Fun And Games

Shiba Inu Watercolor Illustration

For Day 4 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Family Fun,” I thought of a furry family member waiting for a game of ball. It’s the 4th of July here, so a very Happy 4th to everyone who’s celebrating this day and an extra shout out to your furry friends, should you have them. Actually, this isn’t my dog, as my Phineas is a basenji, but he once had a crush on a Shiba Inu like this one. In general, he prefers people over other dogs, but this particular dog caught his eye and his heart. Perhaps because she was also an ancient breed like himself. Her name was Keiko and they would play their own game of wrestling around that could only be referred to as “bite face.” A strangely aggressive game, to be sure, for two lovers, but that’s the game they liked best. When throwing a ball, Keiko would chase it with glee, thrilled that the game had begun. Phineas, however, has never really shown any interest whatsoever in playing with a ball, so for his part, he would simply chase after Keiko. It was fun to watch and they enjoyed several months together until Keiko unfortunately moved away. To this day, while Phineas remains generally disinterested in other dogs, he’ll still perk up his ears when he sees a Shiba walking down the street. His eyes grow a bit wistful, no doubt, thinking back to that one that got away.

On this holiday, Philippe, Phineas and I had no plans whatsoever. Our families are not here and half of the family is French and won’t be celebrating anything until le 14 juillet, or what we call Bastille Day. But we were thrilled for the day off and the lovely opportunity to relax and do nothing much at all. For my part, I did actually manage to make some homemade ice cream this afternoon, and Philippe said he’s going to make homemade waffle cones to go with it. Tonight, there will be the sound of fireworks all around us as people celebrate the day. We might wander up to our rooftop deck to see the show, but weirdly, it’s all on the far horizon as the closest fireworks display is obscured by the downtown buildings. Or, we may go to bed early and watch Stranger Things on Netflix. The fun part about a day off with no plans is that you can continue to have no plans up to the very last minute. These are my favorite days of all! The kind that don’t seem to require anything more than a smile. Days like this are perfectly rare so I adore them each and every time that manage to happen.

Oh, and I always forget to mention it here, but I launched a special new episode of my Sketching Stuff Podcast this week for World Watercolor Month, so if you get a chance, please have a listen and leave me your comments! Though I show up to sketch and paint each and every day, doing so often seems like a huge challenge to many people. It’s really not difficult at all, and for me, it’s about simply playing and taking a little break. I guess if I thought I had to create something perfect, it would likely paralyze me and I’d think, “Oh, I don’t have time for that today so I’ll try it tomorrow.” Thankfully, I’ve never really cared about perfection and just scribble, doodle, color whatever comes to mind! Results, as I often say, vary wildly by approaching it this way, but I always get results. And more than that, it always brings me joy! I’m like that little dog happily chasing after a ball each time. Ludicrous, certainly, but so incredibly fun! Though life can often involve so many things happening at once that it’s tough to keep up, I always know that when we choose to allow it, there’s always just a bit of extra time for fun and games.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Terra Cotta 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!
Shiba Inu Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
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16 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 2 weeks ago

    Great dog Charlie. I can see why your dog was enamored. Glad you had a much desired day to not plan.😉

  2. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    Poor Phineas! Happy Independence Day!

  3. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    Wonderful dog, Charlie! Ooh, homemade ice cream and waffle cones…great way to end the day!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 hehe… yeah… I’m trying to get Philippe to agree to repeating it again tonight! Fingers crossed! lol

  4. Lisa 2 weeks ago

    I did my painting 4 today, but I’m not posting it because I was painting the field and woods out my front window and the sun went down before I finished and things went off the rails pretty fast from there. So I’m holding it until I get a redo and then I’ll put up both of them as a before and after deal.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Ohhh… before and afters are cool! hehe Yay! 😃💕 I only have the time I have so you normally see everything I make that day, but there have been a couple of times when I quickly made something else instead. I posted one of the outtakes in my Sketching Stuff Facebook Group. hehe

  5. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    Your 4th of July celebration sounds much like mine. We do get a good fireworks display as we’re close (perhaps too close to one) and can watch them from our living room. I’ve never liked them much though. Too loud and the smell always gives me a headache. Love your Shiba. They have a personality and strange vocalizations like a Basenji so perhaps Phineas thought Keiko was a relative.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah, I think that’s it with the Shiba…. he always likes other basenjis! And yeah, we prefer the fireworks we can watch from home. There was a cloud of smoke in the city last night… ugh!

  6. LoriCtoo 2 weeks ago

    I don’t like all the noise from 4th of July and the fear of fire. I love everything else about the holiday. We went to a small town parade that we used to take our son to when he was 3. So many memories came back. Lovely puppy. You always capture great expressions on your animals.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, Phineas is not a fan of the noise either. Nor are we when we want to sleep already! lol Thankfully, it rained last night so that stopped the all night revelers!

  7. June Hadaway 2 weeks ago

    Beautiful portrait. Your neighbor who moved away would adore it! Next time, maybe add Phineas? They look like they were a cute couple!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕 hehe… I should try a portrait of the two of them one day. I must have a photo somewhere of that!

  8. smzang 2 weeks ago

    I am sad that Phineas was parted from his one true love,
    but I’m sure that you’ve already told him it is better to
    have lost her than never to have met her at all.

    A belated Happy 4th. Your day sounds sensational!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕Hope you had a wonderful day as well! Yeah, we told Phineas all of that, but he just stared at us as though we must be crazy. Sometimes dogs miss the nuances in life. 😉

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