Draw A Bird Day – April 8th

Day 8 - Draw A Bird Day English Robin Watercolor - Doodlewash

Today is Draw A Bird Day, an unofficial holiday, yet one that’s been celebrated for over 70 years. In honor of the day, we have this little watercolor sketch in only two colors. In England, back in 1943, a little 7 year old girl by the name of Dorie Cooper went to the hospital to visit her uncle, a wounded soldier. He had lost his leg and much of his sense of hope, and to cheer him up Dorrie requested he draw a bird for her. Looking out his window, he spotted a robin, and drew a picture of it. The little girl giggled and told him he really wasn’t a very good artist, but said she would proudly hang it up in her room anyway. Each time she came to visit, other soldiers joined in and actually held drawing contests to see who could draw the best bird for her, until the hospital ward’s walls were covered in drawings of birds. Tragically, just 3 years later, Dorrie was struck by a car and killed. Today, on her birthday, to commemorate the joy she created with her simple request for art, draw a bird day has continued on April 8th each year. It’s a day about drawing and sharing a piece of art to remind others of the joy and hope to be found in the simple things in life, and that, to me, is definitely a day worth celebrating.

When I very first started blogging, I quickly met a lovely community of fellow artist bloggers. My friend Laura helped extend this lovely day and act of joy by hosting a draw a bird day on the 8th day of each and every month. It was so wonderful to share our birds, and really helped keep me inspired in those very early days of learning how to draw and paint with watercolor. And that’s why, to this day, you’ll often find a bird of some kind in the 8th spot on the monthly prompt lists. If you’re wondering what my first drawing of a bird was, well it was a rooster, or since I was in a French theme that month, le coq gaulois. This, I shared with my mother by having it printed onto a kitsch little throw pillow. Even the simplest little acts of art and kindness can put on smile on someone’s face, and so it’s always been my goal to support art and artists around the world. And why I encourage everyone to post and share whatever they made that day. Sometimes, there aren’t a lot of comments or reactions, but rest assured that someone, somewhere in the world is smiling because of the art you just shared.

In this month of being a kid again, I think it’s important to remember how the smallest things in life could bring us all the happiness we required back then. Though life gets more complex as we get older, this doesn’t really have to change. When I look at the world around me, it’s still the same place, filled with the same mysteries and wonder that it held for me as a kid. Little Dorie asked for only a simple drawing as a way to cheer up her uncle. This innocent and selfless act created a tradition that lives on today. Though fine art is destined for galleries, the gift of our simplest line art is destined to find it’s way into someone’s heart. Beyond the crazy and often awful news headlines, lies our everyday lives with the people we love. This is the most important thing of all. So draw, sketch, and paint each and every day. The world, now more than ever, needs to see itself through your eyes so it can remember how to smile. There’s power in that pen and paint brush. And someone, somewhere, is waiting to enjoy your unique and wonderful art! If you drew and/or painted a bird day, please add a link to your art in the comments below and share it with us! (if you shared it here in Doodlewash Club, you can click the caption at the very top of the gallery lightbox pop-up to get the link to the individual image!)

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Benzimida Orange and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
 Day 8 - Draw A Bird Day English Robin Watercolor - 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!

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
32 Comments
  1. Phil Cooper 2 weeks ago

    What a perky little ball of life that Robin is, adorable!

  2. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    Lovely bird sketch and powerful post.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 So much joy to be found in the simple things of life!

  3. Lisa 2 weeks ago

    Well done! I love bird watching! And now, I think I’ll go draw a bird because of your wonderful story!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 And yay!! Hope you did go an draw a bird! hehe

  4. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    I love your cheery little bird. I didn’t have a chance to paint a bird today (concentrating on Lemurs this week), but I did post one that I did as part of a ’52 Weeks of Watercolor Birds’, a couple of years ago. It filled up a watercolor book which I ended up giving to my brother as a Christmas gift, so I think it fills the spirit Dorrie’s Draw a Bird day. https://doodlewash.com/members/sandra-strait/artwork/#PhotoSwipe1523226682007

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 I love your bird!! Those eyes are so beautiful and full of personality!

  5. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    That’s a lovely Robin, Charlie, and an even more lovely story. Thanks, once again, for creating a place to share.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 So thrilled you’re here and enjoying it. It’s WAY more fun to paint with friends!

  6. Jodi 2 weeks ago

    GORGEOUS! And doggone it – forgot about DAB Day! Sweet memories!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Jodi! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s been ages since we did this, but the official day brought back those memories! I miss it!!

  7. Carol 2 weeks ago

    Sweet bird, Charlie, and I enjoyed reminiscing about our little group of bird painters/drawers of a few years ago. Thanks for keeping many of us wrangled together 😘
    Carolscreativepapers.wordpress.com

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Carol! 😃💕 And your bird is lovely!! Yeah, it’s been awhile since we all really celebrated this day, but it was so much fun I still like to do it!

  8. Julia Proulx 2 weeks ago

    Draw a Bird Day is now an official holiday at my house. Thanks for sharing this Charlie. Your bird is lovely too.

  9. smzang 2 weeks ago

    Everything is perfect about that bird And the accompanying text.
    I had not known of Dorrie…what a grand gesture to carry that tradition
    forward.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕Yeah, I really love this story. It embodies everything I hope to promote in life.

  10. memadtwo 2 weeks ago

    I’m embarrassed to say I forgot Draw a Bird day this month…but you’ve done it proud. It would be nice to see Laura show up from time to time on WordPress again too. I’ll have to fit birds into my post today somehow…(K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 yeah, it’s been ages since we’ve all done this collectively, but it was so much fun I had to reminisce about it. Yeah, miss Laura’s blog post, so I linked to her Instagram which is where you can find her these days. 😉

  11. Sharon Mann 2 weeks ago

    What a fabulous painting Charlie, this fellow makes me happy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 So happy you liked my little bird! And thrilled he made you happy!

  12. Shar Kennett 2 weeks ago

    Thank you for sharing; had no idea there was such a thing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Shar! 😃💕There’s a day for everything! And now, even a month for watercolor in July! 😉

  13. autumnnaish31 2 weeks ago

    Just started blogging it’s all rather new to me but I wanted to share my art with others because it’s brings me joy to create a little happiness for others through the art I make. I loved this blog post! So happy I came across it! Really resonate with what you have wrote. Beautiful story also! Inspired me even more to continue what I’m doing! And I too will join the draw a bird day! Thanks for sharing

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Aww thanks so awesome to hear! 😃💕 Yay to your new blog… keep on DOING it! If you feel joy in what you create, then it’s definitely going to bring joy to others! Spread that joy!

  14. Snehlata Maheshwari 2 weeks ago

    Beautiful 🥀🌼 Robin.

  15. Jill Kuhn 2 weeks ago

    I enjoyed reading the longer version of the story about the Draw A Bird Day. Your bird is wonderful. I miss Laura’s monthly prompts… It is great you are keeping it going! 🐦

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Jill! 😃💕 It’s such a sweet story, isn’t it? Yeah, Laura moved on to Instagram, but I still stalk her there! hehe

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