Enjoying Natural Wonders

Blue Bird On Branch Watercolor Illustration

For Day 26 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Natural Wonders,” I couldn’t quite decide what to choose, so I simply painted a little bird enjoying the view. Feel free to imagine that this bird is viewing whatever natural wonder you love most! Yeah, that’s the perfect solution when one can’t decide. And sure, there are the big name Natural Wonders, but I tend to find myself fascinated with just about any little things that occurs naturally. Nature has such a beautiful way of making order out of chaos, and it’s quite inspiring. Everything is so different, yet it all comes together in such a beautiful way. Definitely a wonderful source of inspiration for artists. And yes, I also just adore sketching birds! There are so many different varieties that it would take a lifetime to sketch them all. I saw an article once that said there were actually around 18,000 species of birds, nearly double what was thought previously. At a sketch a day, this would take over 49 years, which seems a bit excessive. So, I’m content just sketching a random bird every now and again.

As we head into the weekend, I’m thrilled that the weather here is a bit more mild and it’s actually pleasant to be outside again. In Paris yesterday, however, it was nearly 109F (almost 43C!), setting a new record, but thankfully dropped again suddenly to more acceptable temperatures. But as crazy as the weather gets, the world outdoors is still a wonderful and magical place. Though I mostly paint indoors at my kitchen counter, you’ll find me moving outdoors sometimes in the spring and summer to sketch on our terrace. Or, just color a little doodle I snuck in earlier in the day on a lunch break. I often wish I had more time for sketching stuff, so I could make more than one thing in a day. But, as many of you discovered during World Watercolor Month, just making one thing a day is quite an accomplishment in itself! So I’m super proud to show up with my one little offering each day. It’s become my favorite little ritual and one that takes every bit of stress away each time I DO it! So, yeah, that’s why I’m constantly trying to get others to DO it as well. And I hope when this month is over, you’ll keep right on sketching stuff with me for our August Art Challenge! Just a reminder… though watercolors and gouache are still the only painting mediums, the normal monthly Doodlewash art challenges always welcome all types of drawings as well! (ink, colored pencils, crayons, etc.!)

Enjoying nature and the outdoors also provides endless options for plein air painting! And our friends at Winsor & Newton are back with another sample giveaway. This time they’re featuring Cotman Watercolours, a high quality yet affordable paint great for quick sketching and Winsor & Newton Fineliners, available in five nib sizes, and shaped for every style of drawing, featuring unparalleled ink flow using water resistant, non-fading pigment ink. Ten winners can enter to win a sampler pack of Cotman Water Colours and a Winsor & Newton Fineliner today by adding “I Want Winsor & Newton!” to your comment below. This is only open to US/Canada, so be sure to also check out our international giveaways happening now! I’ll draw 10 names from everyone who comments with the phrase tomorrow night before I post, and those 10 lucky folks will get a sample (be sure to look for my reply to you so I can let you know, and you can then send me your name and address for shipping). I hope you’re enjoying this month as much as I have! It’s been such an exciting and incredible journey. And if you take a look at our World Watercolor Month global art gallery, you’ll see just what it’s like to spend a bit of time enjoying natural wonders!

UPDATE: Winners have already been drawn for this sample giveaway! 

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!
Blue Bird On Branch Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail


Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Terresa 3 years ago

    I want Winsor and Newton!!! Love your colorful bird!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Terresa! 😃💕Your name wasn’t drawn on this one, but there were only a couple extra names, so I’ll send yours on to see if Winsor & Newtown might still still send a sample!

  2. Cryss BlackWolf 3 years ago

    “I Want Winsor & Newton!” What a cool giveaway!

  3. Sandra Gilbert 3 years ago

    I Want Winsor & Newton… This sounds like a fun sample. I didn’t know they made fineliners.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Yes, they have fineliners! I did a Sketching Stuff giveaway for them last month. and yay! 😃💕 Your name was drawn so I’ll have Winsor & Newton send you samples!

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 years ago

    Of course I want Winsor & Newton – but then I buy and use them all the time anyway. Have to admit, I love trying new watercolor paints.

    I also love this tiny bluebird. I always encouraged my young students to include a bit of sky color in the main subject of a landscape, and as an alternate, your bird’s turquoise feathers are reflected in the twig on which she sits. I know you understand this, but just saying, this is a terrific reminder about how to use color.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Aww thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Glad you liked this! I only learned this about color a bit of a way into my journey after a few pieces that seemed a bit “flat.” hehe… and using a limited palette most of the time now, I always try to make sure the colors I’ve chosen made appearances throughout the piece! And yay! Your name was drawn so I’ll have Winsor & Newton send you samples!

  5. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Charles I think your bird is a natural wonder as are all the birds. I love waking up to their songs even if it is so early. The weather should be great here tomorrow and I hope to get out and sketch somewhere inspiring. At the very least there is a giant hosta in bloom at the end of the driveway that I had hoped to paint today. If the deer don’t eat it tonight I will get to it tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Hopefully the deer didn’t eat your sketching subject! hehe Sounds like a beautiful weekend ahead!

  6. Linda Murray 3 years ago

    I want Winsor & Newton! That would be awesome!👍😀
    Love the bluebird! Every year I look for them in our birdhouses. Alas, the sparrows set up shop no matter how many times I clean out their nests. Maybe next year. 😔

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 Yeah, those sparrows are quick to nest! hehe And yay! Your name was drawn for the sample giveaway. Just send me a note here with name, address (and phone number if in Canada) for shipping! – https://doodlewash.com/contact/

      • Linda Murray 3 years ago

        Wow!! Thank you Charlie! I’m so excited!!!

  7. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    Awesome bird, and I especially like the colors on the twig. I Want Winsor & Newton! I’ve never tried Cotman or W&N Fineliners.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Your name wasn’t drawn on this one, but there were only a couple extra names, so I’ll send yours on to see if Winsor & Newtown might still still send a sample! 😉

  8. swxe 3 years ago

    “I Want Winsor & Newton!”
    Looks like I’m finally phasing out of my college adjunct job over the next year (10 years in now, and never expected to stay on after I got my degree!).
    So now, at almost 65 and single by choice (except for the kitty tribe), time to reinvent myself and my world again.
    What do I want to be when I grow up?
    After a lifetime of serial care-giving and educational heirarchy/grading —
    Free as a bird, to paint and play and follow inspirations…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Wow! That sounds like a wonderful time in your life, Jennifer! And yes, I hope to spend my entire life trying to figure out what I want to be when I group up! 😉 And yay! 😃💕Your name was drawn so I’ll have Winsor & Newton send you a sample!

      • swxe 3 years ago

        I was actually kinda down about it this evening, worrying about the dreaded Hows — like how am I going to make it through the end of the year with no notice and no float…?
        Trying to keep going back into grounded and positive, just doing one thing, one thing, one thing, until it sorts itself out (maybe after Mercury Retrograde).
        This was just the encouragement I needed right now.
        Thanks a bazillion!

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

          Oh Triple-Wow! That makes me so happy to hear! 😃💕 I think it’s always a choice, so I choose positive… life is just so much better that way! 😉

  9. Lisa 3 years ago

    I want Winsor & Newton!

    Downtown, in the small town where I grew up, there was a tiny one story building a block off the main street. For some reason my friend and I went up to it and looked in the windows. We were amazed to see the whole room filled with ferns and moss and all manner of green growing things. Nature has a way to reclaim everything.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Wow… that sounds like a fabulous and mysterious place to view indeed, Lisa! I would do the same! 😃💕And yay, your name was drawn for a sample! Just send me a note here with your full name, address for shipping! – https://doodlewash.com/contact/

  10. Amelia walters 3 years ago

    I want Winsor& Newton if you send to Uk if I win !!! Love your bird and love your blogs daily. Amazing how you keep going daily but I have only missed two watercolour days….

  11. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Wonderful bird! Love the colors!

  12. jotsfromasmallapt 3 years ago

    Of course I Want Winsor & Newton! Fine products. Brilliant bird, Charlie!

  13. Laura Kate 3 years ago

    Beautiful Eastern bluebird

  14. Laura Jones 3 years ago

    I want Windsor &Newton too! I love prompts you post every day. It feeds me to see your paintings on days I can’t get that far. Thank you!

  15. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    I want Windsor & Newton! I want it all! Lol. I’ve become a birdwatcher this summer. Not sure if it is age or the online nature sketch/painting class I am taking, but it has been funl Or it could be all the beautiful birds you sketch! We discovered a little bird last night that does not have a tail. Poor little guy. He seems to get around okay, but I will be googling to find out how he flies. We have also discovered some birds that we do not know what they are. We’ve never seen them before, but there is a pair. I’ve tried to look them up, but no luck. I’ve become one of those old ladies who feeds and watches the birds. Bahahwa! Giggle giggle!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      hehe! Yay! Nothing wrong with being an old lady bird watcher…. I am too! Well… not a lady, exactly, but you get the idea! lol 😉 And yay! 😃💕Your name was drawn so I’ll have Winsor & Newton send you a sample!

      • LoriCtoo 3 years ago

        Yeah for me! I am on a roll! Thank you!

  16. Robert J. Coleman 3 years ago

    I want Winsor & Newton! And I use them too. Love the bluebird; I imagine him sitting on the branch looking out over a field, searching for food for his fledglings. I had a family of bluebirds once in my back yard and fed them mealworms. It was a real hoot to watch the babies, as large as the parents, waiting noisily on a branch for the parents to go down to the mealworm tray and return to stuff the food in their mouths. They were big enough to get the worms for themselves! Typical kids, want everything handed to them , but the parents will push them out soon enough….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      haha! Adore that story, Bob! Yep… typical kids. Why bother when you have perfectly good parents who can do it for you? lol 😉 And yay! 😃💕Your name was drawn so I’ll have Winsor & Newton send you a sample!

  17. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    There have been such fantastic giveaways this month! Truly awesome! A good reason for your fabulous Bluebird of Happiness!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕Yeah, the giveaways this year have been so amazing! I can’t win a one, of course, but it’s way more fun to be able to give stuff away! 😉

  18. Eve 3 years ago

    Charlie, what a sweet bird. One of my favourite things to paint. My best intentions but I did not do a sketch every day this month! But in my defence i had some paintings to do for admission in my city’s art group’s annual exhibition. Very exciting and scary first one. I entered 4 framed pictures and 6 portfolios. I might be able to fit some into July’s prompts.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Eve! 😃💕And no worries, it’s all about trying and seeing what can happen. And I think an admission into your city’s art group’s exhibition is a glorious thing indeed! That’s awesome!! Congrats on DOing that! (and don’t be scared… it’s the DOing that counts most!) 😉

  19. June Hadaway 3 years ago

    Beautiful bird. Love the colors. That is a lot of birds! I love painting on my deck…somrelaxibg.

    • June Hadaway 3 years ago

      I want Windsor and Newton. Oops, this may be one I have already won. Sorry, if so.

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

        Actually, I’d already closed the sample giveaway for this one! 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕Glad you liked this!

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