Baby Blues

Cat Blue Eyes Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash

When I was very little, my eyes were bright “Baby Blues,” our prompt for today. Or, at least, that’s how they appeared in photos from that time. My eyes are still light blue, most often, but have been known to change hue with whatever I’m currently wearing at the moment. These days, with my new bright blue glasses, they’ve turned a new shade of blue with just a hint of green in order to compensate. I remember once when I was a teenager, wearing something that made my eyes appear violet in hue. While this could be seen as striking, with my dark hair at the time and soft face, it just made me look like Elizabeth Taylor. Actually, I inherited my eyes from my mother, who in her 1950’s senior high school photo looks very much like Elizabeth Taylor, causing her principal at the time to say that the photo was, “practically indecent.” This made me giggle, so I of course demanded a copy of the photo and now have it proudly on display in my home. My mother, in reality, is the epitome of decency and always has been, so the very idea that she was ever once considered a bit salacious delights me. But, she did look very much like a movie star during that time. And, since she often retells this story, I know that it also delights her just a bit as well.

My dad actually had brown eyes, even though his County Cork Irish heritage was filled with blue. On my mother’s side, one uncle and my grandfather had brown eyes, but most of my family has blue eyes. Later, I would discover that this eye color is only present in about 8-10% of the world population, making it a touch more rare, but in my life it’s just been perfectly common. William Shakespeare once said that “The Eyes are the window to your soul.” I think this is quite true, and the actual color plays no real part in that. When we look into someone’s eyes we see answers to questions and a thousand unexpressed emotions. Indeed, our eyes can often betray us, because no matter what our mouths might be saying, our eyes will always reveal the truth. I’ve experienced this quite often when working with design clients in my day job. “I love it!” they’ll say, and while I should just chalk it off as a victory, I always look into their eyes instead. There, I will very often discover a touch of indecision or, at worst, a touch of fear of whatever wildly different thing I presented and they just happily approved. Rather than take them at their word, I ask them a few more questions to get to the changes needed that will create something they can truly love comfortably. To do anything less, to me at least, would feel a bit indecent.

And it’s at times like those that I realize I inherited more than my eyes from my mother. Or, I should say, learned to follow the same value system along the way. For example, I’m trying to figure out how to best continually market my new book on my very limited budget, and many of the “proven tactics” I’ve come across to increase a book’s exposure, while effective, lack sincerity or are just about gaming algorithms with no real substance. In other words, they’re practically indecent. I simply can’t participate in that, with every fiber of my being, so I’ll instead resort to reaching out to all of you and saying that if you have actually purchased my Sketching Stuff Activity Book, please help me spread the word and a review on Amazon would be lovely and incredibly helpful as well! I’m not yet sure there’s a place in this crazy new robotic world for the honest guys, but I have to think that with your help, there just might be! So, much love and thanks in advance! And no matter what happens next, I’m thrilled and honored to have my mom’s eyes when it comes to approaching the world. Everything I DO feels just right when I take a step back and look at life through my family’s baby blues.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. 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!
Day 15 - Cat Blue Eyes Illustration - Doodlewash

Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 years ago

    Your kitten seems to be saying, “”What do you know about blue eyes, Charlie? Take a look at these!”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      haha! True! I only had eyes this blue as a kid.. they’ve gotten a bit gray like my hair now! 😊

  2. mlaiuppa 4 years ago

    Well, my eyes are nothing special. My driver’s license says blue but they are probably more hazel and they do change color depending on what I am wearing. But they are hardly striking.

    When he was young my Dad looked like Tony Curtis. Now he looks more like Ernest Borgnine.

    When I was young I was told I looked a bit like Shirley McLaine. Now I look more like Shirley Booth.

    Man, I am dating myself.

    I think you are wise to shun the insincere gaming of the system to hawk your book. It will either sell itself or it won’t. It’s like trying to create a viral video. Things happen or they don’t. Amazon reviews are good. You might also send some copies around to artists that have blogs on urban sketching and such, for reviews. That isn’t insincere. That’s just being polite.

    I’m looking forward to this year’s World Watercolor Month. I am almost done with last years. Why has it taken me so long, you ask? Because I was new to all this and I was doing a full blown PAINTING every day. Well, for the first three days. I couldn’t keep up. Then I tapered off and was taking several days. After July was over I eventually did one a week at my weekly watercolor class. I had all of my prompts and subjects and have been checking them off as I complete them, no longer in the order on the prompt list. I only have a few left so should have all of the original subjects painted by the time July rolls around. This time I will actually SKETCH instead of doing a full 9×12 painting. I finally got a converter for my new most favorite fountain pen so I’m ready.

    As for eyes, the most baby blue I know belong to a vintage doll from Germany my Grandmother gave me. Or I should say they did. Her eyes are gone now, somewhere in my parents’ attic as when I finally retrieved her the glue had aged and they had fallen out, never to be found again. But I remember them. Right now I am more obsessed with rich brownie brown eyes, like my new puppy. Why is it we have no phrase like “baby blue” to describe brown eyes? Probably because all babies have blue eyes. Still, doesn’t seem quite fair.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thank you so much for that! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ve found book marketing is very difficult and not my thing at all, though I love sharing what I’ve learned! hehe And yay for World Watercolor Month! So true… to do it daily, it’s more practice sketches or my own approach. Full paintings are a real challenge indeed. But actually adore the thought of kicking off a year long challenge as well! As for brown eyes yes… it should have it’s own cute expression as well! 😉

  3. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    Blue eyes always seem a bit exotic to me, as I come from a long line of brown-eyed people and my own eyes are brown. My husband has very blue eyes, but both kids ended up with brown. DOING the right thing, being decent – I find I just feel better when I act that way.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Yeah, my family is blue eye dominant… doesn’t matter how much brown was in the family, if one of mine jumps into the mix… eyes will be blue! hehe 😉 And yeah, I think DOing the right thing is the most rewarding way to live life!

  4. Karen Fortier 4 years ago

    Love your blue eyed kitty.

  5. Lisa 4 years ago

    I am the oldest child of oldest children on both sides of my family. And from me on down, we all have blue eyes. My grandma Mabel always wanted a brown eyed grandchild, but alas, genetics just didn’t work in her favor. Not only am I blue eyed, but I’m one of those people with super dark blue eyes, so there was no hiding that. My husband has hazel eyes. You don’t see many of those either. I suppose if we had had kids there was a slight chance of brown eyes. Too late now!! Thank goodness. From what I understand, it costs a lot of money to raise kids and that would have cut into my art supply budget. Speaking of kids, one of my friends homeschools her kids, and she is on the last one of five. She asked me if she could bring Emily over for an art afternoon the week after next. Of course! I’ll give that blue eyed girl my best!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      That’s awesome, Lisa! 😃💕 I love that you have a blue-eyed world, and I know that you’ll definitely give that blue-eyed girl your best! Yay!

  6. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    I have blue eyes, though some people tell me they’re hazel. I think that’s because of what I’m wearing at the time, because like yours, mine change color. Hmmm. If eyes are the window to the soul … what does that say about the ones that change. I’ll say it isn’t really a change. Our souls are open to the souls of others and merely reflect much of what they see. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Interesting!😃💕 I’ve wondered that as well… if your eyes change color was does that mean for your soul? hehe… I think it just means a soul that’s ever-blooming and always looking for something new! But, yes, it’s mostly just how others perceive us, and if we’re good people that perception will always be beautiful!

  7. Lulu Rain 4 years ago

    I adore your kittens. Such character in the eyes, perfect. 🙃 I agree, the eyes tell us so much more than a mere color and in fact the color may not register as one gets messages beyond the words being exchanged. I believe if we are present we take in less surface value and more essence. I think you were describing this. Forgive me, bad headache week for me. 🤦‍♀️🎨

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lulu! 😃💕Yes to that! When we’re truly present we perceive the best bits of life… the ones that matter most!

  8. Snehlata Maheshwari. 4 years ago

    I loved both eyes of kitten,kidli .

  9. Jodi 4 years ago

    Hey you caught my breath when I read your dad is fr county cork Ireland. I was just there last week! This big ole world keeps getting smaller in all the good ways. ☺️❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Oh wow! That’s awesome, Jodi! 😃💕 Actually, it was his dad that was directly from there, but still a direction connection. hehe… that’s so cool that you visited there!!

  10. LoriCtoo 4 years ago

    Oh how I love the expression on this little kitty! I have always loved blue eyes because I have dark brown eyes (Native American in me). I married a blue eyed guy and when I was pregnant, I told God, if I couldn’t have a girl, then give me a blue eyed boy. And that he did. My son has the most beautiful blue eyes. I also broke our “no book purchase” rule! All the talk of it from you, made me curious. My book will be here next week! I will be happy to leave feedback too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe!! Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 I feel so honored that I broke your no book purchase rule. I hope you have fun with it!! Also there’s a tiny Facebook group started to share your pages here – – if you’d pop by and share what you make! It’s a closed group so only members can see. And so happy you got your blue-eyed boy you wished for!

  11. Mary Roff 4 years ago

    Love your cat’s eyes!! Blue eyes seem to be the norm in our family and like most blues eyes mine seem to go from grey/blue to bright blue depending on what I’m wearing. Happy to do a review on Amazon for you. Promoting work in an ethical manner, whether books or art, could be a whole new workshop.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕Totally appreciate the review!! ❤️ And yeah… those changing blue eyes are kind of cool, right? It’s like having watercolor eyes! hehe

  12. smzang 4 years ago

    That ginger cat has such personality. I love it!
    I was thinking if you were to create a DO cat/puppy/
    Giraffe/etc. reading your book, with purchase information
    included, and even half of your members reblogged,
    it should really create a stir (to have your
    art on their site, and to spread the word about
    your awesome new book and to make more people smile.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕Actually, my next book in the series is themed “Animals” and will have all of those, so hopefully it will really take it over the top then!

      • smzang 4 years ago

        Good going!!

        You always make us proud!

  13. memadtwo 4 years ago

    You can always paint cats for me Charlie! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Aww thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 I hate that I’m allergic to these little guys, so I love painting them to enjoy them vicariously! hehe

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