ABC Leap Day Finale

Cat and Urchin Doodlewash

Happy Leap Day everyone! A couple of my doodlewashes just wouldn’t work in the final collection for this month’s adventure. First, while Grumpy Cat was fine as fan art, I needed a generic cat to put in my final piece, so we have this little guy instead. Also, the mythical unicorn was a bit out of place with all the reality surrounding it, so I did decide to make an urchin after all. The weird pairing shown here is simply because I didn’t feel like making two posts, but has the unintended effect of making it seem like the cat is the victim of an urchin attack.

Since cats are rather well-known, I figured I’d focus the educational tidbits today on the little urchin. One of the coolest things I found about sea urchins is their life span is typically 30 years, but can be as long as 200 years. Though they look a bit like a stationary bush, they actually have five sets of “legs” that they use to propel themselves across the ocean floor. They pose no threat to other creatures and are generally harmless, except the poisonous flower urchin.

The flower urchin, though poisonous, has a very interesting relationship with the clown fish. The clown fish apparently starts the relationship by performing a funny little dance, which involves gently brushing against the urchin. This allows the fish to slowly dose on the poison and build up an immunity. After a few hours of this intoxicating “dancing,” it can easily approach the flower urchin and feed off the parasites that live in and around the spines. This then helps keep the flower urchin healthy, so it’s truly a perfect match.

Children's ABC Animal Poster by Charlie O'ShieldsAnd finally, there’s that poster I’ve been yammering on about. It was fun to see this little menagerie come together in one place. I’m the worst shopkeeper ever, and never promote my stuff or tend to upload new items, but here’s a little something at least.

The complete ABC print is now available in my Society6 shop and I’ll be uploading some of the individual creatures later in the week. Here’s an image of how it turned out.

If you visit the store via this link, you should be able to get free worldwide shipping now through Sunday, March 6.  If you’re at all interested or know someone who might be! The poster is found under the “Collections” link.

Thanks so much for joining me on this adventure! It’s been one of my favorites and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as well. Stay tuned for a new adventure starting tomorrow, and as you might guess by now, I’m still not entirely sure what it will be yet! Some things never change.


About the Doodlewashes

CAT: M. Graham watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone God, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Azo Green, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
URCHIN: M. Graham watercolors: Azo Orange, Pyrrol Red, Doixazine Purple, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
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!
Published in By Charlie
76 Comments
  1. debiriley 1 year ago

    gorgeous Charlie!!

  2. Jill Holmes 1 year ago

    Totally awesome that there is a collect. Great job, Charlie! 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks Jill!! 💕😃It was cathartic to see them all together. Fun month!

      • Jill Holmes 1 year ago

        I admire your ability to persevere. It seems sometimes I barely have time to get home to get to bed–hardly enough energy to splash a background, let alone actually concentrate on a consistent sketching theme.

      • Author

        Yeah… it’s not easy some days, but I’m always determined to push myself to make time. Once I start doodlewashing, I realize again that I’m always happy, less stressed, and everything is fine, so it keeps me coming back for more! 😉

  3. anniedrawsthings 1 year ago

    I love the final product! This was such a fun adventure. Thanks for sharing all these beautiful critters with us! <3

  4. Kari 1 year ago

    Oh, I love the kitty!! And just wow on the poster! I think it would look amazing in a school setting or even in a child’s room! I love the way you put the poster together! 😘👏🏼❤️

    • Author

      Thanks Kari!! 💕😃I’m thrilled you liked the poster. I wasn’t quite sure how to put it all together, so I’m happy you like the outcome!!

  5. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Great poster! There is definitely a book here too…(K)

  6. Jodi 1 year ago

    What an awesome poster Charlie O! Love it. And ooohhh that little kitty!!! <3 Swooning the doodlewash alphabet poster! I need to keep it in mind for future gifting! 🙂

    • Author

      Yeah I figured the poster needed a cuddlier and less grumpy kitty. Lol Thanks so much!! ❤️😃 Glad you liked this!!

  7. Jacob 1 year ago

    Where to start? The kitten is just cute beyond words. Great fur, and those cute little paws! Goodness, hysteria is kicking in. I think the cat thinks the urchin is more playful than it perhaps is 😉 Whatever the truth may be, I want a kitten!! I don’t so much want an urchin, admittedly, but it’s a cool doodlewash too.

    The poster is absolutely wonderful! It’s how they were meant to be and they look perfect for it. This should indeed be in a nursery or school – I’m sure little’uns would adore it!

    Superbly done all round, Charles. Looking forward to the next series!

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob!! Glad you liked my poster…it was fun to put together and made it feel like I actually accomplished something this month. Hehe… Sometimes it feels like I’m just wasting paper. 😊lol And I’m sure it would actually sell if I could figure out a way to offer a free kitty with every purchase! Agree with you on the urchin…they don’t seem near as cuddly. The cat definitely wins, though I’ve honestly always been more of a dog person. 😊

    • jmnowak 1 year ago

      I second the poster in the school/nursery idea, Charlie! Get your marketing shoes on… <3

      • Author

        LOL.. I need some of those shoes! I spend my day marketing others, but kind of stink at getting around to doing it for myself! 😊

      • jmnowak 1 year ago

        That’s typical…lol. 😉

  8. Teri C 1 year ago

    Great way to end the series and AWESOME poster.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Teri!! 💕😃I really appreciate it and thanks for joining me on this adventure! Next one starts tonight! Hehe

  9. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    Hahaha! It does kind of look like the cat was attacked by the urchin! The kitty is adorable, of course, but the urchin is awesome because it’s pretty hard to draw all those spines. Love it! <3 If Twitter will load for me (internet issues, as always), I'm sharing about the poster there!

  10. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    Fantastic! The kitten is cute beyond words, I just want to pick it up, cuddle it and speak gibberish to it. The sea urchin looks wonderful, the spines are great, and for some reason is making me think of sushi… *smile. Beautiful paintings, and seeing them all together in such a delightful way on a poster is outstanding. Wonderful way to wrap, package and tie with a bow at the end of a great project. Thank you so much for sharing these gems.

    • Author

      Awwww thanks Haunani!! 💕😃 That’s too funny…I was thinking about sushi when I was doodlewashing the urchin. I love sushi. 😊 hehe… So glad you liked this series and the final result. It was fun to try to pull one of these little adventures together into something new!

  11. Arvind 1 year ago

    You have outdone yourself with the kitten! Fantastic work. What a great idea on compiling all your drawings in the print.

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Arvind!! I’m normally a dog person, but that kitty ended up kind of cuddly and made me want one! 😊lol Glad you enjoyed this series!

  12. Jui 1 year ago

    totally cute cat! brilliant work!!

  13. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    I love your changes Charlie, they do fit with your over all theme. I’ll head over to Society6 in the morning. Congratulations on a terrific month of wonderful art.

    • Author

      Thanks Sharon!! 💕😃 Whew…glad ya approve of the Grumpy Cat replacement… Hehe..I definitely prefer this happier kitty. Appreciate all your kind words and consistent encouragement. It means the world to me and really helps me stay motivated to keep going! ❤️

      • Sharon Mann 1 year ago

        Good morning Charlie, you have just the right balance with all of your animals. I’m so thrilled to be a part of the Doodlewash crowd! Thank you. I love that my iPhone now auto corrects doodlewash. Xo🌺

      • Author

        Yay!! It does?! Awesome….hehe…it took mine awhile but that was a good day. Now if we can just get Google to stop saying “did you mean ‘doodle wash'” we’ll be all set! Hehe😉👍🏻

  14. Don’t they all look great together! I love the story of the kitten versus the urchin. I had no idea urchins live so long, amazing.

  15. Charlie it looks fantastic, I will have a look at society6….. I might join myself, as Cynthia also posts items she sells there, so maybe I should consider it too??😻

    • Author

      Thanks, Rebecca! 😃💕 As for Society6, you shouldn’t consider it….you should just DO it!! Hehe…I haven’t sold much there, but I’m a dreadful shopkeeper and never promote my own work. I like promoting other people much more! 😊Hehe

      • You sure are a good promoter of others work…..and some great examples you show case. I was considering selling on art finder?? It’s a mind field. Been a little slow painting lately as back on the oils…..no chance of being speedy with them, instead I have 6 on the go, all at different stages. It’s been a hard move from watercolour, especially going back to mess, and smells.

      • Author

        I’m not sure what it’s like to sell on art finder, but I like the site! Can’t hurt to try! I’ve never tried oils…even acrylics were too messy for my tastes. 😊hehe

  16. lizintheshed 1 year ago

    That poster looks incredible – excellent job!

  17. waynejacques 1 year ago

    Great job Charlie. A fun series and love watching your improvement.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Wayne! I can’t tell if I’m improving… get so caught up in just doing it. 😊 I’m thrilled you think I am! Cool!!

  18. Charlie, this is beautifully done, just wonderful! I’m so proud of you, taking on this animal challenge and rocking it! Love the substitutions you made as well. I think this poster is going to do very well! I will reblog! Best wishes to you, my friend!

    • Author

      Awww thanks sis!! ❤️😃I really appreciate all the wonderful encouragement (but I guess that’s just what sisters do? Hehe) It was super fun to have something new at the end of the month beyond a sketchbook I close and put on a shelf. 😊Hehe

  19. Cathe 1 year ago

    Wow, your poster is so cool to see all together! And the addition of the kitty and sea urchin make sense too and sit proudly with their alphabet friends. What a great month, and a lot of work for you but the daily and now monthly results certainly are impressive and very delightful. Thank you for your dedication Charlie! Beautiful and amazing art and story telling.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Cathe! 💕😀It was really fun to create something this month that had a since of completion to it. hehe… And thanks for your kind words. It’s tough some days to sneak in a doodlewash, so it’s great to know it’s well received!

  20. Reblogged this on Create art everyday and commented:
    A very talented artist friend just finished an A to Z alphabet challenge of wildlife creature and has assembled his beautiful artwork into a poster. It is for sale in his Society6 shop, and I just had to share it with all of you. Free worldwide shipping through Sunday, March 6! Let’s support the artists that make us smile every day with their marvelous creativity here on WordPress. Thank you!

  21. Nicole Douthit 1 year ago

    Absolutely astounding doodlewash collection! So detailed & vibrant! A treasure!

    • Author

      Nicole!!!! Hello!! I was missing you my friend! Where did you go? Your site is gone? I miss you coming up in my feed. Oh… and thanks so much!! ❤️hehe…just excited to see you here! 😉

      • Nicole Douthit 1 year ago

        Thank you!….I had to make a sudden major schedule change, therefore I had to shut down my blog & stop being on a DT. Though I don’t get around to you, Jodi and other fabulous artists that follow you etc., very often in commenting…each project is always artistically inspiring 🙂

        I checked out your store….as they say…SWOON! So Ultra Fabulous!!! Everything from duvet covers…shower curtains…latte holders and beautiful wall pieces.

        My whole fam from Massachusetts to Florida to Kansas will be getting work from our favorite “Home” state artist…

        Thank you for sharing your work so that others can appreciate it in an extra special way too 🙂

      • Author

        Oh wow! Good to know everything is okay… I remember thinking, where’s Nicole and then couldn’t find you anywhere! Hehe… Glad you liked the store. It mainly has old work as I’m a terrible shopkeeper who never seems to take the time to upload new things. The poster is the first new thing in months! And awww… that last bit is so sweet to say! If you are interested in something I’ve posted that doesn’t appear in the store (which is most things! lol), don’t hesitate to let me know and I’ll post it for ya! 🙂

  22. Snehal Kank 1 year ago

    Excellent work Charlie! Love the poster and specially kitten illustration is so outstanding 😍😻

    • Author

      Thanks so much Snehal!! 💕😃 I’m glad you liked the kitten. He was fun to doodlewash… But made me want a kitten of my own 😊lol

      • Snehal Kank 1 year ago

        Hehhe thats nice ! i’m more a doggie person 🐶

  23. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    What a ride! Love the poster too. To me it looks like your adorable kitten is batting the urchin away or at the very least having a good play with it. What are you entertaining us all with in March Charlie? 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much Susan! 💕😀Hehe… it does look like that, which I kind of liked so I left them coupled. Lol As for March, tune in this evening and we’ll find out! It will be a nice break from Super Tuesday. 😉Hehe

      • Susan Feniak 1 year ago

        A break from all that will be nice! 😉

  24. Tom Merriman 1 year ago

    Cute kitten, Charlie – and your poster is excellent. Very educational!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Tom! Glad you like it! It was really fun to make. Doing a painting once a day made it so much less intimidating than trying to do the whole thing at once. 😊hehe

  25. Tori 1 year ago

    The poster looks fantastic Charlie, well done you 🙂 Looking forward to seeing what March brings….

    • Author

      Thanks Tori! 😀💕Glad you like it… it’s the first time I’ve tried a collect of any kind with these little adventures. It was fun to do! Next adventure starts tonight! 😉

  26. Phil Cooper 1 year ago

    Love that killer sea urchin, I think it needs a film franchise, and maybe an Alien v Sea Urchin spin off. Awesome poster as well Chalie, bravo mister !

    • Author

      Thanks so much Phil!! Haha! Glad you liked it…actually I doodlewashed the spiny safe kind. I should have put “not pictured” after the flower urchin. I didn’t find out about the “cool” one until I went to write the post! Lol

  27. Akire Bubar 1 year ago

    The poster is fantastic – way to go! I never thought of the kitten being the victim of an urchin attack – but that idea just makes the juxtaposition that much funnier and more engaging. Love it!

    What process do you use to turn your work in traditional media into prints? Are you scanning the images, or photographing them? Are there particular methods you’d recommend/not recommend? I’m trying to figure out how best to do this with some of my non-digital work, and haven’t found the magic method yet.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Akire! I am actually scanning them and then adjusting the Exposure in Photoshop to match what I see on paper (particularly Offset to pull up darks the scan can’t seem to see as well). I prefer this method because I could never get the white balance just right with photographs (for my blog, I had taken photos early on and then switched to scans as they were truer to what’s actually in my sketchbook). On this poster I used the Smart Blur filter to remove the paper texture from the images. A cool tip I found here: http://the-print-guide.blogspot.com/2009/02/removing-watercolor-paper-texture-in.html

      Also, for individual prints I can scan the original at a super high resolution so I have more flexibility later down the line. From there… it’s just an upload to Society6 for me.

      • Akire Bubar 1 year ago

        Oh, that’s very helpful! Thank you so much!

  28. ArtsyDot 1 year ago

    Just found this post. This poster looks simply gorgeous! Such a nice mix of bright colors and playful characters! Really cool! It crossed my mind earlier today to drop you a line somewhere here to say that the little collection you’re building looks really cool 🙂 It’s very inspiring to see how you seem to combine story telling and art so well 🙂 Keep it up!

    • Author

      Awww thanks! What a wonderful compliment! I’m so pleased you liked this project…it was super fun to do!! I really appreciate the kind words!! 😊😃😃

  29. jmlandin 1 year ago

    Great job! The poster looks wonderful!

  30. Rachel Murphree 1 year ago

    Charlie, I love the juxtaposition of the cuddly cat with the spiky urchin. so well done. and the poster? Incredible!! I wish my kids were little so I could put it on their wall… well done, my friend.

    • Author

      Thanks!! It was fun to post them together…made for a funny tableau! And thanks on the poster! It was cool to have a collect at the end of the month! If you know anyone with little ones…spread the word! 😉hehe

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