For our prompt of “Golden” today, I chose to sketch a golden pocket watch. I love watches like these with exposed clockwork, though I hadn’t yet sketched one like this. Indeed, that’s likely because it’s a bit of a challenge to fake in all of the detail. It’s amazing to me to see those inner workings and imagine how anyone might have figured out how to make something like this work. While we have so much new technology released on almost a daily basis these days, good old-fashioned clockwork still manages to thrill me more. Indeed, this is true for so many things. I love mechanical processes, which is why I prefer sketching with a pen and paint. It feels magical to make something appear on paper with very few tools. And though I’ve never owned a golden pocket watch like this one, I’m now thinking it might just get added to my wish list. Life is way too short to be shy about wishes.

This afternoon I was in a very nostalgic mood, so I ended up playing Benji movies in the background. These movies came out when I was very little and I loved them so much! Watching them again, I realize how cool it was that a little dog was able to pull audiences in without the help of computer graphics or special effects. Indeed, these days, all animals are animated or have a little help, but this was just clever camera angles and storytelling. It’s still really magical to watch and even a bit more impressive now that anything seems to be possible. It’s equally why I loved the original Jurassic Park where good old-fashioned puppetry was used seamlessly with computer graphics. It’s just a cool feat of mechanical skill and imagination. Our dog Phineas actually sat through most of the first Benji movie that was on, watching it intently, so he was apparently impressed as well, or just wondered what was up with all the barking.

Indeed, my mother was a crafter and always making things by hand all of the time when I was growing up. Though I was rubbish at crochet and many of the sewing crafts where she excelled, I did love drawing things. It’s strange to me now to think I took a more than 20 year break from drawing anything at all, but life has a way of interrupting our heart’s desires. Thankfully, I’m back to doodling and haven’t stopped since I started. My little sketchbooks, pen cases, and watercolor palette have become my close companions. I’ve no furtive professional goal in all of this, and it’s simply become my hobby. It’s a wonderful way to disconnect from digital things and remember a time before all of that. A golden time of mechanical ingenuity that I still find so inspiring. So, that’s why you’ll now always find me taking those little daily breaks from our digital life to sketch stuff, each and every day, like clockwork.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!
Gold Pocket Watch Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail


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22 thoughts on “Like Clockwork

  1. Gorgeous watch Charlie! My younger brother was given my grandfather’s when he passed away. My brother was very young. I wonder if he still has it.
    Beautiful weather here today so we got out and did yard work. Nice to be outside and we are fortunate that the neighbors are not close by so social distancing is not an issue. Oh, the baby goats have moved in next door. Looking forward to seeing more than just a glimpse of them.

  2. It makes me a little sad when I was the big effect movies anymore. I remember the total sense of awe I had when I first saw Star Wars, and the first Jurassic Park – almost like being right there with the dinosaurs. It’s hard to get that same feeling, even when watching on the big screen. Children growing up today may never have that same feeling.

  3. My husband, Joe, is a big guy, 6’2″ , with big hands. My dad was 6’4″ ‘ also with big hands. Yet both of them gravitated to working with tiny things. Joe works with electronics, and dad worked with machinery and carved birds as a hobby. It is kind of mind blowing to see the tiny things they deal with. It would make me crazy!! 😂 I’ll stick with my big old 10 inch chef’s knife and size 18 paint brush, thank you very much.

  4. Wow, beautiful job on the watch! The gold case is especially lovely. I’m also intrigued by mechanical things, like my Olivetti typewriter, purchased in 1968 for college. Also my simple gold watch with leather wristband, purchased in Switzerland in1972. They are both simple, beautifully designed, items that still work!

  5. Hello Charlie,

    Wow! Thats for today’s masterpiece and… DOUBLE WOW!!! Thats for the line – “Life is way too short to be shy about wishes.” Thanks so much for reminding us of the sweet Benji movies. And thanks evermore for ALWAYS responding to comments. 🙂


  6. Wowza! What a fantastic pocket watch, Charlie. You’re amazing with shiny things. Hope it rubs off on me! Excellent rendition. Bravo bravo!

  7. Love the pocket watch! And love that you found your art again after such a break, I have felt the same lately with writing and crochet, these times have made for some strange opportunities!

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