Head In The Clouds

Day 8 - Kingfisher Illustration Watercolor - Doodlewash

Though I think I imagined painting a lovely sky full of clouds when I wrote this prompt, my mind drifted as usual today and I just wanted to paint a bird instead. For a prompt of “in the sky” I should have chosen a bird that was soaring with wings open wide against a cloud-filled sky. But, that’s not the kind of bird I am. Instead, I’m often just perched somewhere simply starting into the distance with my head totally in the clouds. Since this is also a month of stories, I figured it also marks the perfect time to make a full confession. If daydreaming were an Olympic sport, I’m rather sure I would take the gold medal. While others around me are doing that go-getter thing and making awesome things happen seemingly every second, I just keep dancing along my little circuitous path doing things as they come to mind. Luckily, the sketching thing is something I do every single day, so that’s a dream that gets to inch forward as I go along. Little bits of improvement present themselves as I take a few steps forward after a few days of taking a few steps backward. And then I start daydreaming again. Lately, as my head spins in those clouds, I’m starting to get a much clearer picture of what I’d like to DO next. And it’s not exactly what the other kids are doing, but I think it’s something that will be the most ME!

When I started this site, I had zero idea of where I wanted to take my own artwork. I was just enamored with watercolor and was crushing hard on masterful watercolor painters who made amazing things happen. That hasn’t changed at all! I’m still in total and electric awe of watercolor painters and love this painting medium first and foremost. And while I started by trying my own paintings, I quickly moved back into drawing and well, just sketching stuff. I realized that what I loved most was the way that I could color my drawings with watercolor. It was far quicker and smoother than colored pencils and only require a handful of colors. So my paintings turned into illustrations, or more like a bastard child of the two. And I personally loved this little love child that was accidentally created, thanks to watercolor, and it’s become part of my style. There’s a luminosity and brightness in watercolor that made my coloring pages shine a bit more. My “watercolory book” was more compelling and interesting than any coloring book I made as a child. Mostly, because all of the drawings were now my own drawings and not something that someone had made for me. My inner child giggled with glee and cheered me on as I made a towering stack of my very own coloring books.

When I first starting blogging, people often questioned me on the name of “doodlewash” by saying that my “paintings” where much more than doodles. In truth, they aren’t. They’re quickly scribbled with a pencil then more thoughtfully doodled in ink. The pencil marks are then erased. Next, they are colored in a ridiculously short amount of time as my inner child sticks his tongue out of the side of his mouth, roughly eyeing where the next jab of color should go next. When things don’t look quite dimensional enough, he jabs a bit of dark into places and then gleefully presents it to Mom! Well, since my mother doesn’t read my blog, I show them to my husband Philippe instead. Sometimes, the reaction is very positive and I know that means my mother might have placed it on the refrigerator, the most coveted spot. Other times, it’s a bit lackluster, and I know that it will likely just be going into a stack in the drawer. Either way, I’m just as thrilled as I was when I was a kid. I made something new and had a blast while DOing it! This is the real me and so as I imagine how I might share what I’ve learned, it’s going to come out in a rather different way, which should surprise none of the regular readers of my blog. But’s that’s exactly what I plan to DO next! So, stay tuned over the next several weeks. The most amazing things come to mind when you find your head in the clouds!

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise 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!
Kingfisher Illustration Watercolor Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
34 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 9 months ago

    I can’t wait to find out what you come up with next! Keep dreaming!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕hehe… couldn’t stop dreaming now if I tried!

  2. Purnima Manjunath 9 months ago

    Haha! Nice read! My tongue too sticks out in the side, and i keep wetting my lips with my tongue as i paint.Initially i dint think of it, but my dad brought it to my mom’s notice when i used to paint as a child! Yes! and the child in me always gets excited to show off the finished work to anyone who appreciates!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      hehe!! So happy to know I’m not the only one, Purnima! 😃💕 Yeah, I totally sketch like a kid, but that’s what makes it so much fun!

  3. Myriam (Myr's Bytes) 9 months ago

    Woohoo! You made something new and this new bird is very pretty. You’ve got quite the knack for quick sketches which are coloured luminously with watercolours. Daydreaming is awesome! And I think for you, it seems to be useful sometimes. Doubly awesome! Daydreaming occasionally comes in handy for me too, in practical ways. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Myriam! 😃💕Glad you enjoy my quick little sketches! And yeah.. sometimes… daydreaming just distracts me, but it’s worth it for the days it’s useful and brings a new idea! hehe

  4. smzang 9 months ago

    Charlie says, ” my inner child sticks his tongue out of the side of his mouth, roughly eyeing where the next jab of color should go ”

    I love the picture that statement paints. A perfect doodlewash with words, it is both visual and conceptual.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 hehe… that’s a visual far better in words. I’ve no idea if it’s as charming in reality. Probably why I haven’t appeared on video yet. lol

  5. PK Smith 9 months ago

    Charlie, your Doodlewash posts are a ray of sunshine each day. Thank you for sharing your art and soul.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Aww thanks so much! What a sweet compliment! I really appreciate it! 😃💕 So happy you enjoy these posts!

  6. Laura Hale 9 months ago

    Thanks again Charlie for sharing another colorful doodlewash and story.

  7. LoriCtoo 9 months ago

    Oh oh oh! I like surprises! Especially when it comes to art. Once again, a beautiful bird!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… All will be revealed later this month-ish I think. Still working it all out!

  8. Ellie 9 months ago

    Love your iridescent bird! But even more, I love the image of little Charlie jabbing color here and there! Thanks for a another wonderful story and painting!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Ellie! 😃💕 hehe… yep… Little Charlie is actually the one responsible for all of these paintings. Then Old Charlie writes about what just happened. 😉

  9. louiseaprimeau 9 months ago

    As all masterful storytellers, you have grabbed our attention and have us waiting with baited breath to see/read/hear what fabulous ideas you will be presenting next. Whatever they will be, I have no doubt, they will be just perfect! Cheers from 🇨🇦 !

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks so much, Louise! 😃💕 All will be revealed later this month. I always like to mention things so it ensures I will now have to actually DO them! hehe

  10. Sandra Gilbert 9 months ago

    I think we might just be sharing that Olympic gold medal for dreaming. LOL and like you, I don’t have near as much time as I would like to paint my little “doodlewashes” every night, so I grab that time and give it all I’ve got. Often giggling like a child myself.

    So dream on Charlie, it brings out the best in us and we make the world more colorful and interesting for those who don’t dream and are only able to walk a straight logical line through life.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      So true! Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 hehe… I will happily share that medal for daydreaming with you my friend. Best medal to receive ever!!

  11. Fanna Turano 9 months ago

    Charlie, I loved your admission about your head in the clouds, and must remind you of something vitally apparent: you live your dream so easily each and every day when you wake up, itching to paint, and DO it. I have entirely too much procrastination, and get bored with my assigned painting projects for the day. I, like you, live in the clouds, and wonder when I’ll grow up too. I realize that I finally have the time, finances, studio, and every single art supply ever made to realize my joy and wonder. And they’ve all made me better, as have you.

    I love reading the colors you’ve used on a certain day in DW, and try to figure out how, and in what amounts, you’ve completed your daily painting. I still wonder. I had to create a latte and several donuts the past 2 days. i was at a loss, but completed the task anyway, and then discovered your pink donut just now. Your donut looks far more edible than mine, and my husband actually said they looked like bagels! The latte was crooked he stated. I did ask for totally honesty critiques from him.

    I still try to figure out how you create your daily paintings: what colors (which you list–thank God) you’ve used, your pen, and mostly your A5 sketch book. My husband gifted me with several sizes A5 and A6, but I’m nervous about using my “good” paper for my daily paintings. Do you actually sketch in that pricy little book, which only contains about 60 pages? That’s what makes me nervous—how to let go and use the good stuff. Can you do a DW post about using the good stuff? Surely I cannot be the only one. Your pink, opus, is gorgeous, but I don’t understand where you used turquoise.

    Anyway, I comment rarely, so this long one perhaps makes up in content what it lacks in quantity. Have you blogged about this topic (using good art supplies?). I end up using my $5 huge ugly sketchbooks, and while I love to hear that crinkly, formerly wet color sketches, I crave the quality.

    Thank you, Charlie, for this post, and each and every one. Oh, by the way: how did you come to call Doodlewash, Doodlewash?

    Have a lovely weekend, Charlie!
    Fanna Turano

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Fanna! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed my posts and sketches! And think my “trick” is my complete lack of time to sketch! lol I truly only have 30-45 minutes set aside each day so I just DO it! lol There’s no way to procrastinate with that tight schedule. At first I wished for more time, but I’ve found it to be rather freeing. I just go for it and whatever happens, happens. I use my Hahnemühle A5 on a daily basis, but since I only get one sketch in per day it lasts me for a couple of months. I always look at it this way… those sketchbooks are only really valuable when we take the time to put something in them. Whatever that may be! Otherwise, they’re just sheets of paper. As for Doodlewash… It’s my process in a nutshell. I doodle by making my own little coloring book page and then I wash it with watercolor! It takes all the pressure off when I think about it like that. 😉

      • Fanna Turano 8 months ago

        Oh thank you, Charlie, for dotting all of your i’s for me. I once worked in a highly-stressed law firm. Their motto was: “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” I thought of this when I read your reply. I appreciate your drawings, learn much from them, and just now, I pulled out my A5 sketch book for tomorrow’s drawing. I appreciated your pearls of wisdom, and plan plan plan to start using “the good stuff.” Thank you, Charlie. You’re brilliant! 🙂

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

          And you’re awesome, Fanna! 😃💕 NEVER forget that! Those years of stress are behind you… now is the time to play, play, play! And don’t tell your friends at the law firm, but it’s okay to break the rules in art and enjoy whatever makes you personally happy most. And it’s not a destination, just a journey of the best kind that never ends!

  12. memadtwo 9 months ago

    Beautiful bird Charlie. I’d like feathers like that! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕hehe… you’d look lovely in feathers like this I’m sure! 😉

  13. Sandra Strait 9 months ago

    I love your birds, and I love your style. I kind of have to since it is similar to my own, lol. And yet, our work couldn’t be more different. I think it’s amazing to see how people can take the same tools and same method and create something that is a different as their own personalities. It’s awesome!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks! 😃💕 Hehe… I know, right? Once someone confused us in World Watercolor Group. I felt so honored!! We just see and paint the details. I love that about us!

  14. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 9 months ago

    A bird of ruffled feathers in colors that reflect the sky – a perfect solution for today’s prompt, Charlie.

  15. rubiescorner 8 months ago

    Advice I read here is wonderful.

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