Day 8: #WorldWatercolorMonth

Day 8 #WorldWatercolorMonth Kingfisher

I’m starting week two of World Watercolor Month today with this little doodlewash of a kingfisher.  If you’re following the daily creative prompts for the month, then you might be painting a bird as well today. Also, you might just have made a bird today if you’re one of the WordPress art community that celebrates Draw a Bird Day on the 8th of each and every month (officially on the 8th of April, but so much fun that my soul sister Laura, who has a fabulous blog at, hosts it monthly for us now!).  Birds are deceptively hard to paint, at least for me, but I keep trying each month to see if maybe I can finally get one that I rather like.

I also keep wanting to paint a bit looser and not render all the details, but I can’t seem to stop. When I look at something, I’m instantly fascinated, like a child experiencing a new toy for the first time. My eyes dart around it and begin to pick out every minute detail. This makes it extremely hard for me to abstract the painting. Once I see that detail, I simply can’t unsee it, much like walking in on your parents being intimate. I do these very fast, thinking that perhaps the speed will force some level of abstraction, but in the end, there’s always more detail than I originally wanted. This may simply end up becoming my definitive style, but I’m still determined to go looser at some point this month.

The cool part is, after just a year of painting, I’m not worried about finding my style. I just love sketching and splashing watercolor around. I’m enjoying World Watercolor Month so much as it’s fun to see the very serious painters mix with folks like me. New to this medium and still exploring what I can do with it. It’s wild when people ask my advice since I’ve only been painting a year, but then I realize I’ve been painting for 360 consecutive days. That has to make a difference right? I hope this month, more people will discover the joy and satisfaction of daily painting. My only secret to offer is that I don’t judge my work. I just post whatever happens that day and let you be the judge. Art is totally subjective, so I know that someone out there, somewhere, is bound to enjoy it! And that’s all I ever need to know.

Join us for World Watercolor Month in July! Click here to learn more! 

About the Doodlewash

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

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Jodi 6 years ago

    Oh Charlie – this one is amazing! And your style is totally recognizably Charlie! Funny how others can recognize our styles before us sometimes – eh? You are so talented. Maybe you are never meant to be “loose” in your painting as you are so gifted in painting the details. I so admire what you are able to create every day. Truly – every single day – you blow me away with your amazing talent. Keep on being Charlie and inspiring us and making us laugh and think and spreading your wonderful joy! Hugs from Mars!

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much for the wonderful words, Jodi! 😃💕 I may try some loose, but it’s never as satisfying for me. I just love exploring details!! Glad you see a style though! Lol I reply can’t! This month has been sooo cool, but I never anticipated so many people. Hehe…lots to keep up with!! 😊

  2. Margaret Parker Brown 6 years ago

    You did a wonderful job with this bird….sometimes I am amazed thinking that you are relatively new to watercolor….what? you paint like you have been painting for a while. I am not being nice, I am honest! by the way, Laura has corralled me to try painting a bird! I adore birds, they are my favorite things out there besides the river and trees…of course when you have trees, you have birds. I have never ever painted one. I have drawn them now and then but never painted them. So we’ll see!

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Margaret! Glad you liked this! And even more glad that Laura has pushed you out of your comfort zone!! lol yay!! Go for it…I’m pretty positive you can paint anything you try brilliantly! 😉💕

  3. Jill Kuhn 6 years ago

    AWESOME Kingfisher, Charlie! I too would like to paint looser but I have a hard time leaving it alone. It is fun to try different painting styles. I like your current style with all the details. I also like how you add shading to your work. Well Done!! :-)))

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 Yeah, I can’t leave it alone!! Lol but also, my first pass looks nice, but I don’t actually like it. Doesn’t feel like me. 😊hehe

  4. Teri C 6 years ago

    Fabulous painting and fun commentary I agree about paintings being a personal expression.

  5. memadtwo 6 years ago

    Great bird Charlie. Details and all.
    I like your remark about someone, somewhere, liking whatever you do. I once worked for a woman who would never reject any designs: “There’s a customer somewhere for everything.” I do believe she (and you) are right! (K)

    • Author

      Awww thanks Kerfe! 😃💕 Yeah, there’s always an audience! But in my day job I do have to make sure that audience is large. Hehe Even more fun then to just do what I enjoy in the evenings.

      • memadtwo 6 years ago

        There’s much less wiggle room in the working world these days…it changed completely when computers arrived. Too easy to compile actual statistics now, I guess.

  6. Nicola 6 years ago

    I like your detailed style but if you want to try looser then have a go at doing a whole painting with only a single, large round brush. My loosest paintings are when I’m too lazy to go find all my brushes 😉

    • Author

      Thanks Nicola! 😃💕And great idea! I’m already lazy all the time and just grab a 6…😊 hehe…’ll just grab up and see what happens.

  7. YesterdayAfter 6 years ago

    Oh Charlie your bird is so beautiful you did an amazing job with this one I really like it! I also painted a bird today and joined Laura for the Draw a Bird Day! Have a great weekend! <3 😉

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Carolina!! 😃💕So glad you liked this! I’ll be over to see yours! Just running behind these days. 😊Hehe

      • YesterdayAfter 6 years ago

        Yes I know these days are really busy with the World Watercolor Month! 😉

  8. KB Garst 6 years ago

    The little Kingfisher is so cute! Very nice! I love your blog!

  9. Angie 6 years ago

    Nice work, Charlie! I love your Kingfisher. I can’t do a drawing like yours, but I once made an amigurumi of a Kingfisher before. 😉

  10. ann christina 6 years ago

    Love your kingfisher, Charlie! It´s great! And I love all the detail in your pictures, I always think: Wow, I couldn´t do that! I´m simply not patient enough. I think to have this patience and accuracy is a gift. And not being loose your style is absolutely unique. I can always directly tell if it´s your´s or a guest doodlewash. 😊
    I forgot Draw-A-Bird-Day – so it´s gonna be a belated bird today for me. 😉 Have a wonderful weekend!!! 🌞

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Ann! 😃💕 Cool that you can recognize my style!! I can’t tell if I have one or not! lol 😊 But I guess we all do out of the gate since it’s like handwriting. Belated birds are wonderful too!! Hehe

  11. Tom Merriman 6 years ago

    I didn’t realise you’ve been painting for only a year, Charlie (I think you have mentioned it before but for some reason it didn’t register with me!) so that’s given me a boost no end! I like your detailed work, and you most definitely have your own style, which is good. And you’ve done a splendid kingfisher!

    • Author

      Awww thanks, Tom! Yep! Just a year, but daily makes the difference with everything! So thrilled you like my kingfisher! 😃

  12. You definitely have a style, I always know it’s your work, and I love love love it. Your kingfisher has his eye on a juicy fish, he is fixed in his stare, ready for that dive, I hope he got it 😀

  13. Catherine Johnson 6 years ago

    Wow I didn’t realise you were that new to painting. It’s an addiction!

  14. You do have a style and your kingfisher is wonderful, Charlie. Painting every day, drawing every day, we should all have a daily creative habit, because we need it in the crazy environment we live in. We have to recycle this stuff into beauty and you do it every day right here. 💜

  15. Cathe 6 years ago

    Charlie, I love your style and 365 days of painting definitely refines your ability. Your Kingfisher is so very handsome. I find birds hard too!

  16. Snehal Kank 6 years ago

    Wonderful job with this kingfisher Charlie 👍🏼👍🏼😀

  17. Sharon Mann 6 years ago

    The Kingfisher is regal, you are a testament to what practice can do. Thanks for your inspiration.

  18. Jacob 6 years ago

    A very charming and sweet kingfisher! I sometimes see these out on the Broads – what a sight they are.

    I love your eye for detail! But that’s probably no surprise as I: a) tell you as much every day, and b) tend to be in the same position. Maybe it’s just the way we roll! I built that fearsome wheel in the hope of time limits ‘abstracting’ my work; the only ones with any interesting departures were the really nasty ones, seconds or just a few minutes. There wasn’t time for much detail! Maybe that’s an idea if you want to really force it this month – nick the wheel and go for a spin? 😉

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Jacob! Yeah…details are where I find joy I think. I did some loose really abstract last night and just felt both lost and then got bored. 😊hehe…it’s entirely possible it’s just not for me, and I’m cool with that, but I’m going to keep trying anyway!

      • Jacob 6 years ago

        Yeah, I often feel that way when trying looser drawings. Seeing the results, my Graphics teacher at college basically told me never to draw again if I wanted to pass.

        You go for it though! (waves banner, foam hand)

  19. Susan Feniak 6 years ago

    Awesomeness!! Great detail Charlie. 🙂

  20. artandmoondreams 6 years ago

    Amazing and wonderful painting. At any moment I expect this beauty to look over its shoulder at me, wink, then fly away. Beautiful art…I am in happy silence enjoying the view.

  21. brushparkwatercolors 6 years ago

    Awesome, Charlie!!!

  22. ikenna. c 6 years ago

    i like the reflective greenish blue coat

  23. Myriam (Myr's Bytes) 6 years ago

    Beautiful bird :-). I love the way you imply the feathers with your ink and paint strokes and the way you vary the tones and add little highlights here and there to make him look 3-dimensional. I finally painted my first watercolour birds! Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. […] Charlie of Doodlewash, also known as the Grand Master of World Watercolor Month(!), which we are all having so much fun with, contributed his watercolor of a kingfisher […]

  25. Steve 6 years ago

    This is so good

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