Crossing The Bridge

Shiba Inu Japanese Bridge Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Bridge” today, I wasn’t quite sure what to sketch at first. A favorite bridge didn’t immediately come to mind. Then, I thought about those little red Japanese bridges that cross koi ponds. I’ve always adored them, and indeed watching the fish below is mesmerizing. And, the idea of crossing a bridge usually means to accomplish something. Since I had no time at all to sketch today, we have a quick little doodle of a happy shiba inu displaying the joy I felt in managing to complete something! Friday is always the end of the work week and the beginning of the weekend, so I’m thrilled to cross into that as well. As many of you know who read my full posts, Fridays are pizza night in my house so my inner child pretty much does backflips. I’m not quite experienced enough to quickly sketch a dog doing a backflip, so I just opted for one leaping instead. Note to self to practice animals doing backflips next, as that certainly seems like the perfect way to usher in the weekend.

Back when I worked at a large corporation, people would often say, “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” This simply meant to not worry about whatever was brought up in that moment, but it was mostly used as a way to sidestep the fact that whoever said it didn’t have the slightest answer and didn’t want to consider it in that moment. For me, I like to start across any bridge I can and explore where it leads. I don’t mind that I don’t have all of the answers. Indeed, I don’t even know what will appear in my sketchbook each day. I just start across and see what I see along the way. I’ve been enjoying sketching even more lately since I’ve been trying to create more narrative illustrations. Whether it’s my mood board of references or just things that pop into my mind, I love the journey! I’ve never been less sure about how something will turn out than I am doing these latest sketches. But, it’s been so much fun to try!

And yep, I’m once again typing faster than is humanly possible in order to finish this post before the pizza arrives. Though that sounds like it might be stressful, it’s just a fun little challenge. I always manage to DO it each time and I’m always glad I showed up and created something. Our dog Phineas has already eaten his dinner so he’s just sitting and looking at me intently, as if willing me to give him a treat. He’ll have a few of those this evening, as will Philippe and I also. I’m not certain that we have dessert, but pizza comes with it’s own sort of decadence that makes dessert seem a bit like overkill. Which is precisely why I really want dessert now. I think there might be some whipped cream and strawberries in the fridge. That will be a wonderful finale to the evening. And now, I’ll be logging off for the night and ready to enjoy a little break, once again, crossing the bridge.

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Shiba Inu Japanese Bridge Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 years ago

    What a joyous scene, Charlie. Makes me happy to see this pup leaping across the red bridge with the sparkling water coursing below. One of the assignments I gave my high school students was to paint a bridge. Their choices were so imaginative, from the kids who made up fantastic scenes with magical bridges to those who painted iconic bridges like the huge red one over San Francisco Bay or the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice (yes, from photos.) During the class crit, we talked about the symbolism of bridges and all the ways the kids were already crossing so many bridges in their young lives.

    • Mugdha 2 years ago

      Hello Charlie,

      First off, Happy Pizza Night! I hope you enjoy every bite of your fresh hot pizza. 🙂 Today’s sketch is wonderful – I specially like the little tree. And I totally agree that most times when people use “lets cross the bridge when we come to it”, it’s coz they have no idea of what’s happening. And when it happens in a professional space, I have to struggle not to laugh out loud. 🙂 Looking forward to tomorrow’s sketch. I’ve noticed that pizza night makes you so happy that on Saturdays, you always make something joyous.


      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

        Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend! Yeah, pizza does put me in a really good mood. hehe

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Aww I love your assignment! That’s so cool!! What a wonderful and positive thing to DO!

  2. Karen Fortier 2 years ago

    Great sketch Charlie! Enjoy your pizza and your weekend!

  3. creatingincolors 2 years ago

    Aww, I love your little red bridge and leaping dog. I also like to start across any bridge and explore. Enjoy that Friday night pizza, a special treat.

  4. Tes Sales 2 years ago

    This is such a happy sketch! Sets the mood for my weekend 🙂 Thank you, Charlie!

  5. Lisa 2 years ago

    The town I grew up in had a single bridge to get across Sturgeon Bay. When I was 17 I worked at a gas station/ donut shop/ bait shop about a block from the bridge. You could see it from the windows of the store. On one memorable occasion I had some Chicago tourists stop in and ask me where they could catch the ferry to the other side. I had to tell them we didn’t have a ferry, but they could take the bridge over. They looked at me like I was an idiot. Until I pointed out the window to the bridge. Lol ! In hindsight, I wonder if they thought they were further up the peninsula than they were and were looking for the ferry to Washington Island. But we got a good laugh about it after they left.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Aww that’s a fun story, Lisa! Yeah, I wonder if they even knew where they were! hehe 😃💕

  6. Fascinante, Charlie, me gusto

  7. Marisela Delgado 2 years ago

    So cute, Charlie! I think we are all crossing a new bridge right now. Hopefully, into something better for humanity and this world. Just like we’ve been saying, we can hope that as humans , who the Lord gave the ability to reason, we can learn the lesson that this year is trying to teach us. We all share this planet and human lives matter. Sadly, some people haven’t learned that lesson yet. I hope they do before it’s too late. I think a new and better day is just over the bridge, Charlie. It’s the dawning of a new day! For me, I am as excited as that doggie. I am hopeful that on the other side of that bridge, I will be well enough to JUMP, too. 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Yeah to learning something and the dawning of a new day ahead!

  8. Priscilla DeConti 2 years ago

    Great painting..and I like you did not have much time today..but look forward to a less busy weekend..and some good eats..Enjoy your pizza and dessert 🧡🦸🏾‍♀️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 hehe… my weekend gets less busy, but usually means I go full on lazy! Always fun though!

  9. Jacob 2 years ago

    Oh, I adore those bridges too! When my parents were putting the garden pond together, almost twenty years ago, I remember asking if there was going to be a little bridge. Alas, there was not. But it was cool enough that I quickly got over it. Yay for crossing the bridge of the week and reaching the pizza!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Aww… a little pond alone sounds lovely! As does a yard… hehe… hope to get one of those one day when we move out of the city! But, if I do get a pond, I’m demanding a little bridge. lol Hope you’ve having a fabulous weekend! 😃💕

      • Jacob 2 years ago

        You certainly should demand a bridge. The pet zonkey will need a way to cross!

  10. Sandra Strait 2 years ago

    Your Shiba Inu looks like he’s heading home to get his own pizza, lol! Enjoy yours!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Hehe… yeah, I’m sure Shibas would love pizza as well! Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕

  11. Gary Middleton 2 years ago

    Great doodle, Charlie. I hope you enjoyed your pizza.

  12. Zertab Quaderi 2 years ago


  13. LoriCtoo 2 years ago

    Bravo! Bravo on many of your little accomplishments yesterday! Your sketches have really come alive since you started adding a lot more background stuff. This little guy is quite happy to be crossing the bridge.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Aww glad you’re enjoying this latest set of illustrations!

  14. Susan Masters 2 years ago

    Fantastic bridge reminds me of the Ones in Japanese Tea Gardening Golden Gaye Park, SF . I grew up there not far from the gardens and as I kid I would love to spend hours in those gardens. Thanks for being back that memory and enjoy your pizza!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 Aww those gardens are so wonderful! That’s awesome you got to spend so much time there as a kid!

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