This little doodlewash is for Draw A Bird day which is hosted by my friend and soul sister Laura at Create Art Everyday on the 8th of each month (try it today or join us next month!). This is my third bird that I’ve painted for this and the third bird I’ve ever painted as I’ve never tried doodlewashing birds before joining in on the fun! (You can see Bird One here and Bird Two here)
This is a blue and yellow macaw, and I primarily chose him because I noticed I was drawing too many brown things lately. Also, I’ve always loved parrots. There’s something sort of awesome about an animal that can mimic human speech and the blue and yellow macaw is one of the better talkers. Of course if you share a home with one you would really need to be careful what you say as they’re not good at keeping secrets.
I’ve always loved animals and particularly birds, and I once wanted to become a bird watcher. This wasn’t a constant passion, but something I became suddenly passionate about as a kid when I stumbled across a copy of Audubon Magazine. I was shocked that more people my age hadn’t thought to become a “birder” as it seemed like exciting and interesting work. It wasn’t long before I realized the sheer amount of sitting and waiting involved, which was also the reason why most of my peers were over the age of 60.
After sitting and staring at a tree for 30 minutes waiting for something to appear so I could identify it, I got bored and started carving a bird out of a stick instead. I’d just gotten one of those Swiss Army pocket knives and wanted to test it out. It was classic red and beyond its nice selection of knives and a pair of scissors there was even a spoon and fork! (For those occasions when you’re stranded and without food, but take comfort in knowing you could eat it properly if you weren’t about to starve to death instead).
My wooden stick bird was a disaster and looked more like a beaked snake that hadn’t finished shedding its skin. Just 45 minutes into this stupid adventure, I was ready to crawl out of mine. My dreams of birding had been crushed again by the deathly club of my attention deficit problems (kids weren’t medicated to “be made normal” back then, so I was left alone to grow up “naturally unique”).
With apparently no ability to actually find an interesting bird, much less carve it out of a stick, I was at a loss for how to start this new hobby. At the time I didn’t realize that birding was something that also involved travel in order to experience more variety. I had just assumed since birds could fly anywhere, once they knew I was watching for them, they would just fly over and say hello. No bird ever did. Not even a parrot, and they could have actually said it.
So today, I’ll happily merge my lost long, day long hobby with my new one and on the 8th of each month do a little birding in doodlewash. With just a little bit of ink and some paint, I can make any bird I like appear now! It may not get me honored by the Audubon Society as the world’s next great “bird nerd” but it will let me fulfill my childhood dreams of finally coming face to face with a bright blue and yellow macaw.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!