A Ripple Effect

Mallard Duck Swimming Ripple Effect Water Watercolor Illustration Painting

For Day Twelve of World Watercolor Month and our optional prompt of “Ripple,” I ended up with a mallard duck making a little splash. I certainly thought of ripples on the water and it’s simply been a long time since I sketched a duck so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. There’s a lovely park that Philippe and I often visit with a duck pond. I love watching ducks do their duck things and I find it very calming and relaxing. In this same pond there are also quite a few turtles as well. They are always sunning themselves on rocks and look they should be wearing sunglasses and giving master classes in how to be super chill and awesome. My dog Phineas had a stuffed mallard duck that he used to play with, but seems to be completely disinterested in the real thing. Although last time we visited the park, he did sort of jump when one of the ducks quacked loudly at him as we ventured past. He’s normally quite cool and collected so I have to admit that I sort of got a kick out of seeing him even a little fazed by something.

Ripples on the water are fascinating to watch and they always mesmerize me. I think I’ve just been glancing at the water for a few moments and then, before I know it, I realize I’ve actually been rather catatonic for minutes. That’s why I adore nature and spending a bit of time when I can enjoying every little tree, leaf, and creature that I see. As a kid, I could spend hours outside, often all alone, with only the birds and butterflies to keep me company. But even if nobody was around, each step I took and each dream I dreamed added something new to the world. Something that wasn’t there before that moment. Today, I share little sketches that I create. They started as simply part of my practice, and now simply sketching stuff has become part of my style. A bit of colorful realism and whimsy mixed together in short bursts of creative enthusiasm. It’s been the best way to unwind each day and even if I’m not walking down a nature trail, I can still take a virtual visit to anywhere I can imagine on paper.

That’s the wonderful gift that comes from creating art. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to masterfully alter one’s day for the better. And I’m always in a really happy mood both while I’m sketching and after I complete whatever I was making that day. What’s been incredible on this journey is finding so many others who also enjoy this lovely approach to life as well. Seeing all of your wonderful sketches and paintings has kept me so incredibly inspired these past few years. When we share what we make with each other, there’s a wonderful bit of magic that occurs. What seems like such a simple act is really quite amazing. Just six years ago, I was a bit shy when I first started sharing what I created, but soon my little sketches found an audience of people who enjoyed them. And, best of all, I’ve managed to encourage many others to set out on their own art journeys as well. Together, we’ve made a community full of color and light and that’s been so incredibly fantastic. And, it makes my heart smile to know that just a little bit of courage, lots of hope, and a splash of watercolor can truly create a ripple effect.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Hansa Yellow Medium, Viridian Green, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, Phthalo Blue, 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!
Mallard Duck Swimming Ripple Effect Water Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
24 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Love your Mallard, Charlie!!! Perfect for the prompt today.
    I’ve enjoyed seeing a family of ducks lately in a pond not too far from our house. The first time I saw the “family” the ducklings were just wee critters and when I saw them yesterday I couldn’t believe how much they’ve grown. They certainly do make me smile.

  2. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    It’s fascinating to watch wildlife and wildfowl. I had a blue heron come up into the yard today, and spent a good hour watching him strut back and forth.

  3. jbeatsonbergergmailcom 3 weeks ago

    Oh Charlie. It’s so comforting to see your sketches again. Thank you for sharing your kindness with the world!

  4. Nellie Nellie 3 weeks ago

    LOVE A DUCK! Of course your duck is cuter than average😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      hehe! Yay! Thanks so much!! Glad you enjoyed this little duck! 😃💕

  5. writerleenda 3 weeks ago

    Charlie don’t they make lovely sounds while they play on the lake? I love it. We have a sanctuary here for them although they went and wrecked it by making it less wild with all their pruning et al. Like an oasis in the middle of the neighbourhood. Geese too and those guys don’t take guff from us humans. Ever had a goose come at you?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thankfully no! lol… but I’m seen the videos of a goose attack! Wow!! hehe 😳

  6. Marisela Delgado 3 weeks ago

    I love ducks. One of the most painful parts of getting injured and having to stop running was not being outside. I ran every evening and it was wonderful to watch the sunset or feel the breeze or watch as a storm approached or, the absolute best part, was watching the evening sky transition into twilight. Part of my run took me up a hill that allowed me a view of the city skyline with the sun setting behind it. The colors were spectacular. Or was it just a lack of oxygen from running up the hill?? haha haha 😂😂😂 *sigh* I miss running and a pain free existence, but better things are coming.
    There is something about connecting with nature. Even just standing barefoot in the grass makes you feel better. Such a cute painting, Charlie. We had a stuffed mallard duck also, but he made the trip to Stuffed Animal Heaven. 💜

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕Your run to the top of the hill sounds amazing! And a good reminder that you’re about to crest that hill and enjoy a downhill run in life soon enough!!

      • Marisela Delgado 3 weeks ago

        Que chulo eres, Charlie. You are such a sweetheart. What a wonderful and kind sentiment. Yes, I, too, feel a complete turnaround quickly approaching. Te mando un beso. 💋

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

          Aww thanks, Marisela! When I read this, I had to think… it’s it bad that I understand Spanish perfectly, but still struggle with French and married to a Parisian? 😊 Te mando un beso tambien 😃💕

          • Marisela Delgado 2 weeks ago

            Es que tienes un corazon Latino! 💕

  7. Ruqaiyah gilitwala 3 weeks ago

    This looks amazing!😍😍

  8. Gary Middleton 3 weeks ago

    That’s really beautiful, Charlie. I’m a huge fan of nature and the outside world. That’s one thing I’d like master in watercolour. Did you know that Steve Mitchell paid tribute to you and World Watercolour Month on his latest Mind of Watercolor video?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 I think a love of nature means you’re always half way to mastery! And yes!! I saw! Steve is awesome! He’s always been a big supporter of World Watercolor Month.

  9. Mugdha 3 weeks ago

    Hello Charlie,

    I can’t decide what I like more in this Doodlewash – the duck or the ripples! And you said something so magical today.. that even dreaming a daydream adds beauty to the world. You reminded me of my sister’s art teacher from her school. The man carried a notepad and pen wherever he went and made and gifted a quick sketch of something to every kid he met. So many people spoke of him as a wasted artist but so many kids I knew including my sister have held on to those sketches and treasure them even today. He used to say he wanted to show kids that drawing isn’t hard and doesnt have to be confined to a classroom. You’ve done something similar.

    Love & hugs,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Oh my goodness… I adore that story!! 😃💕 That’s exactly what I hope to achieve! Adults need that same reminder! Thanks so much, Mugdha!

  10. shawnthompsonart 3 weeks ago

    Nice painting of a male malllard. I like how you got the ripples and droplets in the water.

  11. laborsettadelledonne 2 weeks ago

    This so nice!!! 🌺😉❤️

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