When I was a kid, I was sometimes accused of being a bit squirrelly by my mother at times. This refers to being unusually active, impatient, or just plain nutty with too much excitement. Things, that apply to almost any child, really. And it can also refer to lots of other things including being a bit odd, eccentric or just plain unpredictable. In other words, how my mother might view me as an adult. Not a lot has changed since I was little. I’m still rather impatient and certainly impulsive, so I”m sure the description still fits. I actually adore watching squirrels, our painting prompt for today, outside my window. There’s one spot on a particular tree that has a stump of a branch poking out. You’ll often spot a squirrel sitting there, nibbling on an acorn. It’s a lovely spot, and were I an actual squirrel I’m sure I would enjoy the peaceful seclusion of it as well. Soon, however, the squirrel is off in search of more nuts, spinning around the tree like he’s descending a spiral staircase. It’s all perfectly fascinating to watch and as squirrelly as I am, I can often sit for several minutes just observing them.

For today’s doodlewash, I went a bit nuts and only drew a simple contour of a squirrel to begin. For the tree, I drew two squiggly lines for the edge and the rest was entirely “sketched” with a brush and simply made up as I went along. This was a bit new for me as my tendency would be to sketch out out all the details in the squirrel and the bark as I adore sketching with my pen. But for today, I decided to mix things up a bit and let the brush and paint do most of the work. It’s still a pointy brush, of course, a fair amount of dry brushing, and some dark mixes with barely any water at all, as I like to have a lot of lines and definition, but this one is almost entirely done in watercolor. I mentioned in yesterday’s post about pushing out of one’s comfort zone and that’s certainly what I did today. The squirrel started as a reference, but the rest was made entirely from memory with bits of imagination. If nothing else, it’s certainly an improvement over my first tree that started this little blog. Daily painting continues to be one of my greatest joys in life. It’s always a learning process, not just about painting, but discovering things about myself along the way.

I adore contrast and definition both on paper as well as in life. I like to sort out problems and discover an answer that has a lot of extra dimension to it. The one that feels definitely correct among all others. Bits of detail that might even go unnoticed, but to me, make the final notion just that much more intriguing. We once believed the world was flat, but soon discovered that it was round and full of even more mysteries. Or more precisely, ripe with possibilities, waiting to be manifested and brought to life. I’ve spent my entire career as a Creative Director trying to encourage thoughts in others, but it’s been incredibly rewarding to capture my own here each and every day. Oh yes, they’re really totally rambles combined with the latest day’s doodle, but it’s all authentically me. This is purely who I am, and if you’re reading this now, thanks for taking the time to meet the true me. I made the decision early on to not be polished here as I at least try to be in my professional life, and post literally everything I make as it happens. So, this is simply me as it happens, and I’m thrilled you dropped by to join me on this adventure. I hope you’re having fun viewing my posts as well, especially on the days when I find myself getting a bit squirrelly.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 21 - Getting A Bit Squirrelly - Squirrel In Tree - Doodlewash


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23 thoughts on “Getting A Bit Squirrelly

  1. Charlie, it’s been a joy getting to know you. Oh dear, now I have the Rodgers & Hammerstein song going through my head-talk about squirrelly! I love how beautiful your squirrel is. You may have been out of your comfort zone, but it certainly doesn’t show.

  2. You’ve painted an inquisitive little squirrel, as they tend to be. I like that you’re becoming less dependent on drawing first and lining before you start to paint, that you’re letting the paint do its work as watercolors can do. It lends energy and immediacy to art. The effect is vibrant.

    We’ve lived in our house in a eucalyptus woods (meaning a fake forest of non-native trees planted by some idiot many years ago who didn’t understand about invasive species, but I digress) more than thirty years. Right from the start, we were visited by opossums and raccoons, occasionally by coyotes who left muddy footprints to inform us they’d been stalking our property. Lots of annoying ravens, some gorgeous hummingbirds, and a few industrious woodpeckers. Lots of butterflies, and other bugs and spiders – yuck!.

    Snails, rats and mice, too, which I dislike but I have to share my environment.

    Several years ago skunks decided to freeload under our deck . Their smell literally makes me sick, and we had an awful time getting them to move out. They don’t like peppermint oil or water so we applied those liberally.

    The past few years we’ve had lovely peregrine falcons arriving every spring and autumn at the tops of the eucalyptus, always in mated pairs, announcing themselves with a beautiful cooing whistle. When the falcons are here, the ravens disappear – score two for us!

    Most recently we’ve had a squirrel, a quick footed guy who likes our staghorn ferns. Oddly, he (she?) doesn’t much care for the green leaves but nibbles on the dead, brown ones. Kinda like eating the wrapper but not the candy, but what do I know, I’m not a squirrel.

    Isn’t it amazing how much wildlife abounds in suburbia?

    1. Oh my gosh! You have quite a menagerie there! Cool! I think the peregrine falcons win it… certainly not the skunks… ewwww… or maybe it its the squirrel with its unusual eating habits. Sounds like suburbia has lots to offer for a nature hike! love it! 😃💕

  3. My friend was telling me today that they have a black squirrel coming to their feeder this winter. Mine are just plain old gray ones. As much as I like your squirrel, I really love your tree. I need to take notes! 😁

  4. Your sqi. Is beautiful .as in our place mostly it’s grae but to watching them oh it gives pleasure. In my window she gave birth of 3 babies . But i never knew one day i opened it the whole baby’s scroll ed in my room i shouted , thought mouse is here.
    But they were very pretty as well.
    We put them in there place then.
    Its beautiful charlie

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