Blue Yellow Macaw

Blue Yellow Macaw by Charlie O'Shields

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.

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)
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!
63 Comments
  1. kirkistan 2 years ago

    Great sketch and hilarious commentary. Stopping to carve a stick makes me laugh out loud. Plus, I learned something from your drawing. The gray lines behind the white and black really add to the perception of death. I feel like I may try to copy your Macaw.

  2. Jessica 2 years ago

    Third bird is pretty amazing! I might join you on this bird adventure, I like painting and drawing birds.

  3. Charlie! It’s so beautiful!! Wow, your birds are amazing, bro!! And omg so funny, the story that goes with this!! But seriously, what an amazing painting. *bowing* I am not worthy! 💛💛💛💛💛

    • Author

      Haha…you’re so worthy silly…you’re family! 😉 And your birds are awesome. And don’t forget your brother can’t do abstract so you’re still the superior sister! Lol Thanks Laura! ❤️😃

  4. Jacob 2 years ago

    Absolutely gorgeous macaw Charlie, the colours and the definition of the feathers are so perfectly vivid and beautiful.

    “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.” – Hahaha! And how! I have an African Grey – fortunately she’s quite shy when there are people around, preferring to chunter away to herself in private, but even so, I take no chances when around her, especially after she swore at a guest. She sometimes does macaw impressions aptly enough, as she used to live next door to one. Very entertaining creatures, indeed!

    • Author

      Oh wow! That’s totally cool Jacob! Would come in handy if you ever had a guest you really wished you could speak you mind to and didn’t want to appear rude! 😉 So happy you like my macaw doodlewash! It was super fun to do! I might try another parrot in the future. Although I don’t really have any good parrot stories so I may have to buy one first. 😊

      • Jacob 2 years ago

        Hahaha! It was so funny, as I say she’s normally quiet as a mouse in front of people, but for some reason she just had the urge to drop the W-bomb… she’s looking at me right now; I think she knows we’re talking about her…

        Please do more parrots!

      • Author

        She sounds cute!! And feisty! Good combo! Hehe… and parrots were fun to draw! I’m sure I’ll try another one or two!

  5. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    I’d begin to worry if you think your drawings can talk to you, out loud that is… My drawings always speak to me! LOL! 😊 VERY impressed with your Macaw, Charlie! And fun story as always! 🎨❤️😊🐥

  6. Eric Disney 2 years ago

    The. Best. Awesome sauce!!!

  7. Carmel Campbell 2 years ago

    You always have beautiful bold colors!

  8. memadtwo 2 years ago

    Now that is a very distinguished bird!
    No child is naturally able to sit still for long. That’s why we had morning and afternoon recess! Which still seems just about right to me.

    • Author

      Yeah…I still have to admit to taking morning and afternoon recess 😊 It’s really the only logical way to get through a day!

  9. Jodi 2 years ago

    Oh Charlie O – you totally rocked the birday challenge! That is SO Gorgeous! Do you have to be so good at everything!

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks Jodi! ❤️😃 I’m really not good at everything. As I admitted…I suck at sculpture for instance. 😊 I just stick to the things I can sort of do so I seem more impressive. 😉👍🏻

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        Don’t we all buddy?! And …. you are so stinkin’ impressive!! I had a bad painting day today – as you will see in a future post – I want to be great like you! HELP! 🙂

      • Author

        Uhm…stop worrying so much!! Lol Just have fun and go in assuming you’re awesome! Because you are! ❤️😃 And we’re always our own worst critic. That’s why we have each other. To tell us to ignore us! 😉

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        You are sweet Charlie. But really. I want to be really awesome. Not just pretend awesome. Lol.

      • Author

        Lol! You are soooo non-pretend awesome, friend! 😉👍🏻

  10. Sand Salt Moon 2 years ago

    REGAL! And grand. xo

  11. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    He is a majestic beauty! A perfect bird for the King of Iceland, don’t you think? 😉 That shadow + highlight in the eye makes him seem so alive, I almost did expect him to start talking! <3 it!

    • Author

      Yes! Or a Falcon! But Kirk already drew that! Hehe…thanks Teresa!! ❤️😃 And I’m sure with the right amount of wine he could talk. Luckily I always stop before that happens. 😊

  12. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    Bring on the color Charlie, I love your Macaw!

  13. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Fantastic macaw! Love that gleam in their eye, mischievous and charming…just like you. Superb story, it made me laugh.

  14. Myriam (Myr's Bytes) 2 years ago

    Beautiful Macaw :-). I love its bold, brilliant colors. And your story was very entertaining. The info centre at the bird sanctuary in Calgary has a glass case with many birds carved out of wood and painted. I’ve never tried to carve anything out of wood.

    • Author

      I’m sure you’d better at it than I was!! 😉You should try it! Thanks Myriam! I’m glad you liked the post! ❤️😃

      • Myriam (Myr's Bytes) 2 years ago

        :-D. I may try wood carving some day. My dad made some nice lamp posts when he was younger. At the moment, I’m just trying to get a handle on two dimensions.

      • Author

        Yeah…I find two dimension enough of a challenge these days too! 😉

  15. Rebecca 2 years ago

    He’s got tons of character, quite urbane raffish – looks like he’s about to ask you to join him in a margarita! 🙂

  16. ann christina 2 years ago

    Wow, Charlie, what a beauty!!! It´s really stunning! I´m impressed!!! LOVE the colors! 💙💛💚

    • Author

      Thanks Ann!! I added a little more color for today’s doodlewash…I’m super happy you liked the result friend!! ❤️😃

  17. Margaret Hunt 2 years ago

    WOOOWWW SUPER job!! Have you really just been painting for 90 days!!! LOVE this!!

    • Author

      Well now I’m on Day 99! 100 tomorrow! Thanks friend!! 😃❤️ I’m so happy you like this one! It was super fun to paint!

  18. Margaret Hunt 2 years ago

    Looks like it was…I do love painting birds…was admiring a cute little nuthatch on my moms back deck in Asheville yesterday…raced back home to Augusta…and off to the races today!!

    • Author

      Oh that sounds fun!! Enjoy your trip!!

      • Margaret Hunt 2 years ago

        Paris in 26 days. Just bought our all city passes. I did wish I could have stayed longer in Asheville but had to get home because BUSY here.

      • Author

        Yay to Paris!! That’s awesome!! We won’t be going back until next summer I don’t think.

      • Margaret Hunt 2 years ago

        We are thinking about selling everything and traveling w either w small pied a terre in Columbia sc or Atlanta.

  19. Kari 2 years ago

    Beautiful doodlewash and I’m laughing about your early birding adventure. I have a friend who blogs about his ADHD, both the positives and negatives. I agree that today, all doctors want to do is medicate. My son has ADhD.. That’s how his doctor labels it with little “h”. I think medication helps but it’s hard to find doctors that will take the time to really diagnose you properly, who will explore different medication options.. Sorry,I get easily distracted. 😊

    • Author

      Thanks Kari! ❤️😃I’m glad you liked the adventure. It’s definitely tough to get a good diagnosis and proper options. I have many friends with kids who are in a similar place.

  20. […] See Charlie’s quite exceptional original here. […]

  21. I loved how strangely human your macaw looks- like he’s just flown down to say hello to childhood you and stopped to pose for a picture. Great story, really made me smile xx

  22. The details are amazing! And the colors so good! Like I have said before, you are an amazing artist!

  23. Carol King 2 years ago

    That is one amazing bird!

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