A Raven In Moonlight

Inktober Watercolor - Day 21 - A Raven In The Night Moonlight - Doodlewash

Today we went with friends to the zoo and had a fabulous time, so I had just a quick moment a bit later than usual this evening to pop in and answer our Doodlewash prompt of moonlight. I always include prompts like these for people who love painting landscapes, but for someone like me who just sketches, well “stuff,” these types of prompts are a real challenge. So, I quickly sketched a black raven, which I think is well-suited for Halloween month and figured adding a bit of a blue cast might get across the idea of a moonlit night. These days here, the night comes rather quickly during the fall and the moon is already present, as if impatient to just get the evening started already. I will start being bothered by these short bursts of daylight come January, but right now I’m perfectly enthralled. I adore these first few months of the season when everything just seems a bit more cozy and dreamy. It’s like the light is telling me to slow down a bit and just enjoy each and every moment for what it brings.

At the zoo today, we saw a dingo, which is a feral dog native to Australia. This made me think of an article I read where they talked about how our own breed of dog, a basenji, was first exhibited at the Zoological Garden in Paris. At this point in time, in the 1880’s the breed was referred to as a Congo Terrier. Later, in the early 1900’s, the Berlin Zoo would exhibit the same breed under the name of Congo Dog. For some reason, this makes me giggle when I think about all of those dreams of taking a zoo animal home as a child, that finally came true. And as the sun was setting and the moon was creeping into its rightful place in the sky, I was just happy to be coming back home to my little Phineas, now dubbed basenji. This moonlit time of the year is a time where he almost hibernates and we see him less than usual. But every moment spent with my little zoo dog is a beautiful moment indeed. That wild side is still definitely there and that makes every interaction at times confounding and most times, just rather amazing.

I’ve no idea what sort of spell is behind moonlight, but it always takes my mind on a journey back to all of the things I cherish. Though as a kid I might have experienced times when I was scared of the dark, these days, I just feel a sort of comfort. Once the glare of the sun has set each day, I’m left with only the dim light of the moon and my own thoughts. It’s in this place that I pause a bit more to consider my life and everything in it. Not the brightest, most shiny things that only the sun can illuminate, but those things that just have a steady moonlit glow of familiarity. The things I indeed love most. Like our best friends who we just spent the day with and my zoo dog waiting for me when I returned home. These are the bits of life that shine the brightest, especially in the contemplative hours of the night. And though I had precious little time to do so, showing up here is also important to me. After all of this time, you can still find me showing up each day to display whatever came to mind, like a raven in the moonlight.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen 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!
 Inktober Watercolor - Day 21 - A Raven In The Night Moonlight - Doodlewash
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

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! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

20 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    I love the sense of light on your raven’s feathers! One of the reasons I get heavy handed with my watercolors sometimes is because I love that deep midnight contrast and get carried away trying to achieve it. My number one goal is get the same feel with a lighter hand – I’ll get there someday, but intend to enjoy the journey rather than worry about the achievement.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕Yeah, I’m in the same boat… I tend to overwork things, but yet, there’s a style there that I rather like. In fact, I could stop sooner, but I worry that what I would post would look like everyone else’s stuff. So perhaps, there’s something to be said for a bit of overworking. 😉

  2. Lisa 1 month ago

    Hey, that’s not a raven, that’s a crow! Lol! Maybe not, but I like crows better. I only see crows here and I love when I see them swinging over snowy fields looking for trouble. Of course they’re both in the corvus family, so they are smart. And they both like shiny things to which I can relate. And there’s a raven named Nevermore. Which is pretty darned cool!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      I’ve no idea actually… hehe.. the reference was labeled raven, but I do think they’re a bit more gangly in appearance! lol And one has to be a fan of any being who likes shiny things! haha! 😃💕

  3. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    Your zoo visit sounds like fun, but I’m glad you found time to show up here as well. Ravens and moonlight are two of my favorite things.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I don’t think I could miss the chance to show up if I tried! hehe… but sometimes posts can appear later than expected!

  4. Anita Sinha 1 month ago

    Nice use of cobalt turquoise. Interesting combination of raven and moonlight !

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Anita! 😃💕 Glad you liked this! A bit experimental and quick, but hoped the moonlight would shine through!

  5. creatingincolors 1 month ago

    To say it simply, I love your raven in moonlight! What a great sketch, and the colors you chose are awesome!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Aww… thanks so much! 😃💕 So happy you liked this… I wasn’t sure how this one would turn out. Just love trying different things!

  6. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Beautiful Raven. Love cobalt turquoise!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, I love a bit of cobalt turquoise! Lovely color!

  7. LoriCtoo 1 month ago

    Wow! He is very cool.

  8. SnehLata Maheshwari 1 month ago

    Its beautiful n megnificent colour combinations.moonlight n of course Raven. thanks so much lie.

  9. Elsie 1 month ago

    Hi, Charlie, love how you brought out the color in the Raven! I delight in seeing the glint of iridescent color of crows and ravens in sunlight. I am sure the moonlight would be a magic version of that. There is an old Native American story, fro the Lenape (spelling?) that tells of the raven being rainbow of bright colors. In a harsh winter the snow kept getting deeper and deeper and as the animals disappeared under the snow there was need to contact the sun spirit to melt the snow. The story goes on and on, but finally raven bravely flies off and as a result, the animals as saved, but raven gets smoke into his lungs and can no longer sing and only “caw” and his beautiful feathers are burned and black. But in the sunlight you can still see the colors shining through the black. Ok, Mama Elsie’s story time for today is over, LOL!

  10. June Hadaway 4 weeks ago

    Perfect raven. I always think of Edgar Allen Poe’s raven this time of year too. I think you captured the raven beautifulIy. I am happy you are enjoying the zoo. Ours is getting ready for “zoo boo.” I often wonder what the animals think when they see all those scary faces. Interesting about zoo dogs.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕 Yeah, I wonder that as well. I was one an actor in a haunted zoo benefit called Terror Train, where the cute little train was transformed into an adult’s evening out. It was wild, fun, and just a bit terrifying. No idea what the animals must have thought. 😊

  11. smzang 4 weeks ago

    There is something magical and mystical about ravens,
    and about moonlight. Your painting captures the aura
    of both; your conversation captures the magic so beautifully.

    Blessings to you and yours (including that little ‘zoo dog’).

    Charlie says,”I adore these first few months of the season when everything just seems a bit more cozy and dreamy. It’s like the light is telling me to slow down a bit and just enjoy each and every moment for what it brings.”

    Yes!!!

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