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

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76 thoughts on “ABC Leap Day Finale

      1. 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.

  1. 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! 😘👏🏼❤️

  2. 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! 🙂

  3. 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!

    1. 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. 😊

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

    1. 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!

    1. 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! ❤️

      1. 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🌺

      1. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

      1. 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 🙂

        1. 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! 🙂

  9. 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? 🙂

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

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