Eating Just One Potato Chip

Hand Reaching Out Foreshortening Watercolor Illustration

Today’s Doodlewash prompt is “Snacks,” which I tend to eat in a rather “mindless” fashion, the Inktober prompt for today. And of all the snacks on the planet, potato chips are my downfall. As, I’ve mentioned this month I’m trying new things so we have a human being, something I never sketch, replete with foreshortening and in the form of a self-portrait, aged down to fit my current storybook style. For the record, the modern day version looks quite similar, but the hair would have a touch more silver and the face would have a touch more wrinkles. Okay, quite a few more, but the sketch was far too small to include them all. At the beginning of the 1960’s Lays Potato chips came up with a rather clever marketing campaign that heralded the slogan, “Betcha can’t eat just one!” As it turns out, sugar, salt and fat have a sneaky way of skipping right by our normal mechanisms that make us feel full. And, since potato chips are only made of that stuff, they sail right past our brains and leave us mindlessly wanting more. This is good news for other potato chip addicts out there, as it’s simply not our fault. They are perfectly engineered to make us lean into a more visceral feelings instead. So, pass me another chip!

As many of you know this month I’m sharing my ink-only version as I go along as well. In today’s case, I actually preferred the black and white version as it’s the only one I had in my head. I was thinking about the storybook illustrations from books I had when I was a kid and those weren’t in color.

Hand Reaching Out Foreshortening Drawing Ink Only
Hands are weird and difficult things to sketch indeed, and this is my very first attempt at sketching a proper hand. It is actually my hand and I intended to give myself a proper manicure while sketching, but ended up with the real nails instead. Yet, I figured a foreshortened hand always look a bit claw-like so that really shouldn’t be a problem. What I love about my current journey is that I’m practicing something more akin to book illustration. Granted, I’ve only drawn two of these, but I figure by the end of the month, I will have put in a good amount of practice. What I learned today is that I don’t mind sketching people, but I only ever learned how to make them in a drawing class I took in college. I was never really taught how to color them properly, so painting them has always left me a bit stressed and confused. As always, when one feels this way, it’s a perfect reason to go ahead and DO it anyway!

I’ve noticed that the fact that I have an audience has made me a bit shy. I tend to stick to things I know have been successful and not try something unproven. So, this month, I’m just sort of going for it! Expect the unexpected! This feels like the perfect moment in my art journey to DO whatever comes to mind, and by that, I simply mean trying things I’ve always wished I could make. I adore the fabulous illustrations from the books of my childhood and the incredible imagination of the artists who made them. And all of my practice over more than four years of sketching stuff has given me a visual database of sorts. Though I have to admit that I get a bit shy about sharing things this far outside of my comfort zone. The thing is, I didn’t start like this. I shared everything I made because, well, very few people were watching. More people showed up and I felt like I had to stick to what I was making to keep them coming back. But today, we have our own little community here on Doodlewash. It’s a beautiful and supportive community that’s given me courage to try new things. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for inspiring me to DO things I have only ever avoided. Making art without the lovely support of a friendly community is never as much fun. Instead, it can turn into the much sadder feeling that only comes from eating just one potato chip.

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Hand Reaching Out Foreshortening Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
53 Comments
  1. Zertab Quaderi 2 months ago

    Wonderful post and sketch, Charlie! Your first attempt at sketching a hand has turned out great, I think.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕And yay to the hand! hehe… they’re sooo tough to sketch! Thank you!

  2. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    Your foreshortening is fabulous and I love your stylized Charlie. I’m glad that when it comes to trying new things out of your comfort zone, you’ve decided you can’t DO just one!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 This was a fun thing to try! I’m have a blast this month!

  3. Karen Fortier 2 months ago

    Great post Charlie! I love this! It is all about having fun and pushing our skillset forward. Now that my art is out of my studio and hanging on exhibit for the month of October I need to get back to DOing!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕Glad you enjoyed this! And yay to getting back to DOing!!

  4. Laura Hale 2 months ago

    I remember those commercials. I love your sketch and your doodlewash of it. Munch on Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this! Trying new things this month!

  5. Lisa 2 months ago

    Wow! These are fabulous! I guess you can do people after all. My only beef with these is that those are obviously Pringles and really, not real potato chips! 😂😂 I was at the doctor today and found out that my cholesterol is the lowest it’s been since I was a teenager! Yay me! Pass the chips p!ease! Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕Oh wow! You need more chip! And too funny… because my original reference were the “real” chips I had at lunch, but the shapes are too hard to recognize easily in a sketch. So, I went back to my childhood fave instead! Pringles!

  6. memadtwo 2 months ago

    I love anything salty but chips are definitely on top. Great viewpoint–what the chip sees. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 Aww… you’re awesome… I like this even more now thinking of it as what the chip sees! Cool!

  7. Ellie 2 months ago

    Wow, Charlie! What an amazing drawing – hand, foreshortening, you and your blue glasses, and, well, chips! Thanks for sharing your stretch from your comfort zone. You continue to inspire in ways you probably never realized!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Ellie! 😃💕 That’s so sweet of you to say. I figured I could inspire my just showing up, but now I want to inspire by jumping ahead and trying whatever the heck I want to DO, instead of what I think I can DO!

  8. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    I love every thing about this drawing and the way you colored it in! I definitely can’t eat “just one.” If I buy a big bag of my favorite chips (Lay’s Regular), I’ll eat half in the first sitting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 So thrilled you enjoyed this! hehe… yeah… I can’t be trusted when chips are around.

  9. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 2 months ago

    Wow both look so fabulous not sure which is my fav!! High five you rocked it!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 That means the world to me. I’m really, really stepped way outside my comfort zone this month.

  10. Priscilla DeConti 2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself each day…your stories and your art are both great and an inspiration…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 Thanks for sharing what you make as well! Together we can inspire each other!

  11. tigretora1 . 2 months ago

    Well done, and very brave!

  12. Gary Middleton 2 months ago

    Ha ha, very good self portrait.

  13. Walter F Pierluissi 2 months ago

    That’s great….. Is you intending to grab the potato’s…. Like it…. And also the potatoes!!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Walt! 😃💕 Trying different things this month. Glad you enjoyed this one!

  14. Placid Painting 2 months ago

    Hands are so hard getting right (!), but you’ve managed it perfectly! 🙂 I also like the ink version a lot. I don’t know if the reference is too thin, but for me (as a norwegian) it kind of reminds me of the style in the “Take on me” music video from A-ha. Anyway, loking forward to seeing your inktober-work 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕Yeah, drawing hands has always terrified me, so I figured… that means I should DO it! And WOW! Thanks! I made the ink sketch at work and knew bits of it evoked the style of children’s books in my youth, but there was something else it reminded me of and I couldn’t figure it out. And that’s IT! Totally “Take on Me” LOL Thanks for solving the mystery! And now… I can’t get that song out of my head…

      • Placid Painting 2 months ago

        Haha. I know the feeling. It’s been running in my head since I saw the drawing. I even watched the music video like five times 😀 Good reminiscing, though 🙂

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

          Yeah, I had to watch it too! So fun! Glad this brought back good memories for ya! 🙂

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

          Okay… and just replying now, the song is BACK in my head! I blame you, Kim!! 😉lol💕

  15. Eve McHugh "Sqwiffy" 2 months ago

    Great angle!

  16. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Excellent!! Love the smile! Aren’t snacks meant to be devoured mindlessly?🥰😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 And yes!! Snacks are most definitely meant to be devoured mindlessly! That’s what makes them so wonderful!

  17. LoriCtoo 2 months ago

    Wowza! This looks like out of a kid’s book. So good! When you try something different, you inspire many others to do it. So keep at it! Hands are the death of me when it comes to sketching. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Lori!! 😃💕 That’s what I was hoping for with this one! It’s the kind of style a kid at heart might make! And hands are as tough as I thought, as long as I just focused on the shapes and forget they were even hands! lol

  18. Laura Kate 2 months ago

    I like that you broke your rule about drawing people. It’s a fine self-portrait.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 Yeah, it was less of a rule and more of a fear… I’m trying to conquer all of those one by one each day this month! 😉

  19. Linda Murray 2 months ago

    You rocked this Charlie!! I’m really loving this style of art! This reminds me of an illustration in a young readers book – 😁 My middle school grandson would enjoy this!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 I’m so happy you DO! I’m loving it as well, so it might stick around past October! hehe And thank you, that’s the exact look I was hoping for. My first book was a middle school book and I wasn’t drawing at the time. I hope to re-release it with my own illustrations instead one day. 😉 As well as write and illustrate a new one!

  20. Susan 2 months ago

    Incredible!!! All those years of practice have really paid off. You are a wonderful example of “Practice, Practice, Practice”. You are at Carnegie Hall. Thank you again and again for the inspiration.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 What a wonderful comment! I actually did play violin at Carnegie Hall, but never thought I’d ever get there with my sketching. So thrilled you enjoyed this!!

  21. smzang 2 months ago

    I would have recognized the face in the painting even without the blue-framed glasses, but
    they sealed the deal. Great self portrait and you didn’t even have to cut off your ear.
    I’ve said it before…you do good work!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕hehe… yeah, I didn’t have to cut off an ear to get to my true artistic side. But… I did sort of crop off the ears as there was no way I was dealing with drawing those while attempting a foreshortened hand! lol

      • smzang 2 months ago

        I was thinking of Van Gogh…didn’t even notice your ears. Van Gogh painted his self portrait, highlighting the bandages where his ear had been, making it his signature of a sort. Your blue glasses made your painting a signature piece…okay, you knew all that. : )

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

          hehe! Yeah, thankfully blue glasses are my signature and I didn’t have to sacrifice an ear to be recognizable. Actually, weird fact, I was in a car accident in high school where part of my ear was severed off (all restored now), and still refer to it as my Van Gogh moment. 😉

  22. Jacob 2 months ago

    That’s so cool, and I totally get the book/illustrative vibe – maybe your mystery series can start with Who Ate All The Potato Chips? Relatable story! 😉 The “Betcha can’t just eat one” slogan reminds me of Pringles and “once you pop, you can’t stop”, which is also accurate, provided nobody else gets hold of the tube.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 Yeah… Pringles are totally addictive… and easier to recognize so that’s why I opted for them here. As yay! I’m definitely working up to a style for book illustration. I want to add illustrations to my mystery book. And as ever, want it to be for people of all ages. hehe 😉

  23. Umar Amina ojochide 2 months ago

    Wow

  24. Loan Anh Pham 2 months ago

    Yummy, could you pass me some potato chips, Charlie? I can share beers LOL . Your sketch is…delicious, Charlie. Making something outside our confort zones is so excited 🤩 Love this sketch❤

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      haha! Well… if you’re sharing the beer, then of course! lol 😃💕 So happy you liked this one, Loan!

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