For our prompt of “Trains” today, I opted for one of a vintage variety. I’ve no deep knowledge of trains and how they function, but did have many toy trains as a kid. This is likely why every time I sketch a train, it has a bit of toy-like appearance. Actually, I’m not sure that I was enamored with trains specifically as a kid, I just liked it when giant things were shrunk down to the size of a toy. I had many toy cars as well, but I’ve never really been someone who particularly loves cars. Yet, take a big thing and shrink it to its miniature doppelgänger and I’m immediately fascinated. And since most of what I choose to sketch wouldn’t fit inside a little sketchbook in real life, I get to miniaturize things each and every day now. It’s so much fun! Granted, as ever, what looks like a lot of detail is quickly faked in as I scribble, doodle, color with glee! I turned to Philippe after I made this as a child might turn to his mother and squealed, “Look! I made a train!” He looked at me as a mother might look at a child and kindly said, “That’s, lovely dear!” Yeah, I realize I just compared my husband to my mother, which is super weird, so I’m just going to move on from that. Suffice it to say, the idea of being more excited by something I made than anyone else could ever be, was the best part of being a kid. And it’s something I hope we can all experience as we travel down the tracks of our art journey.

It’s true, though, while we do have our spouses and friends to play the “mom” role, when we post things publicly it’s a bit of a different experience. Yes, there’s always someone who adores what we make, but we can now count the number of someones who actually “like” what we created. For my own part, I’ve never worried over likes, but I secretly DO always hope people might comment. And, I feel a bit behind in that everything I’ve built on this site requires so much of my time to maintain, that I sort of show up rather infrequently now to comment on the works of others. But, I always make it a point to respond to any comment I receive and scroll through to see all of the works that people post. And now, of course, I hoping you don’t think it’s weird or odd that you are my “mom for the day” when you DO comment. Sometimes, ideas that come to my mind form an odd comparison, but I just sort of run with it to see where it takes me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that while I can’t personally comment on thousands of posts, I hope you know that I’m always watching you. Wait, now that just sounds creepy. But, it’s true. The most inspiring part of my day is watching what all of you make each month.

I actually have a confession to make. Many times, I get caught up in reading your comments to each other about your art. I just adore seeing those connections happen and it makes me so happy. I love that we have an art community built on support and encouragement. So, please, please, comment onward! Let everyone you can know that you loved what they made that day. And I’m going to do my own part to comment more, even if I can’t comment on everything. As much as images may bring joy to our hearts, the addition of words does something amazing for our soul. It’s why I’ve always combined the two here on my blog. When used in tandem it’s an amazing thing. Nothing revolutionary as we all grew up with picture books that set us on a track to become more curious and creative.

While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a picture with words is worth a million more. So, I challenge all of us to tell our story in words as well, and to share our words with others when their visual story resonates with ours. I’m totally aware that one guy can’t DO as much as this one guy would like. I know I’ll always fall a bit short. That’s why I turn to all of you. Let’s make art a conversation again. I hope you’ll hop on this train with me, your odd, but loving and honest conductor, as we make a little space in the day to tell people what we love about their art. Critiques are for school, and much of the time, people just need that mom voice to keep them happily moving forward. So, let’s inspire that inner child in everyone we can. It’s a crazy and ambitious train you’re riding when you join up with me here on Doodlewash, but I hope you’ll happily hop on when you hear me shout, “all aboard!”

Want To Sketch Stuff With Me? Check Out My New Activity Book!

About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Leaf Green,Quinacridone Red, Vermilion, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. 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!
Steam Train Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

30 thoughts on “All Aboard!

  1. I do try to comment on everything, both here and in a few other places. It does take a lot of time, so most of the time they are one-word replies, but I try to make it more of a conversation with a few of the comments each day.

  2. Hey Charlie, great train and I love that you encourage us to tell the stories about our art and share them with one another. This has become an important part of my day. Thanks for all that you DO!

  3. Your train is awesome!! 😃 I love looking back at some of your earlier work and seeing how much you have improved. I see the detail, not the scribbles 🤣 👍

  4. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh sweeeeeeeeet!! I love trains and yours is fabuloussss. When I was a kiddo they used to come through our lil town and I would hear them at night and it just made me feel so good inside. Not sure why but just that it does is what matters 🙂 I get what your saying. It is good to be supported for what we do in the world we all need this 🙂 To be accepted for who we are:) I am happy you decided to do sketchbook revival as this is how I got here and I love the community that is growing and likewise how others tell their stories too. Writing was always my first love. thanks for creating this most excellent place for us to hang out. I am taking my art in new directions for the benefit of my writing. My time is coming for those books. This community encourages that. so thanks for that too. 🙂 <3

    1. Aww yay!! I’m so thrilled to hear that, Lisa! 😃💕I really wanted to create a place that was about stories. To me, that’s the heart of any kind of art. And, yeah, I’m not big into getting mired down in technique… hehe… as you SAW! lol It was fun to do my first, and still only, video. I haven’t made another yet, because I need to figure out my own kind of show. But I will one day. 😉

  5. You’ve managed to take show and tell to the next level! All the likes and comments mean a lot to me. I thought I didn’t need any of this stuff when I retired, but I was wrong. I like the feedback and just knowing my paints and poems have an audience makes me happy!

    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕Yeah, it’s true, likes and comments really DO matter as they keep us motivated. I find myself commenting most on posts that have no comments at all. I figure if I can be that one voice that showed up, I can make a big difference in an artist’s life. I know it made a big difference in mine.

  6. Charlie you worry way too much. I love your stories and your art is perfect, I can’t and don’t want to do left-brain stuff as it gets in the way of my right-brain creativity. I finally had to stop sketching it first because that means left brain rigid. Now I just get out the brush and do what I want. When I am not too busy procrastinating. Like now.

    1. Thinks, Linda! 😃💕 Lol! I never actually worry, but I love to ponder things! My mind enjoys exploring ideas, but yeah… when it gets too technical, my mind shuts off! hehe And I’m a master at procrastination! I would definitely become a teacher if that were a course! 😉

  7. Wonderful train, Charlie. I grew up hearing trains going through town and love the sound and it was something I missed for the 20 years we lived out in the country. Where we live now I can hear the trains as they head to the Tropicana plant across the river. Still love waking up to the sound of them making their way across town. I think it’s the connection to my childhood that I love most about that sound.

    1. Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕That’s lovely! Yeah, sounds that connect us to our childhood are the best sounds ever. We live near Union Station here so there’s often a sound of the train in the distance. I love it!

  8. Love your train !

    Charlie I am doing things in and outside your book.
    And I remember you had once a log about how you made that circles (and not strokes) in the color wheel.
    I cannot find it back ! *cries* do you remember from what date that blog was?

    It is about the technic you used to make your circles and why in that way.

    Please help….

    and I love your book, I do it step for step for step, because also busy with other things.

  9. It’s a wonderful train! All those details! Oh my! Some day, maybe, you could share with us one of your doodles before you add color. Then the after. I am always amazed, in ahhh of the little doodles you use to complete your painting.

    1. Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕Actually, I move so fast that I never captured the initial sketches until I made my first Activity Book. Now, I do try to grab many of them before I paint in a folder I call Coloring Book! hehe They’re for my next books, but I’ve thought about including them in these posts as well one day. In truth, even one extra step makes it dicey as to whether I’ll be able to make a post happen. 😊

      1. I understand the extra step thing….notice you haven’t seen any of my sketches this month? tee hee. I wouldn’t want to see them every day, just once in a blue moon , or red or black moon. Just a little reminder to ease up on details, which I seem to go overboard on. It’s your blog and you can do whatever you want and I’ll continue to be here. 😉

  10. My friend introduced me to you in July and I have enjoyed reading your blog everyday since. I love your positive twist on reality and your take on whimsical. Looking forward to what you have to share tomorrow.

  11. “While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a picture with words is worth a million more”

    So true, especially at DO. (and vice versa too…words are made more by your paintings, and your paintings
    are made more by your words. Certainly a winning combination!)

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