Day 19: #WorldWatercolorMonth

Day 19: #WorldWatercolorMonth Red Swiss Army Knife

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had a fascination with Swiss Army knives, so that popped into my head and became the doodlewash for today. For those following along, I’m still using just 3 colors and today we have Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. I was also wanting to try something difficult and with the tons of gadgets on this thing it seemed to fit the bill. But it’s precisely all the amazing little devices attached to this wonder that make it so magical. I couldn’t pass by one as kid without wanting it, and finally one day, I got one of my very own. Of course, as soon as I did, I just started noticing how many gadgets mine was missing. I would long for that next model up, never knowing, of course, what I would actually do with all those features and how I would ever pocket something the size of a large eclair.

But it was really just the possibility that enthralled me. The idea that I had the ability to cut, trim, file, screw, hook and tweeze, should I ever need to do those things, was intoxicating. That said, my treasure spent most of the time in my pocket and rarely ever got used. I lived in the suburbs, rarely went camping, and could simply use normal scissors when the situation called for it. It occurred to me that this is similar to how I am as an adult. I get so excited by the possibilities of what I could do, that I sometimes forget that I could also stop dreaming and simply just do them. It’s like our minds become a sort of Swiss Army knife, filled will incredibly useful and amazing things, but for the life of us, we can’t seem to ever make up our minds to take them out and use them.

All those dreams I keep having of things I’d love to do someday are starting to stack up. So, I remembered what I used to do as a kid. Back then, I wanted to prove to myself the Swiss Army knife was something I actually needed and decided to find a way to use a different gadget each day. At that time, it was more as proof to my mother that I had maxed out those features and definitely deserved the large eclair version. But today, it’s simply making the most of the talents I have and pursuing those dreams I’ve only been thinking about. Simply taking it one dream at a time. Perhaps, one day, I’ll have tried all the gadgets at my disposal, or perhaps not. But one thing is certain, it’s a lot more fun than just keeping them in my pocket.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
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!
Published in By Charlie
65 Comments
  1. Teri C 1 year ago

    Beautiful art and three colors! Great job. Equally fascinating comments.
    I have yo ask because I,meaning the ‘Birth order’ book. Are you a last born in your family? You sounds like it.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Teri! 😃💕 hehe… I’m the last born! Actually my mom married by dad and had a boy and a girl. Then several years later had me so for most of the time in the house, I was basically an only child.

      • Teri C 1 year ago

        I just knew it! All your commentary, sense of humor and fun loving personality told me.
        Ps, I am a last born too, maybe that helped recognize yours.

      • Author

        Aww cool! Yay for last borns! And awww… thanks! 😊

      • Teri C 1 year ago

        But let me add; you also have the qualities of a first born with leadership, especially this whole month of watercolor. 😍😄

      • Author

        Hehe…Awww thanks! I guess I was my dad’s first born, raised similar to an only child but was still technically the last born. Sooooo….that probably just makes me crazy!? 😊Haha!

  2. brygydmyry 1 year ago

    I really like this one! It’s cool that you’ve been keeping with just three colors!

    • Author

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 No idea why I got on this kick, but it’s been fun. I’m sure more colors will creep back in soon! Hehe

  3. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    Here is to not keeping our dreams in our pockets! Dream on Charlie! Love all the details of the gadgets. And only three colors?! 🙂 impressive.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Susan! 😃💕Yeah… I’m liking the limited palette. It’s a fun problem solving exercise so I can get my geek on! Lol

  4. Teri C 1 year ago

    Good grief, I meant to say…l have to ask because I’m reading the Birth order book. Are you a last born? You strike me as one.

  5. jpeters6248 1 year ago

    I love how this painting just seems to pop out of the page. I feel like I could grab it and mess with all the attachments like I used to do with my Dad’s swiss army knife. Wonderful!

  6. Beautifully done! Coming alive on the page and you’re inspiring me with your three color paintings Charlie! So cohesive, love the result!

    • Author

      You started me on it! LOL After I tried your prompt I just kept going. I should probably try the 2 color and 1 color as well at some point. Glad you liked this!! 😃💕

      • Lol 😃😊😎🎨❤️ it really is helping me to get to know my pigments too! Hehe funny how that worked out 💜

  7. Jodi 1 year ago

    Oh Charlie – possibly my favorite Charlie Doodlewash post of all time! Such a freaking amazing painting first of all – and I even stretch it to crazy magnification to see your crazy eye for detail!!!! But then your words…..the beautiful words you speak that express your heart……. taking life one dream at a time. Beautiful Charlie! You are a beautiful human being! 🙂 <3

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much Jodi! 😃💕Whoa… stretching it always terrifies me as I just sort of cheat my way through it! LOL Glad you liked it big too! So glad you liked the words. I just type whatever comes to mind before I post so I’m thrilled you liked it (and that it made any sense at all really…sometimes I type too fast… hehe😊) You’re a beautiful one as well though, my friend!!

      • Jodi 1 year ago

        🙂 <3

  8. I have a thing about Swiss Army knives as well and I am a girl! You painted some life and detail into this doodlewash and made it so darn real.

    • Author

      Aww thanks Margaret!! 😃💕Super cool to know you’re a fan of them as well! Hehe… they’re sooooo cool! And Victorinox Swiss Army liked my tweet so I guess they thought it looked real too! Hehe

      • No Way! now that is an honor! neat!

      • Author

        Well… they just liked it… didn’t retweet it, so I guess they didn’t love, love it! Lol

      • well, tweet that! lol maybe it was an oversight…..I don’t know anything about tweeting, but it sounded good to me. I am glad that I haven’t discovered it, I am busy enough. Well, it is a re-tweetable doodle, there!

      • Author

        Lol…I don’t actually get it at all and frankly with almost a thousand followers only 3 people are seeing my tweets each time I post anyway (different every time). You’re not missing anything! 😉

  9. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    One dream at a time is perfect, I’m working on that very message. I love the Swiss Army Knife, your rendering is excellent. Thanks for your interesting life thoughts. Cheers to you Charlie!!!!

    • Author

      Aww thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I really do believe we can do anything we set out minds too. Everything we need is right there waiting for us. Much love my friend!

  10. memadtwo 1 year ago

    This is quite a challenge, Charlie, but you’re up to it. As with your dreams. All progressing well! (K)

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 This was SO hard… Lol… I think I actually cursed myself while sketching it for choosing it. But that’s all part of the challenge and fun I guess! hehe

  11. Jacob 1 year ago

    Aw, I love the words as much as the doodlewash – very very much! Yay for more reflective metal things, and I love how you’ve done the surface of the file in particular. I was fascinated by these too, though I don’t remember ever actually having one to call my own. I’ve spoken about my childhood antics variously (far far too much) on here – it probably wasn’t thought a good idea to give me sharp objects!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Jacob! Glad you liked the words as well! 😃💕 And yes to shiny things! Lol I can’t really stay away from them long. I’m sure there’s a reason and story there but I have no idea what it is! Yeah… best to stick to the doodlewash version for you young man! 😉

  12. KB Garst 1 year ago

    Brilliant! My favorite so far! My husband loves Swiss Army knives and he loved this Doodlewash!

  13. theturtle 1 year ago

    “I get so excited by the possibilities of what I could do, that I sometimes forget that I could also stop dreaming and simply just do them. ” – You’ve nailed it so well 🙂
    Awesome doodlewash 🙂
    Turtle Hugs

  14. anniedrawsthings 1 year ago

    This is so cool! Love the intricacies of the little gizmos! And I’ve really been enjoying the three-color paintings, it’s inspiring to watch you utilize three colors in so many different ways.

    • Author

      Awww thanks Annie! 😃💕I was inspired by how you didn’t use color! That was super cool and if I get the courage I’m going to try it! hehe

  15. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    You did it again, Charlie. You captivated me with your story, even as your Doodlewash reminded me of our sons and the first Swiss army knives we bought them. Your painting it wonderful, but your thoughts are amazing.

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much Sharon! 😃💕I’m so pleased you liked the post. And a boy’s first Swiss army knife is a beautiful thing indeed!

  16. M. L. Kappa 1 year ago

    Good post, Charlie, and lovely painting.

  17. jmnowak 1 year ago

    I was always surprised when my ex-husband used to bring his out and show me something different…never knew it could hold so many gadgets!! Some of their uses weren’t that obvious, either…lol. Love this doodle, Charlie! <3

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Janina! 😃💕Haha… that’s so TRUE! Some of the gadgets were complete mysteries to me, but that made it all the more fun! I could make up my own ideas about what it’s for.

  18. Three colours! Astonishing. You’ve really captured the reflections on the blades and things. A great painting, Charlie.

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Michael! 😃💕Yeah, just three colors… I think I’m learning a lot with this exercise of limited palette. It’s super fun!

  19. I really like that you have chosen minimum colour palette, for maximum tool gadget…..I remember my dad taking me to choose a pen knife, I was in wonder at the bigger better ones, I still picked one with way too many gadgets than I needed….these days just the knife would do, for opening bales of hay, I don’t have one ( that I can find) so old bale twine pulled fast on the new bale ( like flossing your teeth in a rough painful sawing motion…ouch) hey it works 😀 But I could do with your fantastic Swiss knife

    • Author

      Thanks so much Rebecca! 😃💕 And yeah… hehe… it’s not about needing all those gadgets… it’s about having them because they’re so frickin’ cool! The smaller ones with only a couple knives just seemed sad somehow. hehe

  20. Noémie 1 year ago

    I love the painting, I’m always amazed at how you managed to paint silvery objects, like that teaspoon you painted a while back with a cup of coffee or all these gadgets on this Swiss knife 🙂 I keep staring at your paintings wondering how you managed such beautiful effects with your paints. I like using a limited amount of tools too. Restricting myself seems to start me better… I so love the writing too, you use such beautiful imagery 🙂

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much, Noémie! 😃💕I’m so glad you liked this post! Thanks so much for the compliment on my writing. I really appreciate that. And yeah… limited palette is a great exercise. And shiny is easier than it looks. It’s all about squinting and seeing the darkest bits, drawing in those shapes and then attacking it with darker color than you think it needs! The higher the contrast, the shinier the effect. (I realized I have to show restraint on glass or I can quickly turn it into metal… hehe)

  21. Cathe 1 year ago

    Oh how I love a good gadget! This is such a cool illustration Charlie. Another great post, now I can start my day!

  22. amusingword 1 year ago

    Nice doodle. Did you use a model? LOLI love working with technical pens and watercolor!

    • Author

      Thanks so much! hehe… best model in the world… one that can sit absolutely still! Glad you liked it! 😃And cool… see? you’re a born doodlewasher! hehe

      • amusingword 1 year ago

        The reason I asked it because I do my story book style illustrations without models sometimes. My the bears will have no model but I’ll look at photos of people to draw in their positions in the picture and I look at my environment to copy a rough likeness of furniture or cookware etc. whatever applies to the picture.

      • Author

        I’m still learning to draw …hehe…only been a year for me. My goal is to branch out to do more imaginative things! Once I learn how to draw more things. 😊

  23. kirkistan 1 year ago

    Wonderful job on that, Charlie! I love those knives.

  24. Ellie 1 year ago

    What a wonderful post, Charlie! Your doodlewash is fantastic – such patience with all that detail! – but your words are just plain awesome.

    • Author

      Awww thanks, Ellie! 😃💕I’m so thrilled you liked this post! And you may be the first person in my life to describe me as patient! 😊😊Lol

  25. kathiwerner 1 year ago

    Nice drawing which brings up memories as well. I used to have one of these knifes and was thrilled about the saw, which was my favorite gadget. My second favorite was the scissors, but my pocket knife didn’t have them

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Kathrin! 😃💕 And oh no!! The scissors are the best part! Lol Totally love those gadgets. Glad you’re a fan as well!

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