A Shy Flamingo

Day 8 - Flamingo Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash

As many of you might know, since I’ve celebrated it from the moment I started posting my doodlewashes, April 8th is Draw A Bird Day (full story here!), so I hope you’re having a very happy one, particularly my friends and fellow bloggers on WordPress! They are totally responsible for my bird sketching addiction. For my bird, I opted for this quickly sketched flamingo since I’ve only ever sketched one three years ago and had yet to sketch the entire bird until today. I opted for a rather shy flamingo in order to have it fit into my sketchbook nicely. I was thinking of trying a flying flamingo, but they put their neck out rather straight when they fly, so that would have made for a very small sketch. Yet, I rather liked the odd little bird that appeared. I showed Philippe and he just said it was, “weird” which I took as a compliment. In truth, posting things for everyone to see can cause a bit of shyness. I’ve learned exactly what people like most, and know that when I stray from that path, fewer people will respond or, when it comes to social media algorithms, even see it in the first place. So, I happily stray from that path whenever humanly possible! It’s fun to try new things and that’s the whole point of making a little something new each day. And, still today, that’s what you’ll often find me eagerly DOing much of the time.

Yet, the truth is, I am a rather shy person. I know it sounds strange coming from the guy who has publicly blogged about his life for over three and half years now. And, to top it all off, I used to be an actor on stage for several years. But back then, I was playing the part of someone else, so it never really phased me. Being on stage, as it were, as just myself these past few years has been illuminating and more than often humbling. I know one is supposed to craft a persona of some kind when it comes to social media, but I didn’t do that. I flew in and said, “Hi, I’m Charlie! I’m perfectly crazy, but I hope you like what I have to share!” To prove just how crazy I was, when I first posted, I received no comments whatsoever, yet dutifully showed up each day posting more and more things, talking to my imaginary audience. People did actually show up eventually, and many of them from those first few months are still around today! And, I continue to meet new friends along the way on this wonderful art journey. I guess what they say is true. Birds of a feather DO tend to flock together. And I’m so happy that’s the case. I honestly wouldn’t be here today, yes, still sketching birds, if it weren’t for those wonderful friends who encouraged and supported me along the way. Much love to you all!

That early support I felt made me want to spread that joy around the world and so I quickly invited guest artists to join me. and within that very first year, founded World Watercolor Month in July.  I can’t list all of the names of those earliest friends as I know I’ll mess it up somehow and forget someone, but you know who you are. Oh my gosh, that’s like some weird acceptance speech for an award I failed to receive. At any rate, I just want to say that we birds of a feather should do everything in our power to continue to flock together. We’re always stronger that way. And together, we can make amazing things happen. Someone recently sent me a note marveling at all of the things I’ve made happen, and so I have to come clean. It was never just me. Never once. Not one thing I’ve done to date can be credited to anything other than the beautiful art community we’ve created together. Not simply Doodlewash, but every connection made while we were making art and supporting each other. So, you see, I didn’t make anything happen at all. Doodlewash is simply a space where the art of the possible can occur. No matter what we do in life, there’s one thing that’s certain. Birds of a feather actually DO flock together, and I for one, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this particular bird feel very welcome. Even if, in the end, he’s only a shy flamingo.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Benzimida Orange, Opus (Vivid Pink), 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!
Day 8 - Flamingo Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
39 Comments
  1. Gaeyle Gerrie-Boss 5 months ago

    Happy Bird-Day Charlie! Thank you for DoodleWash!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Happy Draw a Bird Day to you as well, Gaeyle! 😃💕And thank you so much friend for being part of Doodlewash!!

  2. Sandra Strait 5 months ago

    Birds can be difficult to fit on a page! I love the way you’ve posed your flamingo. It takes a lot of courage to continue posting when no one responds and I’m so glad you persevered. The world would be a duller place without Doodlewash!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Aww thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Those early days were wild… I have to credit watercolor for my urge to keep posting, simply because I was so excited and couldn’t stop making things once I discovered it! After that, of course, all credit goes to wonderful art friends like YOU… I seriously couldn’t show up each day without you!! Much love! ❤️You have no idea how much!

  3. Anita Sinha 5 months ago

    Thanks for reminding me about the bird day…nice flamingo doodlewash….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Anita! 😃💕 Glad you liked this… I’m rather surprised this is only my second one. Love flamingos! hehe

  4. Carol 5 months ago

    Even though many of us draw a bird on the 8th of every month, today is the actual “holiday.” Gosh, Charlie, it seems like forever ago that we all were connected by WordPress only, but look what has blossomed over the years. I know you say “we” made it happen, but you led us with your innovative ways and we happily followed. Thanks for the awesome art community you’ve created through Doodlewash!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      I know, right??! It’s incredible! My WordPress friends are completely to blame for both my bird sketching habit along with my daily watercolor habit. I may have come up with some crazy things to try next, but your support made it all keep moving forward. Thank you so much, Carol! 😃💕 Much love, and a VERY happy Draw A Bird Day to you my friend!

  5. SnehLata Maheshwari 5 months ago

    Really appreciating the birds day.liked u r post, but making new friends means not to forget old one. I am proudly can say i am with u since those days. thanks so much lie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      And I adore that, Snehlata! 😃💕 I love our friendship and feel so happy for it! Thank you so much my friend. Here’s to many more years together!!

  6. hootiebirdsartjournal 5 months ago

    From one bird to another, Happy Bird Day!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      hehe! And to you as well my friend! 😃💕 Hope it was an amazing one!

  7. Lisa 5 months ago

    I spent a lot of time outside today clipping raspberry canes and raking out dead leaves and stalks from some of my lillies. I got the tiniest bit of a sunburn. I also got to listen to the birds. I’m happy to report that the chipping sparrows are back, and a lovely male cardinal was sitting on the tip top of my birch tree telling the world that he is looking for a Mrs.

    Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.’ EM Forster

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Love that quote, Lisa! 😃💕 And yay to day out experiencing the conversations of birds. I often think they’re trying to tell us something. But, yeah, it’s spring, so they’re probably just looking for a Mrs.! hehe

  8. memadtwo 5 months ago

    Perhaps he lost his contact lens…
    Well, we’re all looking for something! but as you said, we have a wonderful community right here on WordPress. So that we don’t have to search for! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      haha! That’s awesome! Yeah, he totally lost his contact lens! I love him even more now! Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 And yes, our WordPress community has been rather magical. I adore it!

  9. Sharon Nolfi 5 months ago

    I love the pose of your flamingo. Happy Bird Day!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Hope it was a very happy day for you my friend!

  10. Mary Roff 5 months ago

    Wonderful flamingo! These silly guys always make me smile. Have never seen one in the wild but could spend hours watching their antics and interactions with the human population at a local park. They’re wonderful!! Thanks for persevering Charlie! You’ve created a wonderful world for all of us!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled that you’ve nested in our little community. You’re awesome energy and beautiful watercolors are a gift!! Thank you so much my friend!

  11. Ellie 5 months ago

    I love your shy flamingo, Charlie! And it always makes me smile that you work to confuse the social media algorithms. You have truly created a fun secret club here, except the secret is known to everyone and they just have to join in. Truly a flock of wonderfully colored watercolor birds!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Ellie! 😃💕 hehe… In many ways, I think I’m only accidentally defying algorithms. I hope one day they’ll catch up with me, but until then, I’ll just keep showing up as me instead, hoping for the best! 😉

  12. Jodi 5 months ago

    Love your flamingo. Love your authenticity. Love YOU Charlie O! <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Love you back, Jodi! ❤️Seriously… you’ve been playing with me and my crazy approach from the start! And that means that yes… my bucket list includes a trip to Mars! (like seriously… how cool is that to say?) 😃💕

      • Jodi 4 months ago

        I can picture our “meeting” in slow motion as we run to hug each other!!!! Then one of us trips! LOL! <3 🙂

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

          hahahah!! That will totally happen! And now I’m looking forward to it more than ever! Is that weird? lol ❤️

  13. smzang 5 months ago

    Charlie says, “I’ve learned exactly what people like most, and know that when I stray from that path, fewer people will respond or, when it comes to social media algorithms, even see it in the first place. So, I happily stray from that path whenever humanly possible!” Hear!! Hear!!

    I love it!! and also that shy flamingo!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I’ve always been a bit rogue when it comes to blogging. I want to tell stories, yet that’s not what the robots want these days. So, my solution is simply to tell more stories. I’ve never thought of myself as a rebel, but in this day and age, I kind of am! lol

  14. Myriam (Myr's Bytes) 5 months ago

    Congratulations on drawing your first full flamingo! I love his curvy neck and flamboyant pinkness. Thanks for being true to yourself and showing up every day. Your blog is awesome. And so are those blue eyeglasses. Très chic! 🙂 <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Myriam! 😃💕hehe… and I’m totally blushing. So thrilled you liked the new glasses! I love them! They’re a family heirloom as well, so they mean quite a lot to me!

  15. Jill Kuhn 5 months ago

    Hi Charlie, I remember those early “Wordpress” days! 😍🎨👍🐦 Sure glad to have met you and appreciate your friendship and encouragement on my weird bird journey! 😜

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 Back at you my friend! Those early days were kind of awesome really… I guess that’s the case in any early days of a social platform. But SO thrilled we became friends. Your weird birds have inspired and gotten me through my mid-week slump many, many times! Thank you for that!! ❤️

  16. June Hadaway 5 months ago

    Such a cute flamingo. Looks like he is checking out the length of his toenails!?! 🤣 it really is adorable. Your message to all of us is so humble. Thank you for creating such a wonerful place for us. It is truly amazing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Glad you liked him! And I’m so thrilled you’re enjoying Doodlewash and our community here. It’s truly a group effort… nothing would exist if it were only me. And I feel so lucky to have met such good friends in this journey! ❤️

  17. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 months ago

    Gorgeous flamingo, Charlie, if they do say so for themselves. How can you go wrong with its delicious pinky-coral color and all its curlicue serpentine loops?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, it’s a fun color to paint, but getting that serpentine thing right was a bit of challenge. Glad you liked it!

      • Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 months ago

        Nine flamingos painted on my granddaughter’s Bird Counting chart, and each one in its very own pose. (Ten penguins, in case you wanted to know.)

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

          That’s so awesome!! Your granddaughter is a very lucky girl! 😃

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