Away From The Crowd

Two Emperor Penguins And Baby On Their Own Watercolor Illustration

For Day 19 of World Watercolor Month and our optional prompt of “Crowd,” I sketched a little penguin family enjoying time alone. Neither Philippe nor I are fond of large gatherings, so we never go to large parties or places that are very crowded. I sketched a family trio, as that’s what we have, but our pup Elliott would disagree with the whole crowd avoidance thing. He adores large gatherings of people and if we pass an event that’s happening in the distance while out on a walk his ears will perk up and he’ll head in that direction. Though he does love the attention he receives in a group of people, he’s mostly just full of curiosity. He just really wants to know what’s happening there. And, he assumes that if that many people gathered for whatever it is, then it must be something awesome. I love seeing his enthusiasm, though I’m still not entirely convinced that a quiet time with a much smaller group wouldn’t be even more amazing.

In some ways, though, I am a bit like Elliott. I do get very interested in watching people while I’m in crowded settings. In fact, it’s my own curiosity that makes those situations so overstimulating and ultimately exhausting. I get so scattered with my thoughts while trying to take it all in that I can barely focus on anything at all. Then, my introvert tends to kick in and it’s like someone tipped over an hourglass. As the sands begin to flow to the next side, my energy begins to deplete. Slowly, grain by grain, I start to feel less enthusiastic, more fidgety, and start looking hopefully toward the nearest exit. I’m usually good at knowing when the top of this invisible hourglass is almost empty, but sometimes I outstay my welcome. Then I just get rather cranky. Actually, when Elliott gets overstimulated he gets cranky as well, so we’re really not that different after all.

My ideal group consists of no more than six total people at a time. In that setting, I can easily move between conversations and feel like I’m actually connecting in a way that’s truly meaningful. When I’m in those groups, I feel refreshed and happy afterwards. Indeed, it’s always because they’re groups of my own choosing, which is also my preference. Elliott chooses all groups of any sort of living beings. He’s not particularly picky. So, he’s not particularly happy when I pull him in a different direction. Yet, once he’s home and cuddling up with his dads, he seems wildly content. As the hot weather rages on, we’re mostly just hiding indoors so there’s not much opportunity to even be near a group of people. And, I have to admit that I’m not bothered at all by that circumstance. The best place on the planet is a place were I get to spend time with my own little trio, quietly enjoying the private world we’ve built together, far, far away from the crowd.

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Two Emperor Penguins And Baby On Their Own Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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16 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    My mastiffs were rather fond of gatherings as well! Once we took them to a downtown summer event. Within minutes, we were gathering as large a crowd as any of the booths because people wanted to pet them or have their pictures taken with them. The boys were so good, posing nicely, but we had to keep warning people that our dogs would assume children were offering their ice cream cones, and they would accept. After about half an hour we hadn’t managed to go anywhere, because people kept coming. We gave up and went home. Good thing it was free entry

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Oh wow! That’s so fun! Those were some very popular mastiffs indeed that day! Love that story! 😃💕

  2. scrittoralinda 4 weeks ago

    I don’t like large gatherings either and prefer one on one or even two or three others is okay. Nice sketch Charlie, yours are all nice sketches! Did you get your ice cream?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 Nope… no ice cream yet… I”m hoping to get the ingredients to make my own this weekend! hehe

  3. Gary Middleton 4 weeks ago

    Beautiful doodle Charlie. When my wife and went went out for the day, we’d find a good spot to have our picnic lunch so that we could people watch.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Aww that sounds like a beautiful day indeed!

  4. Victoria Marie 4 weeks ago

    I totally identify with your introvert side although I try to pretend I’m an extrovert–for about 15 minutes.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Hehe… yeah, I think 15 minutes is about my limit for pretend extrovert! 😉

  5. Mary Roff 4 weeks ago

    Such a sweet painting, Charlie!!!

  6. Karen Sliwinski 4 weeks ago

    This is great Charlie. I almost code penguins as my subject too – but finally went with ducks! LOL

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Ducks are a wonderful choice too!! hehe

  7. Mugdha 4 weeks ago

    Hello Charlie,

    The penguins are beautiful! And I completely relate to and agree with your outlook towards crowds. You’re still quite brave to sit in a crowd for bit. I simply prefer looking out the window at a crowd so there’s a good solid wall keeping me out of sight. 😉

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Looking out the window is definitely the best way to handle crowds! hehe Much love to you!

  8. Northshorelady9 4 weeks ago

    Love penguins ❤️❤️❤️ Sweet!!!

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