Just One Little Flower

Mouse With Flower Watercolor Childrens Illustration

As many of you know I’m on a bit of a break from daily posting, but I wanted to pop in and say hello! I’ve loved watching what everyone is creating for the Doodlewash January Art Challenge! I’m currently working on a picture book concept, which has primarily meant that I’ve been sketching mice is a hundred different ways this past week. All of the sketches have been in pencil, pen and ink as I try to find and then practice getting a likeness for my main character. This little one appeared during one of my fast little sketches so I decided to quickly add a touch of color for this post. Also, I hope everyone is having a very Happy New Year so far! This is that time of year where we often make little resolutions to ourselves of things we’d like to DO going forward. For me, it’s still the usual goal of sketching every single day. But this year, I’m determined to learn brand new things, experiment a lot more, and step way the heck out of my comfort zone. I’ll be holding on tightly to the hand of my inner child as we skip forward on this new adventure together!

Today was the first day back to work after an extended vacation and I have to admit that it was a bit tough at first. My mind was still in a holiday fog as I started my day, but eventually I was back, thanks in a large part to an entire pot of coffee. Philippe and I had been putting together puzzles over this past week. We managed to get through two of them and then boldly decided to start a third one. This was a 1,500 piece puzzle of various Degas paintings and while it looked lovely, it was tough as hell! Philippe sort of gave up at the end of the week, so this weekend, I was determined to get more pieces in place so that he would return to help me. I think I succeeded, as he worked on it a bit over lunch today and wasn’t cursing the entire time. It also turned out to be a fun way to study the color use of a master painter, so even the frustration was worth it in the end. It’s still quite incomplete, of course, but it’s closer to feeling a touch more possible.

In truth, that’s how I feel about my current project as well. I made some strides this week and learned a ton about character design, but I also realized just how much I don’t actually know. From creating a consistent character to coming up with backgrounds, which I’ve no real experience doing, it’s been a joyful and humbling experience so far. But, I’m not daunted in the least. Like always, practice is all it takes and there aren’t any other shortcuts. So, I’m going to head back and doodle like a madman until I figure some things out. Philippe is very supportive of my renewed enthusiasm and wasn’t even at all shocked to find me creating a mouse out of clay for an additional reference model. No, I haven’t modeled anything out of clay since I was a child, but it was super fun to DO! I hope you’re having a creative and fabulous start to the year, as I give you a big virtual hug and just one little flower.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Pthalo Blue, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an Hahnemühle D&S Sketchbook. 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!
Mouse With Flower Watercolor Childrens Illustration
Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
37 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    This guy is just too cute, Charlie!! Lovely to hear your ‘voice’ today and to catch up on all that’s happening in your life. I’ve been painting mice on birthday, valentine, anniversary, lunch box notes for my husband for almost 50 years. However, my mice tend to look like distorted triangles with ears, their faces covered with icing from birthday cake or blowing kisses in the shape of hearts. Look forward to the next update on your adventure.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 hehe! Those mice sound perfectly awesome!! And now for some reason I’m totally craving birthday cake! lol

  2. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    It’s so much more fun writing and illustrating a story when you don’t plan to publish it. Having to worry about the logistics of publishing freaks me out, and makes it hard to really commit to the final work. Good thing I’m not on any kind of deadline! I’m glad you’re making headway with your book!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      So true!! I think if I just pretended it was a personal project that would never see the light of day, I’d get more done. I think I’ll try that! hehe 😉 Also, I really like my concept so that never helps… I don’t want to screw it up! lol

      • Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

        I did try just going with it, but then the illustrations didn’t fit the page properly. *sigh* Ah well, it’s just a mind-block and I’ll get over it. Sooner or later, lol.

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

          Yeah, I’m doing planning sketches and planning is SO not my thing! lol So, it’s harder than it should be fighting against my own well-formed bad habits. hehe Fun to push through it though! 😉

  3. writerleenda 3 weeks ago

    Charlie, Mice!! Playmates for my Mischief Mouse who did not grace my Christmas cards this year but did show up earlier last year to have her bio written. Oh she is a little rascal all right and I just might unleash her to mess up your mice’s good behaviour with a few of her cute ideas.

    You will be happy to know I stuffed four huge choc chip cookies into my face in rapid order as soon as they were cool enough. I treated the shortbread almost the same. Thank God I gave the rest away for gifts. I think Phillippe needs to ride herd on both of us.

    • Marisela Delgado 3 weeks ago

      Hi, Linda! Feliz Ano Nuevo! I had 3 chocolate chip cookies from Subway yesterday and I relished every bite. They were goooood! 😁😁😁 I hope you are well.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Hehe!! Yay for stuffing your face with chocolate chip cookies! lol That’s the best way to live indeed! 😃💕

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 weeks ago

    Discovering how much we don’t know – isn’t that the ultimate path to success?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      So true! I think that’s why leaping out of a comfort zone is such a good thing, albeit humbling. So I’m embracing my ignorance and forging ahead to fix it! 😉 💕

  5. LoriCtoo 3 weeks ago

    So sweet! I had not thought about having to be consistant with characters in a book. I don’t think I could do it! I have such a hard time sketching the same thing, anytime. Good to hear from you, it was kind of weird this morning not seeing you. This being the first day back to a normal schedule week. Keep at! We are cheering for you!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s super challenging to create a consistent likeness. But it’s also fun to try! And I’ll be popping up every so often… hehe… like a little mouse.

  6. Marisela Delgado 3 weeks ago

    Hola, Charlie! Such a cute mouse! Who was it that said that the trick to sculpture was releasing the image/idea that is trapped inside the marble? You’re doing the same. You’re trying to dig out your path and that can be fun. Things will take shape, Charlie. You saw Sandra’s review on the Zebra markers? The toy Zebra that came with it? One day, your books will come with (or be sold separately) a mouse figurine. He’s your mascot. 🐭🐀
    I am always so happy to hear from you and hear your smile and joy in your voice. I actually thought about you night before last because I watched “Bye Bye Birdie.” I love that movie.💜 As for me, I am on the hunt for vaccinations for me and my mom. We had plumbing issues again with our water heater. Two cold showers was enough for me. Then, I smelled gas from our gas heater so CPS came out and tightened the loose connection. Then, your friend took a nose dive and fell. Damn you, 2020, trying to get in some last licks. 😀 I am okay, but coming off of everything I have been through, I was worried I was going to need help from SAFD to get up. haha haha 😂 I scared my mom, but I got up and now I feel so sore. 😂😂😂 We had a nice Christmas and New Year, Charlie. All things considered. We stayed home and I got a brand new Kindle Fire. I was on a borrowed one so YAY!
    I still miss you on the daily, but I know you are doing great things. Great new year to do great things! Keep rocking it, Charlie! You know that we love 💜❤💟 you. How’s Phineas? I was watching YouTube videos about David Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks segment and it was hilarious. Monster was not up for tricks. 💜🐻😎🐼 Have a great week, my friend. Finish your puzzle.😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Glad to hear you’re okay… yeah, I think 2020 just had to get those last licks in, but a New Year is here, so good things are coming! Phineas is going great… so sleeping his way through winter since he’s not at all a fan. Actually there’s really not much to report, so moving to posting every few days will hopefully mean something actually happens! lol I really lead such a wonderful yet boring little life in the end. Hope you have a fabulous week!!

      • Marisela Delgado 2 weeks ago

        haha haha A couple of my friends have tried to convince me to join Facebook. Not for me. I told them that I am not exactly living a glamorous life right now so I would be like THE saddest (as in pathetic) Facebook person ever with zero friends and no exciting story lines. haha haha So, I totally get the boring little life part that you speak of. 😁❤🐼💜🐻 Maybe one day I will have a fabulous life to write about instead of cold showers or falling. haha haha You also have a beautiful week, Charlie. I look forward to hear your voice once more. 💜

  7. Bay Billups 3 weeks ago

    I am so excited for you! Secondly as you know how I love your mice and hamsters, I’m thrilled your using your mice or mouse as your main character! I cannot wait to see where your adventure leads you. I love puzzles (my husband not so much) fell in love with them while recovering from my first brain injury. It was part of occupational therapy but I found it much more than that. I know this picture book is going to be a huge success!!!!

    Bay

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Aww thanks so much, Bay! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m totally excited for this next project, but wow… lots to learn and try first! hehe And puzzles are such good brain food… we only do them this time of year, but it’s always a treat!

  8. Zoie McIntyre 3 weeks ago

    Love this :). So happy you popped back in for a bit 🙂

  9. Zertab Quaderi 3 weeks ago

    Hugs and a happy new year to you, Philippe, and Phineas! Good luck with your new adventure!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕 Hugs and Happy New Year to you as well!

  10. Mugdha 3 weeks ago

    Hello Charlie,

    Happy Happy New Year! It was awesome to see “Doodlewash” in my inbox! The sketch and post are, as usual, lovely. 🙂 And Im so thrilled that you chose a mouse as your main character. I’ve been working on stories too Charlie. I got myself a book called “Writing Picture Books” by Ann Whitford Paul. It contains loads of information, tips and exercises to take a story from idea to published book. I’ve been following along and each day, it’s proving to be one of the best investments ever. Thought I’d share just in case you were interested. Much luck for each day that you work on your book.

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Happy New Year to you! Thanks for the book recommendation… I’ll definitely check that out!! Weirdly the writing came easily to me, and then I realized I had a ton more to learn about illustration. hehe But, that’s all part of the journey and the fun!

  11. Mari 3 weeks ago

    So lovely to ‘hear’ from you today! Your sweet drawings, and positive musings always lift my spirits, TY!! Best wishes on your newest project, can’t wait to see it… this little guy today is adorable 🐭. Happiest of New Years to you, Phillippe and Phineas 💗🐾 🧑🏼‍🎨

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Aww thanks so much, Mari! 😃💕 Great to hear from you as well! A very Happy New Year to you and yours!!

    • Marisela Delgado 2 weeks ago

      Hi, MARI, I am also a Mari.😀 Of course, with a name like Marisela, I have also been called Marisol, Maribel, Marisa, Maritza, you name it! haha haha 😂 Feliz Ano Nuevo from San Antonio, Texas.

  12. Gary Middleton 3 weeks ago

    Nice to see you pop in, Charlie. Nice doodle. I’m going to learn to paint with acrylics soon.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Yep, I’m trying to pop in every few days, but not on any exact schedule this time. Yay for learning acrylics… that’s so cool!

  13. Nellie Nellie 3 weeks ago

    Happy Hope-filled New Year Charlie! Same to Philippe and Phineas! My round spiral, rainbow prism,1500 pc puzzle is still in the box.(it arrived last April, straight from the epicenter of C-19, so there it remains-its probably fine now😆) I am soooo thrilled with my prints! They’re very pretty, and they’re going in the room I keep memories and such in. There are all kinds of mice and garden gnomes loose in there, they’ll remind me to get on with my book. Maybe we can all do a character development class on line together after your book is finished😉 I know you dont like “teaching” but maybe like a giant ZOOM meeting with share and tell and lots of hot chocolate (or whatever everyone gets up to.😄) It is good to hear your “voice” on here and know you are on adventure!🤗 🐭

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Aww thanks so much!! 😃💕 Yeah, mice are just super cute, so I had to start there. So happy you enjoy the prints! Yay! Yeah, I might do a video meeting of some kind in the future. I like just live chats… feels more my style! hehe And by the way, that puzzle is totally fine now… hehe… but wow does it sound tough!! You should give it a go though! 😉

  14. Linda Murray 2 weeks ago

    Love your mice, Charlie. Funny, but as I was walking the nature trail last summer, I came upon a mouse, and the rest of my walk, I put together a rhyming short story in my head. Got home, grabbed a pen and started writing. And….. that’s as far as I got. 🤨 I hope to finish it at some point. Lost my concentration or lost motivation. Oh well. Good luck with your finished product. Can’t wait to see it! Happy New Years to you and yours!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 Yeah, I actually dreamed my story which is rhyming and then manage to complete and edit it. Then, I figured out all the things I still had to learn about illustration first! You should totally finish your story! And a very Happy New Year to you and yours!

  15. Priscilla DeConti 2 weeks ago

    Happy New Year and New You. Bravo in getting out of comfort zone. My challenge is similar this year and doing more of things I know less about and stretching myself! You go for that book I for one am supporting and encouraging this for you! You are so talented in drawing and writing..you have been my inspiration. I will miss your daily chatting.,.but know that you are growing in your own path which is fabulous and wondrous to behold!!! 🧡🧡💛💛

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 I really appreciate the support! Yep… jumping out of one’s comfort zone is a bit scary, but also super fun!! Let’s DO it!!

  16. Fanna 2 weeks ago

    Happy New Year to you as well, Charlie! Was nice to hear/read your enthusiasm for 2021! I think we’re all in a change-it-up mindset, to learn new things, use those anything-other-than-watercolor-paints that are collecting dust on organized, albeit, unused shelves from the past two years. Gouache appears to be “the new thing” that watercolorists are gravitating towards, and I’m no exception.

    I painted tiny landscapes and florals on slices of white oak, drilled a hole to house the pretty ribbon, added a magnet to the back, and hung them on several door knobs of folks in my building. Many seniors placed them on kitchen knobs, saved for ornaments, and one vote for the fridge door!

    It feels important, necessary, to do for others this year. December was the worst as our beautiful orange tabby Buster died mere days before Christmas. I lost three friends in 2020, as well as my sister in October. Our building has been sold, residents given a generous six months to move. We’ve been here thirty years, two seniors since 1963 when our building was first built. I cannot fathom the upset to them. The packing task seems insurmountable, as we try to make various piles of “keep, donate, sell, toss.” It is an emotionally charged task. So I stopped the tears and painted gouache on wood instead. Indulgent, but essential.

    I’m glad you’re taking time for Charlie, as you’re one of the top five busiest people I know. You’ll have to share more about your book, and keep us smiling with your mice families. I wish you and Phillipe lots more challenging puzzles in 2021!

    Fanna

    PS: All that egg nog drunk at the fridge? Yeah…I’m now drinking protein shakes.

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