Dreaming of Snow

Baby Harp Seals Doodlewash

Today, we travel to the arctic to meet a couple of baby harp seals named, well, actually I don’t know what their names are so we’ll just call them Suzy and Michael. Though I’m not sure which is which as I have no idea how to check the gender of a harp seal (much like cats) and they could easily both be male, in which case, apologies to Suzy for the less than masculine name.

These little furry, roly-poly guys were super tough to doodlewash because of their lack of defined features and white fur. After a quick light contour pencil sketch, I used only Gamboge, Cobalt Blue with Neutral Tint, started layering slowly, and just sort of hoped they’d appear out of the mist. Since I always start with the eyes, they were staring at me hopefully, as if rooting me on, the entire time I was attempting to give them heads and bodies. I stopped as soon as they sort of showed up because I also have a Lego Christmas set to complete.

Even though the weather is oddly warm for this time of year, I’m determined to imagine snowy places in my head. While I was hoping to light a fire tonight, it would require turning the air conditioner on first. The meteorologists had initially forecast snow, but instead, it’s been raining here for the past 24 hours. Snow would have been a lovely sight, but now it’s just gloomy and looks like all the trees got naked for no reason at all.

I remember always hoping for snow at Christmas when I was kid and that really hasn’t changed since I’ve become an adult. Philippe assures me that it’s quite impossible this year due to something complex about a polar vortex that made my brain numb and my inner child scream, “Stupid vortex! Stop ruining Christmas!” No matter what happens when the big day grows near, whenever I close my eyes, I’ll continue to imagine snowy scenes fit to welcome Santa (yes, of course, I’m aware that the one coming to my house is likely over six feet tall and Parisian, but as long as there’s a stocking magically full come Christmas morning, it’s the real deal! Can’t wait!).

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!
66 Comments
  1. Jacob 1 year ago

    SEALS!!! You did it!! And it is magnificent <3 I've genuinely gone a tad hysterical here – can't help it. Those big adorable eyes. I LOVE this!!!!

    It's ridiculously mild here for December, just as it was last year. I hate it – Christmas isn't the same like this… it should be scarf and gloves weather going out Christmas shopping, but instead I feel as though I can go out without even a coat. It would be magical to have some snow over Christmas – I can't ever remember that happening here, though 🙁 Boo to vortexes! Boo to science! Yay for magic and YAY FOR SEALS.

    Such love.

    • Author

      Awwww so cool yours was the first comment!! ❤️Yes, I finally doodlewashed some seals! Hehe… I’m thrilled you like them as they were super difficult to do!! 😳 I sort of got lost and frustrated during this one trying to get them to appear without looking too crazy. Hehe… and yes! Boo to vortexes…we need some snow for Christmas damn it!! My inner child is pissed! 😊

      • Jacob 1 year ago

        I’m still getting over how ridiculously cute they are. The one at the back is asking to come back with me and live in the pond. What a thought!

        I knoowww… adult me is pretty pissed as well! We need to hope Philippe is wrong! Though that might be as futile as the whole Polos thing 😛

      • Author

        Ooooo yes!! You totally need a pet seal in the pond! That would be brilliant! But he’ll want it to snow as well first.

      • Jacob 1 year ago

        Ha, can you imagine? It would certainly be a talking point for guests! 😛 I actually looked into it a while back, and it is legal to keep a seal as a pet, though some sort of inspection and license is sometimes needed.

      • Author

        Whoa really?! It is?!! Probably not this side of the pond though 😥

      • Jacob 1 year ago

        Apparently so! This makes me smile so much and at the same time just feels so wrong: http://www.odditycentral.com/pics/meet-the-real-andre-the-pet-seal.html

      • Author

        Oh wow!! The woman is so serious in those photos!! 😳It makes it kind of creepy! Lol

      • Jacob 1 year ago

        Hahaha! I thought she looked a little stern, too. Perhaps keeping a seal is more of a trial than I like to think?

        I love the shot of him on the kitchen floor. Imagine walking into someone’s kitchen and finding that. Hysterical.

      • Author

        I think it would freak me out!! 😊lol

  2. Carmel Campbell 1 year ago

    So cute! Made me smile! No snow here in Oregon…just lots and lots of liquid sunshine!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Carmel!! 💕😃I’m so happy you like these guys! (Girls?) And yeah…warm world these days. But at least you have sun! It’s been just dreary and gray here these past couple of days.

  3. We had a weenie roast last night with no jackets or coats! It was incredible! Have to say I love weather like this. I could skip snow and 90+ weather and be pretty happy. I hope you get your white Christmas though, Charlie. And totally love your seals!!! They really made me smile. So adorable. Thank you once again, my bro and friend. 💛💜💛

    • Author

      Hehe…it’s crazy weather, right?! But a weenie roast sounds amazing! Fun! Glad you liked my little doodlewashed seals. Whitish on white paper is super hard!! 😳lol Thanks so much!! ❤️😃

      • You make it look easy, Charlie!

      • Author

        Awww thanks sis!! I’m so happy you’re back and commenting. I missed you like crazy when you were gone! 😊💜😃

      • (((((((Charlie)))))) I missed you guys too! Your paintings have been inspiring the heck outta me also, Charlie. I’ve never forgot your challenge to me to paint animals and so lately I’ve been drawing them a lot and even painted a few. I’m enjoying it so much that it’s helped me set a goal for next year (or at least, for January) that I’ll be blogging about soonish. I think painting fur is hard, at least for me, but I’ve spent time looking at your work and it’s really given me the courage to press on with it. Mom always said if I put my mind to it, I can do anything, and thank God at some point I learned to believe that. Your encouragement and wonderful examples have been huge in this and I wanted you to know how much I appreciate both! ❄️⛄️❄️🎨👍🎨

      • Author

        Awwww that makes me so happy!!! ❤️😃 I can’t wait to see your animals! Fur is ridiculous…hehe…I just sort of try different things and hope for the best. It’s been fun trying at least! I’ve discovered I really like animals best so I may focus on them at the start of the year. Still haven’t quite figured out what I’m doing for my January project, but I have a little time to figure I out I guess! And your Mom was right by the way!! 😉You CAN do anything you set your mind to!! 👍🏻🎨💕😃

      • Drawing them is much easier than painting, for now, but it’s always good to have a goal. I could be remembering wrong but weren’t you pretty nervous about animals at first? It’s amazing how well you’re doing them now. I used to admire your buildings and perspective so much! It seems like anything you try, you’re able to roll with!!

      • Author

        I was scared of doing anything beyond architecture at first, but decided to go for it by just leaving architecture behind and trying objects, then animals. Still haven’t revisited people though. They’re still on my list to conquer in the coming year! 😊But I’ll be focusing on animals first. One living thing at a time! Lol

      • Objects don’t speak to me, at least not yet. Pretty much everything else does though. What about landscape work? Have you ever thought about that?

      • Author

        I tried a little of that at first, but switched to buildings because I like all the little details. Also, I live in the city, so landscapes require a road trip! 😊hehe

      • Oh good point. I live in the country and think about landscapes all the time as there’s a farm behind us. I just want to do everything, Charlie. Every subject, every medium. It never ends. Do you ever work in other mediums, or draw without color? (Haha sorry for all the questions!)

      • Author

        Lol…no problem at all with all the questions! I actually love to just sketch, but really love to doodlewash them! I love color! I only have time for one a day lately, so I don’t really get time to play with other mediums. The only other one I want to play with more is regular colored pencil. I’ve seen some amazing realism that people get with them and it would be fun to try. Someday maybe! Hehe

      • When I started drawing / blogging regularly last January, colored pencil was my preferred medium. I put a set of Polychromos pencils on my Christmas list and I was off and running once I got them. Love everything about that brand. I bought a whole bunch of different pencils open stock and read/watched tons of reviews before deciding. Trying all the different ones is key, I think. It is amazing the realism people are able to get. Almost every drawing I’ve posted here is in colored pencil. But I’ve never done the layers and layers…..I don’t seem to have the patience for that, even with watercolor. I admire people who take the time to do that kind of work though. It is amazing, but the time it takes (!!!) Mine were only sketches but I enjoyed them and I still enjoy CP quite a lot. Looking forward to seeing where 2016 takes all of us! 🎉🔮😀

      • Author

        I really one to try the Polychromos! I need to get those on my Christmas list immediately! Lol I don’t have the patience for proper layers in watercolor. I just work in a circle so by the time I get back to an area it’s “mostly dry” lol I am anxious to see where we all end up in the new year! Will be fun to see! 🎨😃

      • Working in a circle is a good idea!

  4. Marcus 1 year ago

    I’m amazed. Animals with white fur done on white paper. Thoroughly impressive.

    as for snow – come to CO – we gots plenty

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much Marcus! White fur on white paper=major angst so I thoroughly appreciate your comment!! And CO is just a state away, but you have to cross Kansas which is exceptionally boring. Hehe 😉

      • Marcus 1 year ago

        hire a driver …. 😉

      • Author

        lol..my life long dream! I would love to be wealthy enough to have a driver! I hate driving! 😊

      • Marcus 1 year ago

        Hire one. I’m not cheap – but I can be negotiated, ROFL.
        (used to be cheap – but that’s another story)

      • Author

        That should really be on a T-Shirt! Haha!😉

      • Marcus 1 year ago

        hmmmmmmm …. you may be onto something ………………….

  5. Kari 1 year ago

    They are adorable!! We are actually quite cool here in AZ.. If it were more humid, it might snow later this week.. But alas, it’s too dry here. I used to dream about snow when I was younger (actually dream about snow days) but I can’t stand the stuff now. 😊

    • Author

      Thanks Kari! 💕😃 Hehe… I have to admit I don’t like it when it gets insanely cold, but find snow really pretty. A couple years ago it snowed and never melted all season, so that was a little bit much. lol Guess I just want a touch of snow, then. 😊hehe

  6. Jodi 1 year ago

    Well – they turned out adorable! You have a lego set to complete?? You need to be shopping! LOL! I am trying to get christmas stuff done and haven’t had as much time to play with drawing and painting, but enjoying what I am doing and looking forward to artsy self time in January! Keep up the great work and inspiration in the meantime for me! And fingers crossed for SNOW for Christmas! I’m still holding out too – even though it was 70 here today (and no rain!) 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much Jodi!! ❤️😃 Yeah, it’s a crazy busy time right now! Thanks for still looking at my blog! I keep expecting everyone to disappear suddenly, though that won’t stop me from doodlewashing! Lol And the Lego set was Santa’s Workshop so it was also a Christmas decoration! 😉 But yeah…I need to get back online now and shop! lol

      • Jodi 1 year ago

        Awh. I know. Me too.

  7. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    Omg! So adorable, I love your little seals. Ill keep my fingers crossed for snow, Charlie! ❄️🌨⛄️

  8. Nancy 1 year ago

    Super cute seals! They must have been a challenge but I’m glad you stuck it out.
    I’m wishing for snow right along with you. Heck, practically the only reason I work in a school is so I can still have snow days!! 😊

    • Author

      Thanks Nancy!! 💕😃 they were super challenging! Yikes! Hehe… and yay to snow days! That was my favorite part of school! Lol

  9. cindy knoke 1 year ago

    So gorgeous!

  10. thepaperbaker 1 year ago

    Adorable doodlewash!!!

  11. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    Funny, I was dreaming of seals during my nap, Charlie! 😄 Yours are truly AMAZING! 💖💕

  12. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Great faces. Looks like they are telling me to get to work!
    I could do without the snow myself, but I wouldn’t mind if it was a bit cooler. But remember last year? No snow until January and then bam! (K)

    • Author

      Thanks Kerfe!! 💕😃 Oh yeah…I remember the January bam of last year!! Hehe… I just want it a bit cooler with lovely snow. You know, just perfect! Lol😊

  13. Cathe 1 year ago

    Lets have a compromise, snow on Christmas and warm weather the rest of winter! Now as for the seals, adorable, charming, super love!

    • Author

      That sounds like a good compromise! Lol Thanks so much, Cathe! 💕😃 Super glad you liked my little seals…these guys were challenging! 😊

    • Dina 4 months ago

      Please not! 🙂 We’re in Norway right now and we are having the warmest winter in 60 years. So sad!! Svalbard north of the Arctic Circle is the warmest place in Norway at the moment with +4° and rain, rain. A catastrophy for the arctic habitat.

  14. Snehal Kank 1 year ago

    Owhh they are so cute😍 amazing work Charlie 👍🏼

  15. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    Very cute! A wee bit out of place in this rather unseasonal weather? Lost? Rain and lots of it here too. Snow would brighten things up but we should be careful what we wish for. Our stockings will magically be filled snow or not. 🙂

    • Author

      Yeah, they do feel out of place!! Ugh! Lol…that’s the problem. I don’t want crazy cold, but just a tiny bit of lovely snow?! Pretty please! Thanks so much Susan! 💕😃

      • Susan Feniak 1 year ago

        Yes just a tiny bit, that will do nicely.

  16. Rachel Murphree 1 year ago

    What sweet little faces, Charlie! I’m crossing my fingers for you (and me) for Christmas snow. I’m betting you’ll get it before we do, but it has happened before in El Paso.

  17. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    Beautiful eyes..beautiful paintings. Such a talent creating expressive and adorably cute animals…love it!

  18. Dina 4 months ago

    They are so cute and adorable! <3 An absolutely wonderful sketch, Charlie. 🙂

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