Lessons in Doodlewashing: Drawing August

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I made it through all 31 sketches for the #DrawingAugust challenge on Twitter (using the slideshow feature for the first time, so hope it works for you!). My theme was France, although you’re not required to have a theme, because I wanted to make sure I had some sense of structure. And I really wanted to take at least a virtual trip back to France! I don’t think I sketched this regularly before in my life, even in art school, and at times it was tough to stay motivated to finish.

Many of you have seen my doodlewash versions of most of these sketches, but I thought I would share their origins in this post. I realized I didn’t have time to do two completely different things in a day, so I early on decided to share the sketch on Twitter and then doodlewash it later. Three of the sketches didn’t get doodlewashed… since I did find some extra time, and so I tried some things that were only posted here. And the second to last one is with my new Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen!

The first time I posted, I simply supplied the doodlewash version of my Paris metro sketch of a man with a trumpet. I immediately realized that this was a drawing challenge, not a doodlewash challenge, so it wasn’t received very well. From there I switched to showing my sketch first on Twitter, and then doodlewashing it later and posting it here, which seemed to work better for that audience.

I would definitely recommend trying challenges like this, as it does force you to stay “in the game” and sketch every day. I would also tell you that having to do something every day is really, really hard. Some days I just wanted to splash paint around and didn’t feel like sketching first, and those days were tough. But I did it anyway. I would also recommend dedicating a single sketchbook to an exercise like this as it would have been cool to have them all in one place at the end.

I hoped to see steady improvement, but I think it’s a bit of up and down instead. In the end, I did improve overall and quite quickly. My confidence and ability to accurately see what was before me increased considerably. I have a long ways to go on this art journey, but one thing is clear. DO something every day. Even if it’s just something small. You will definitely see improvement and start forming one of the best good habits you could ever form – making art.

At first I wasn’t going to continue with another challenge, other than the ones Laura at Create Art Everyday flings my way (she’s so sweet and charming… I can’t ever say no to her! If you’re actually not already following her, please do so immediately!). But this month it’s #paintseptember which means I can simply stick to doodlewashing and post what I’m already making! And if any of you are on Twitter, just send a shout out to @antsgreentree and asked to be included in the list! Would love to see you there!

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
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 Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in Other Cool Stuff
34 Comments
  1. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    Laura is the best! 🙂 I feel like I’ve been doing #DrawingAugust even though I haven’t because I drew for the Doodle Day challenge. I didn’t make every day though but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. 🙂

    Such a fun sketch of the man with the trumpet!

    • Author

      Never beat yourself up! Just DO! Hehe…I was thinking it was easy at first and then it got close some days where I wasn’t sure if I would produce a sketch. But I was determined to do it!! I’m just like that 😊

      • Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

        I’m not sure if that’s the Nike slogan “Just do it!” or Yoda’s motto “Do or do not; there is no try.” 😀 I want your determination!

      • Author

        Yeah…I did like either of theirs. Too many words! So the doodlewash motto is just “DO” – gets to the point faster and looks better on a button. Lol

      • Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

        😀

  2. Kari 2 years ago

    I do draw everyday not I don’t always use watercolors to paint. I do enjoy seeing all the beautiful doodlewashes here!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Kari! Glad you like them. I don’t try to sketch something daily, but don’t like to post all the doodles! So happy to hear you sketch daily! That’s awesome! 😃

  3. dkatiepowellart 2 years ago

    Nice slideshow. I think challenges are good to do also sometimes — I wanted to learn to let go of my dependency on pencil and did Brenda Swensen’s 75-day drawing challenge — NO pencil. It was good.

    • Author

      Oh wow…I would want to try that too! Hehe… I’m just that little boy loving to accept dares all the time. 😊 I ditched the pen for about 90% of these. Still get nervous when it comes to drawing people.

  4. Jodi 2 years ago

    Awh. We all love Laura ! ❤️💜. Look forward to watching your paint September.

    • Author

      Yeah…she’s a pretty special one! 😉❤️ So inspiring! Loved sketching, but I’m definitely ready to focus on painting more!

  5. said-simply 2 years ago

    Fantastic Charlie!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Eli!! It was a bigger challenge than I expected! 😊

      • said-simply 2 years ago

        Well done! Quite a discipline to complete a coherent work that you’re at least somewhat pleased with on a daily basis.

      • Author

        Yep! I felt happy to have done it. And love that description! There are about 10 I’d say I’m “somewhat pleased with” and just super happy they came out coherent! Hehe

  6. jmnowak 2 years ago

    I like these, Charlie, and especially to see those not posted here! I like your sketching work…mmm…Yes!! Your brush pen work is better still, if there could be a ‘better’…much more like calligraphy in style, so to speak, which I like too, and you are getting the essence, very Zen.
    PS: I think you should change your gravatar to les deux cochon — such sweet smiling faces, and my favourite! <3 😉

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks so much Janina! Glad you like the brush pen work. That was my first try, but I really like it. Still leaning!! 😊 And as my Gravatar…wait? You mean I don’t have a cute smiling face?! Lol just kidding…You’re right…those pigs are pretty hard to compete with! 😉 glad you like them!!

      • jmnowak 2 years ago

        LOL…as a Miss Piggy, I’m always attracted to smiling faces, whether animal or human (er…we’re animals too, ain’t we!). As for ‘still leaning’, I bet that brush must have dropped all its ink, by now. 😀

      • Author

        Haha…still learning…I’ve been all about typos lately!! Geesh! Yep…we’re all animals!! Lol And actually I haven’t had a chance to use my ink brush again yet. Maybe I should try that today!

      • jmnowak 2 years ago

        lol…typos…at least they get my funny-bone up and laughing…glad you’re not offended! I don’t mean to offend. Re the ink brush, please do! I’ve had calligraphy on my mind lately…

      • Author

        Lol…I don’t get offended easily…actually I don’t get offended ever!! Life is too short and too fun! And you’re part of the fun! Glad you’re here my friend! 😃👍🏻

      • jmnowak 2 years ago

        So agree with you…thanks, Charlie!

  7. memadtwo 2 years ago

    Congratulations! I did a 100-day grid challenge that finished in July and some days were really hard, but it is definitely good discipline. I enjoyed taking your journey with you.
    And Laura is definitely a positive influence everywhere.

    • Author

      Thanks!! I guess I’m in a nonstop challenge as I still plan to do a doodlewash every day. But this was focused on improving my sketching, so it was much different and hard sometimes! Hehe Glad you enjoyed this trip! More to come!

  8. memadtwo 2 years ago

    That was Kerfe, I’m still forgetting to initial sometimes.

  9. amaryllislog 2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your sketches. I should pay attention to twitter but…social media! First off, the fact you sketch scenes is incredible and then you sprinkle in animals and people, amazing. This is quite a body of work! Your line work has become much more confident! I do love the Notre Dame pen and ink sketch, wow such flare! I look forward to seeing September through your eyes!

    • Author

      Ah thanks Cathe! I truly appreciate that! I like to try all different subject but buildings are still my favorite and the animals. Need to practice people more, so I’ll like drawing them better too! 😊 I was so excited to get my new brush pen! Always fun to have a new art supply, and I’ve always wanted to sketch in a more minimalistic style!

  10. Awwww Charlie, you are too kind, my friend! If I’ve had any part in inspiring the explosive artyness that you’re sending out into the universe, I consider that quite a compliment indeed. You’re a good man, and I’m proud to know you. Always inspired by your artwork!! 💜

    • Author

      See? I told everyone you were sweet! What a wonderful thing to say Laura. 😊 It’s been such a pleasure “meeting” you here. Thank YOU for your daily inspiration! You make me smile! My inner child is always up for a rousing game of Truth or Draw! 😉❤️

  11. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Great article and Love all your sketches in review. You have traveled very far and very quickly, quite the talent. Thank you for being such an inspiration and motivation, just like Laura, you both have such a positive vibe which is beautiful. Congratulations on a months worth of daily sketching and doodlewashing, you met your challenge wonderfully. 😀

    • Author

      Appreciate the kind words Haunani! It’s been people like you that keep me motivated with your wonderful support. It’s tough running a blog and it’s nice to know I have new friends out there who are engaged in what I’m doing here. You’re awesome!!

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