Today, for Day 16 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Relaxing,” I decided to sketch this seabird taking a break. It’s some sort of pelican painted in three colors and a perfectly odd bird. I rather adore these birds with their too-long beaks and strange bulbous bodies. It struck me that we don’t often see birds like this illustrated, with most artists preferring more colorful and indeed symmetrical varieties. So, I painted my bird like he thought he looked rather ravishing and sexy. With that slight smile and come hither look normally reserved for the popular kids. When I was a kid, I wasn’t part of the popular crowd. I was a geek and well, an odd bird, so I didn’t often fit in with whatever mainstream thing was all the rage. Though I managed to outgrow a rather unfortunate ugly duckling stage in my life, I never quite became one of the normal birds in the process. I was still a bit odd and always liked forging my own path and doing things that weren’t considered cool. I just thought if I truly found whatever I was doing cool, somebody else might as well. Little has changed since I’ve sort of grown up. Though I know all of the proper ways to do things, I just keep right on experimenting in spite of it all. And, it’s made for a really fun life indeed!
Just a heads up for those of you who participate in the Doodlewash Community here, I’m going to be testing something new as soon as World Watercolor Month ends. This includes a bit of a redesign to the site, and some rather noticeable changes to the way the community works, making it much more intuitive and more Facebook-style (for adding likes and how comments works) as that’s been one of the most requested features. The next most requested feature is a normal username and password login that doesn’t require a social media account and this change will make that possible now as well! Yes, I can’t help but to keep experimenting, but also I hope to provide a much better experience in the process. Like all experiments, it’s going to be a bit of test as everything rolls out, so thanks for your patience in the progress! If you just show up to read these posts, nothing much at all will change for you, but hey, thanks so much for showing up to read these by the way! I truly appreciate it! I know people say you should “leave well enough alone,” but honestly, is “well enough” really a high bar? I think not! If I’ve learned anything on this journey it’s that we should always continue to challenge ourselves and try new things!
Many of you who read the posts here on Doodlewash have no doubt read posts by my friend and World Watercolor Month Artist Ambassador Angela Fehr. One thing you’ll note in those posts is that she always invites artists to be “fearless.” This is probably the best advice in the world! And my own take on this is to listen to your inner child who was born with no fear at all. Yet when we talk about these ideals, it can often seem like just that, some sort of ideal state that’s not possible to achieve all of the time. Trust me when I say, it’s not only possible, but absolutely critical if you want to continually create things with joy and heart! I very often end up painting things that won’t turn out to be crowd-pleasers, like this strange bird, but I loved the process of painting it. And, in the end, that’s what really matters. There are no popular hashtags that will help lead people to this creation I made today. It’s just a bird my heart wanted to make. And that, in the end, is all that ever really matters. Fewer people will see this bird, but if you’re one of them, then I think we might just have something wonderful in common. It’s not being a rebel to set out on your own path, it’s being a leader. When we sketch and paint with heart we lead everyone on a wonderful journey of unexpected things, even something as perfectly random as an odd bird by the sea.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. 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!