A Pigeon In A Puddle

Day 12 - Pigeon In A Puddle Watercolor Sketch - Doodlewash

Today was a gray day outside, with a slow and steady rain combined with endless clouds casting a dark pallor over the entire city. When I looked out of my office window, I searched for something of interest to sketch in the all of the grayness. There were the usual cars in the parking lot and walls of buildings covered in graffiti, but nothing inspired me. Then, for just a moment, a glint of sun appeared and I noticed a pigeon, calmly standing alone in the middle of a puddle. The light caught a tapestry of colors that I’d never really noticed before in this city bird. I stared at it and studied the lines, and while I did, it almost seemed to be staring right back at me. I read somewhere that pigeons are much smarter than we might think. They did after all, manage to carry messages for the US Army during the World Wars and they have better eyesight than humans, making them a huge help to US Coast guards in spotting orange life jackets at sea. This pigeon, however, just seemed perfectly happy to be standing in a pool of rainwater. Though I was cranky about the gray day, I immediately had to smile.

As a kid, I wouldn’t have just been standing in that puddle, I would have been gleefully jumping up and down in it. I’d watch each time as I displaced the reflections and would then stand still for a moment to watch everything magically come back into focus. It was amazing! I doubt this bird was really all that interested in me, but for just a moment, it felt a bit like he was trying to tell me something. Whether or not that was the case, I was once again happy for the reminder to ignore my cranky adult mind and just enjoy the day. It’s funny how tough that is to DO some days. Even though I’m admittedly a big kid at heart, my heart has to scream at me sometimes to be heard over my mind. And my fat little friend in the puddle was just the sign I needed to purge those thoughts and follow my heart instead. Though the rain continued and the day got even grayer, I found myself happy again. It’s wonderful to take a moment and look at the shadows to see all of the wonderful colors that are hidden there. It’s proof that no day is ever really gray and also a good reminder when painting to always add some more colors to those darks to bring them back to life a bit.

It strikes me that as impossibly optimistic as I am, I can still find myself succumbing to the effects of a gray day. This, to me, is simply once again proof that growing up is totally overrated. Thank you Little Charlie for getting me through these days and showing me how much fun life can be if you simply always look for for the fun. Though I feel horribly behind in every project I’m currently working on, that little kid I once was wouldn’t ever let it bother him. I had to stop and wonder why, but then realized that as ever my thinking was entirely backward. I was focusing on what I didn’t DO, and a little kid only focuses on what they actually DO. So, today, I managed to show up once more with another little doodlewash and post. And I’m thrilled and proud that I was able to do so. There, Little Charlie, isn’t that better? I have to giggle when I think that most of the time, whenever I’m feeling stressed or even like a perfect failure, the solution is simply the opposite approach. That’s the kind of wildly simplest solution that my little self would cheer on with glee. And the very solution that I’m going to constantly remind my older self to choose more often. Like today, when the only thing sparkling was the unexpected appearance of a pigeon in a puddle.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermillion, Indigo, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!
Pigeon In A Puddle Watercolor - Doodlewash
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
29 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 7 months ago

    I love the way the ripples in the puddle echo the flow of the feathers! It really is difficult to stay positive and energetic in the dark days of winter. I was watching Caesar Millan’s show once, and he was working with a dog with PTSD (an ex-service dog if I remember correctly). The dog had his tail tucked firmly between his legs, and Caesar pulled it up and held it out, explaining that if the tail was held in the position that a happy dog would hold it, the dog would feel happier. It definitely seemed to work (you might ask Phineas about that), and I thought it was a life lesson for people too. Thank you for the daily reminders that sometimes all we need to do is DO happy things and we’re halfway to a brighter day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕Yes, the dark days of winter seem to go on just a bit too long. And that’s a wonderful life lesson indeed! We can so often find ourselves with our tail between our legs, but if we could just hold it out there, we’d immediately see how much better everything could be!

  2. Sharon Nolfi 7 months ago

    I love your use of color on the bird. Pigeons’ feathers shift in color in the sun and as the birds move, and I think you’ve captured some of their loveliness.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I always thought of pigeons as rather dull birds, but when the light catches them, they’re amazing!

  3. CURIOUStotheMAX 7 months ago

    Pidgeon is puddlishes.

  4. Lisa 7 months ago

    Aren’t they something? City pigeons get a bad rap. They really are quite beautiful in the right light. The ones here are country pigeons and as such get to show off flying skills, and cooing in empty silos which are even better than bathtubs for making singers sound good. We had some sun today, so hopefully you’re going to get it tomorrow. And ho boy, Phineas sure got some blog love yesterday. He may have to write more often!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, pigeons do get a bad rap! They’re rather intriguing. And yes, I’m quite sure Phineas will be demanding blog entries in the future! hehe

  5. June Hadaway 7 months ago

    Beautiful pigeon. Love the colors

  6. Anita Sinha 7 months ago

    Loved your doodlewash of pigeon and especially the neck ..I have also painted a pigeon but the neck was not looking that good…I think now a can rework on the neck area…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Anita! 😃💕Yay! Glad you found some inspiration here. I too struggled with the neck… it’s really all in the neck when sketching this birds. hehe Took me a moment, but I hope I figured it out!

  7. Mary Roff 7 months ago

    Sometimes the simplest things can turn a day around. You’ve truly captured the pretty colors of a pigeon.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      So true!! The simplest things are the best of all! 😃💕 Thanks, Mary! Glad you liked my pigeon!

  8. LoriCtoo 7 months ago

    Kudos to you for looking for that ray of sunshine in that little bird. They do wear some beautiful colors. Your painting is beautiful. So many lovely colors. I’ve said it before, I love rainy days. I get depressed when the sun returns….yardword, dirty windows, clothes that probably won’t fit because I’ve enjoyed the holidays too much! Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      haha! I love that reasoning, Lori! 😃💕 I too feel that way when the sun comes back. I’m like… I’m not ready!! I NEED my sweaters! Please don’t make me resort to a t-shirt just now. lol The holidays always get a bit too joyful in my case. But, I know the salads in my future will come with another holiday reward this fall!

      • LoriCtoo 7 months ago

        Lol, our similarities with life!

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 7 months ago

    This is a gorgeous portrait of a bird often dismissed as ugly and stupid. You showed it in all its glorious color and independent nature. A truly beautiful Doodlewash, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕Yeah, I have to confess that I may have written this bird off as well as I think this is the first one I’ve ever sketched. But they are indeed very beautiful! Glad you enjoyed this!

  10. memadtwo 7 months ago

    There are so many variations in pigeon feathers…I like the touch of iridescence you captured.
    And yes, adulthood is way overrated. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 And doubling down on that thank you. Adulthood is SO overrated…. we’ve already leaned all we ever needed to in the past! 😉

  11. Fatima Chamkha 7 months ago

    Great pigeon you paint Charlie!!!

  12. Jodi 7 months ago

    You found the sparkle in the gray!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Jodi! 😃💕hehe… yeah, I always have to kick myself sometimes for failing to find that sparkle. It’s always there!

  13. smzang 7 months ago

    Charlie says, ” It’s wonderful to take a moment and look at the shadows to see all of the wonderful colors that are hidden there. ”

    beautiful thinking!!

    and the pigeon looks so real, I think he might fly away at any moment,

    AND
    the alliterative title makes my poet’s heart sing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕hehe… I adore alliteration! It crops up quite a bit here! Glad you enjoyed this. I’ve never stopped to ponder pigeons this much before.

  14. Athena Johnson 7 months ago

    I LOVE PIGEONS!!!
    Follow My Blog!

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