gets fixed and you can come back to blogging again!

  9. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    Aweeeeeeee so beautiful!!! I see crystals too!!! ohhhhhhh!!!! They say those who have flying dreams are very creative. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Aww cool! Then I must be creative as I have those still all the time still! hehe

  10. memadtwo 3 years ago

    You definitely need to do a children’s book. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Kerfe! 😃💕 It’s definitely on my long list of things I’d love to DO!

  11. Loan Anh Pham 3 years ago

    Lovely unicorn, Charlie ❤️🥰 . I’ve seen wonderful forest being behind that unicorn .

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Loan! 😃💕 This one was way outside my normal style. So happy you enjoyed it!

  12. smzang 3 years ago

    You are on a roll, Charlie. The writing and the painting are magical.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 I’m totally going off in new directions this month. No idea what will appear next. Glad you’re enjoying the journey!

  13. Lisa Coleman 3 years ago

    My grand-daughters would love to color this one. Love your coloring book sketches.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Yay! Glad you liked these… it was fun to try coloring book sketches!

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