Innocent Cravings

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 22 - Innocent Cravings Dessert Cake Watercolor - Doodlewash

When thinking of our prompt of “innocent” today, my mind quickly went to the opposite and the notion of guilty pleasures. Those little things that we indulge in that really aren’t all that bad, but not always all that good, like my penchant for desserts. Since there’s not really that much harm in simply wanting a dessert, I tend to think of it an an innocent craving rather than something one should ever feel guilty about. This is, of course, simply something I convince myself of in order to justify what I want. That is, after all, the very core of being human. In my defense, I don’t actually indulge whenever I think about eating dessert, but I do think about it quite often. There’s just something wonderful about that perfect ending to a great meal. It’s the cherry on top, even if it doesn’t come with a cherry. A smile maker and happy bringer that I thoroughly enjoy! But yes, it’s mostly a fantasy, save the occasional bite as I’m still on a bit of diet heading into the warmer weather. But for each bite I don’t take, I’m still happy imagining what it must be like. 

I’m never really one to plan very far ahead and though I can pull it together to give the illusion of being on task, I’m always trailing a bit behind. So many things that I know I should do make the list and sit there waiting until the last possible moment to be completed. It’s a masterful form of procrastination that I’ve been developing over the past several years. I’m always enthralled and amazed at people who can jump right in and get everything done right away. I’ve instead been the type to require a deadline, and even with that, I’ll still wait until the last second to complete it. But, in my defense, my mind simply doesn’t work in a sequential and organized fashion. I have to push everything together in the blur of the moment in order to think properly. It’s also how I paint. It’s not perfectly layered or structural, but a quick and frenetic approach that yields whatever it yields. For me, it’s super fun and energetic. It takes all the academia out and lets me color like a kid again. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t made a tutorial yet. How can I teach you how to simply embrace your inner child and paint without restraint?

That said, I do intend to try this year, so stay tuned. I’ll be sharing more of my crazy approach to painting and sketching in the coming months. It’s not textbook, but was happily influenced by lovely masters who took the time to share what they know. I’m no master at all, but I do show up each day with enthusiasm and a paint brush. I think sometimes, this is probably the most important thing to do. There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to art, despite what curators and critics might tell you. It’s a mingling of color, lines, and emotion that really can’t ever be explained. Like every great story ever told and retold, we can analyze it, but that fails to get to the heart of why we actually love it. Beyond technique, there lies another world, controlled entirely by impulse and feeling. That, to me, is the real world of art. The one that evokes memories forgotten and connects with us in a way that can’t always be immediately described. Just a visual that rekindles our most primal feelings and, sometimes even, our quiet intimate cravings.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Nickel Azo Yellow, 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!
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 22 - Innocent Cravings Dessert Cake Watercolor - Doodlewash
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on, contact me!

  1. Sandra Strait 9 months ago

    I love your beautiful cake painting, but even more I love the news that you’ll share your techniques – or lack of them – with us!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕haha! Definitely the lack of them! Love that! I did learn how to paint correctly, but I just didn’t like is as well as the way I do it. 😊

      • Sandra Strait 9 months ago

        It’s good that there are those of us out there willing to do our own thing, or every painting would look exactly the same!

  2. Sharon Nolfi 9 months ago

    Lovely cake. I like to live life by impulse and feeling whenever possible!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕Excellent!! That’s really the best way to live!!

  3. Lisa 9 months ago

    That’s a lovely essay!

    There is no such thing as procrastination. Let me show you.

    There was an old man sitting by a river. A couple of teens came by messing around and slashing at stuff with sticks. They stopped in front of the old man and said, Hey, what cha doing? Painting, said the man. They started laughing because he had no brushes, or paper, or paint. They laughed, and crossed their eyes, and jumped around like monkeys. Then the old man pointed at the river behind them. Did you see that giant fish leap from the water? The boys spun around but there was nothing there. Exactly, said the old man.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 No THAT’S a lovely essay and story! Love that!! If only everyone could see with an artist’s eye.

  4. Rod Fletcher 9 months ago

    I feel that emotional well-spring too Charlie. The difficulty is not in seeing Lisa’s fish (above), but sharing it with others on paper. That is why I keep on trying, so that one day I can share that which is within.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Rod! 😃💕 I can say that you definitely share it already… it’s nearly impossible not to share what’s within when we paint. It’s there, even when the artist can’t see it. We all do.

  5. Mary Roff 9 months ago

    Wonderful cake! It would be hard to resist. My favorite paintings always seem to be the ones that have a memory attached. They may not be the “best” paintings but are the most enjoyable to paint.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 I totally agree… those are my favorites as well… since I write everyday, I sometimes enjoy the story that went with it, but if the painting didn’t turn out great, not as many people read it to understand why it was so wonderful! hehe

  6. Delores Azary 9 months ago

    Your dessert looks delicious. For me, it is the fruit on top that makes it looks so appealing! I prefer my sweets from fruit. I am taking a class in Expressionistic watercolor and am learning to loosen up. I was such a perfectionist so I am learning to lay all of that aside and not be judgmental of my work. The struggle is real and it is not easy to let it all go! I have spent many years being a perfectionist and looking at the details. I wanted to challenge myself. Our teacher is impressing upon us the necessity to see color values when we view something before we begin to paint. Last night as I was leaving class I caught myself unconsciously thinking about lights, mediums and darks on the expressway on which I was driving. LOL! Maybe there is hope for this seasoned perfectionist if I keep practicing!

    Doodlewash is inspiring me every day! Thank you for creating this wonderful community! I look forward to your tutorials!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Delores! 😃💕 I agree… fruit on top is the best! I adore that story! YES! You’re seeing the world like a painter now! That means you’re on your way to a better kind of perfection. 😉 My own style evolved from wanting to create an illusion of reality but doing it in the fastest way possible. hehe… So yep, had to loosen up a LOT, but found a way to keep my details in place.

  7. Miss Gentileschi 9 months ago

    I feel we´re kindred spirits when it comes to delicious desserts, Charlie. 😉 And I couldn’t agree more – sometimes showing up with a paint brush daily is probably the most important thing to do! 🙂 💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Hehe… I would totally share my dessert with you… I just like having a bite, I’m good at sharing! lol 😃💕 And yes… I’ve found that I feel totally awesome just because I showed up, even though not every day yields something particularly amazing.

      • Miss Gentileschi 9 months ago

        That’s good to know especially since I find it very hard to stop after just one bite! 😁

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

          Yeah, I’ve seen people do that… stop after just one bite of dessert… but seems so unnatural… almost creepy! lol

  8. smzang 9 months ago

    That looks so delicious I could chew the screen, and the writing…truly delicious too.

    “the real world of art. The one that evokes memories forgotten and connects with us in a way that can’t always be immediately described”

    You are a maestro with the brush and pen!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Aww thank you my friend! 😃💕 I’m so happy you enjoyed this one!

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