For Day Twenty-Eight of World Watercolor Month, and our optional prompt of “Instrument,” I ended up with a fox playing a fiddle. I thought about the various instruments I’ve played or attempted to play in my life and the violin was the one I played the most. I’m not sure I was particularly amazing when it came to this instrument, but I did get to play with my high school orchestra at Carnegie Hall and that was totally incredible. After high school, the violin was used just one more time and I haven’t tried again after that. In short, it’s been decades now and I’m not sure I’d be able to even remember how to play it. Yet, I spent decades without drawing anything and just picked it up again six years ago. I never practiced violin that much, so I can’t really complain that I wasn’t a virtuoso. But, I now sketch each and every day, and as it turns out, practice is essential when it comes to both music and art.

There were so many times on my art journey where I was very frustrated with my progress. In fact, it’s just been in the last year that I feel like I’ve been able to do some of the things I hoped to do. For example, when I played violin I would have to learn and memorize the music carefully, while others could effortlessly play by ear. This meant they could simply conjure up a tune with no reference at all. That’s been my goal for my own illustrations as well. I wanted to be able to glance at a few references and then happily start sketching without bothering to look at them again. I tried doing this early on and the results were disastrous. So, I just kept on sketching stuff each day and practicing. Now, I can DO that thing I thought was nearly impossible. After glancing at several fox images, I made this while just looking right at the page. And that made me very happy.

Philippe has put up with a lot over these past six years with regard to my sketching enthusiasm. There were many times when this hobby, especially while building up this very site took most of my free time. But now, with a bit of practice and lots of learning, I’m better at managing all of that as well. At least things seem to break less on this website, which is always a great thing! But the thing is, I’m still just as curious and enthusiastic when it comes to sketching as the very moment I first started, six years ago, this very month. I love conjuring up images and crafting stories. It’s what I’ve done my entire life in various forms and so even if I’m not practicing just one specific thing, I’m always practicing my creativity. Oh yeah, that’s not a special talent either. As it turns out, everything worth doing in life just takes a bit of practice. And that’s exactly what I’ll continue to do in the months and years ahead, like a fiddling fox.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Quinacridone Red, Gold Ochre, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, and Phthalo 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!
Fox And The Fiddle Playing Violin Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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12 thoughts on “Fiddling Fox

  1. I can’t imagine not having something that I’m learning, whether it’s just improving what I’ve been doing or starting something entirely new. You always say you’re just a big kid. I’m not sure if that’s why you love learning and improving, or if it’s the learning and improving that keeps you so young at heart!

  2. Hello Charlie,

    I love Amadeus Fox! He looks so content. 🙂 Your art journey and commitment has always been such an inspiration. You probably don’t know just how many people have re-met their inner child thanks to Doodlewash. So many of us were told so often that painting or sketching wasn’t meant for us and somehow thanks to you, we tried again and just picked up a brush because we wanted to – not coz we had to prove our worth to somebody. And it’s all thanks to you! So many thank you hugs coming your way…


  3. Thanks for a great painting and a great lesson. When I joined this site a couple of years ago, I immediately wanted to paint and draw like some of the fantastic artists here including you. I am humbly reminded that it still takes practice and perseverance to achieve the goals I would like. I still have a ways to go but if I continue to practice it will get better
    Hugs and thanks for the encouragement 😍

  4. Hola, Charlie! Such a sweet fox. I totally agree with my friend, Mugdha. You make us want to paint when that was always left for talented people, not us. That you are a rock star painter makes us hopeful for our success. While I joined your blog as a way to learn and improve for my card making, you have given us more— a sweet journey and a sweetheart guide. 💕

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