In The Weeds

Fox Red In Grass Flowers Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Weeds” today, I wasn’t sure what to sketch and found this one rather challenging to come up with something. To add to that, I only had a few minutes to quickly scribble and color. I looked up the definition of a “weed” and it’s apparently just something that applies to undesirable plants in human-controlled settings. That last bit was striking in that all sorts of leaves, grasses, and lovely wild flowers might be thought of as weeds to humans, but to animals, they’re just the beautiful tapestry of home. And we can say that people are sometimes “in the weeds” to describe that feeling of being caught up in details and complexities. Weeds are things that can’t be easily controlled, and well, humans rather like to control things. But, I for one, sometimes love being in the weeds, and playing with watercolor where the results always vary. There’s no way to control it if you’re moving quickly, and I’m always moving rather quickly, so it’s a surprise each and every time. And while human nature seeks to control things, the other nature always knows exactly how things should happen in the end.

While many nights lately, I’ve been able to carve some time and make my sketch and post for the day rather early in the evening, today was quite different. It was definitely a Monday, in that everything seemed busy and crazy again after a blissfully relaxing weekend. I actually asked Philippe what day it was as I wasn’t convinced this week could be this incredibly busy without some sort of running start. But, he informed me that indeed it was only Monday and I was left wondering how on earth I’ll get through the rest of the week. Some days just feel like a concentrated juice drink. When a little water is added, suddenly everything bursts forward with flavor and intensity. I thought I was ready to start the week, but I think part of me was still clinging to the weekend like a security blanket. I guess I wasn’t totally ready to lurch back into all of the daily responsibilities that I have and so I’ve been sort of struggling to keep up today. My work day included all of those tiny little details that sort of roll off the brain unless one has adopted a laser focus.

While I adore a bit of detail in my sketches, it’s never purely accurate detail. I don’t really have a laser focus. I just like to get across the general idea of something. I love concepts and the big picture of things most. What I include as detail is really just a bit of an illusion. It’s the idea of detail, but not really the actual details themselves. So, today, with only minutes to sketch, I ended up with just the purest version of how my mind works, since I had to stop at the level of detail that happens almost immediately when I make something. I rather liked the illustrative look, but it lacks some of the subtle shadows and other things I include when I fuss over things a touch more. It strikes me, though, that little nuances in both painting and writing are often a wonderful thing. I know that personally, I enjoy the sketches that I stole a bit more time for so I could add more of those illusions of detail. Sometimes just a little burst of blue or a shadow that goes darker can transform a sketch into something rather incredible. There’s actually something really wonderful about having the time to get lost in the weeds.

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Fox Red In Grass Flowers Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
37 Comments
  1. Marisela Delgado 2 months ago

    Yay! First to comment! Super cute painting, Charlie. So pretty! 😊 Did you hear the news? A baby Panda 🐼 was born today here in the US. Yay!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Aww… yes!! So I probably should find a way to add a panda in soon to celebrate!

  2. writerleenda 2 months ago

    Hey Charlie I hope this is a fox or I will sound pretty silly. The eyes have a human look to which we would add a raised eyebrow. Love it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 hehe… yeah… I tend to anthropomorphize my animals a bit!

  3. Karen Fortier 2 months ago

    Wonderful fox Charlie! It has been months since I’ve seen our resident fox family. Rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels rule lately. A skunk passed through a few nights ago. I know as the windows were all open and I woke up to that distinctive aroma. 🤢 Got to love country life. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Aww… skunks are cute, but yeah, they’re calling card is rather funky! hehe

  4. Viki Banaszak 2 months ago

    So cute! Your quick is my hours. LOL

  5. Lisa 2 months ago

    I haven’t seen a fox in years. It seems there were a lot more of them when I was a kid. We also saw porcupines a lot .and I don’t think I’ve seen one for over 20 years. When I was living way up north I was surprised and delighted to discover flying squirrels coming in in the dark of night to eat seeds at my bird feeder! Never saw any around here even though they are supposed to be here. When I went out to the garden today I discovered a deer had eaten off my flat leaf parsley, and a racoon had eaten one of my big tomatoes! Infuriating!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Yeah, I used to see foxes here all of the time, but haven’t now in a few years. And raccoons were prevalent at one point as well… though I can’t say I miss them. They are rascals with tomatoes indeed! 😉

  6. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    I wish suburban America wasn’t as in love with their grassy lawns. So often those ‘weeds’ would be so much better for the ecology, and many of them are nutritious too!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      I know, right? I adore the look of weedy patches of leaves and flowers. So much prettier! 😃💕

  7. Nellie Nellie 2 months ago

    Charlie this fox reminds me of late 60s-early 70s art. I think it’s simply perfect! I had a genius art teacher that taught me the significance of line drawing. I’m just learning water color (if you don’t count K-6)
    and I love them together. When I’ve been seeking out my hidden treasures of illustration, I realize how much of my childhood art influence is pen and wash, watercolor and ink. They’re the reason I’m here! Thanks for being on this journey too!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Nellie! 😃💕 yay! When I don’t have any time to add details, I always go back to my childhood for inspiration. And yes, it’s the reason I want to write and illustrate books today! And will hopefully actually do so soon! hehe

  8. Gary Middleton 2 months ago

    Beautiful painting, Charlie.

  9. Mugdha 2 months ago

    Hello Charlie,

    Beautiful Doodlewash as usual, but today, before my mind could even really register the title of your post, I was drawn to the clump of pretty wildflowers behind the fox. I love wildflowers and only recently came to know that there is actually a real job called ‘wildflower picking’. Though Im not one for picking or plucking flowers (I love them blooming where they belong), I still found myself wishing for this job even if just for a day. And you’re right about Mondays… they can drag on forever and still leaving you with no time to breathe. Don’t worry, it’ll be pizza night before you know it. 🙂

    Love,
    Mugdha

    P. S. Im jealous of all those people here who have foxes and rabbits visiting their gardens – even skunks for that matter coz that’s living in nature. But am really happy for them too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 hehe.. I used to have foxes visiting me, but these days it’s all about the rabbits! And yes to wildflowers! I adore them… seeing them appear is like watching nature paint! Though yes, it’s best they stay where they are, if one has to have a job, picking wildflowers would certainly be one of the most fun!

  10. LoriCtoo 2 months ago

    Oh my gosh, how cute! I can’t tell you left some things undone. It is still wonderful!

  11. Eduardo Cabrera Campos 2 months ago

    Fascinante, Charlie, me gusto

  12. shawnthompsonart 2 months ago

    Nice painting, you really captured the weeds well around the fox.

  13. Jennifer New 2 months ago

    Yes! Time to get lost in the weeds! Since I was a little girl, I have always enjoyed searching for new growth during Spring and Summer, whether it is weeds, which I think are gorgeous, flowers, and insects, spiders in the dirt and along the base of trees. We bought our farm last October and I have truly enjoyed exploring. I am really enjoying your drawings and stories :)Jen

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jen! 😃💕 So happy you’re enjoying my illustrations and stories. And I’m so jealous that you bought a farm! My best memories are from time spent on my grandparent’s farm in the summer. Yay for getting lost in those weeds!

      • Jennifer New 2 months ago

        I am very happy you were able to enjoy time with your grandpa on his farm. My grandpa and grandpa passed away on their farm, right before I was born. My dream was to have my own farm some day for our children! They are grown, but our large family of 13 grandchildren, 🙂 which I never even envisioned in my dream, and our children still get to start enjoying the farm. I pray they have some of the wonderful memories you had! Have a blessed day :)Jen

  14. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Rushed or not it’s a lovely sketch, Charlie! Wish everyone could appreciate those “weeds” in the yard as much as this fox. My house is surrounded by weeds which do get mowed down every week only to spring back with more vigor in a day or two. I could never live someplace where I had to “control” what’s growing in my yard. The bees and butterflies love those “weeds” as much as I.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yay for that! I love a yard that’s natural… it’s so much more beautiful than the manicured variety any day!

  15. Priscilla DeConti 2 months ago

    Your paintings never look rushed to me..they are always beautiful and detailed…thanks again for playing in the weeds it came out beautiful!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ll always jab in details… hehe… but I adore dimension and that takes a little extra time.

  16. Mary Clark 2 months ago

    I don’t mean to ask a stupid question but I love your sketch of the little fox in the weeds. Could I use it to sketch? Of course mine won’t be exactly like yours but it’s a great pic and it inspires me.

    • writerleenda 2 months ago

      Hi Mary

      This writer (so you know where I’m coming from) thanks you for asking such an intelligent question. Too many people don’t and just use it and that violates copyright (oh oh). If someone says you can use their painting to sketch from, when you sign it always put “your name as per the original artist’s name.” pr to that effect so viewers will know you didn’t just take it. While I am at it, please sign your name to your work before posting it — that does not stop trolls from stealing and selling but it gives you grounds to fix those nasty little hellions. I am so glad you asked — they teach this stuff to writers but not to artists for some obscure reason.

      I don’t share my work on my page either although there is an option on Facebook to disallow sharing.

      Blessings!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      If you’d like to for practice, that’s fine! But if it’s very similar in the end, then just reference me if you post something! 😉

      • Mary Clark 2 months ago

        I am a hobby artist. I do not sell my works. However, I do sometimes give them away. Thanks everyone.

        • Mary Clark 2 months ago

          P.S. I would always give you the reference on the back if I gave it away. Something like Inspired by Charlie O aka “Doodlewash”. 🙂

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