Little Raindrops

Duck Duckling Holding Rainbow Umbrella In The Rain Watercolor Illustration

Upon seeing a prompt of “Duckling” today, I couldn’t resist popping in with a quick little sketch of one. It’s actually been sunny here for the past several days, but there’s a bit of rain heading my way later this week. As a kid, I didn’t mind rainy days as I always had lots of projects going and books to read. As an adult, absolutely nothing has changed! I have so many things going at once that sometimes I’m not entirely sure how I manage to figure out what’s happening. And I’ve been sketching away each day while practicing drawing characters and playing with different techniques and approaches. I’ve always struggled when it comes to simplification, so that’s been my main focus these days. Well, in my art I mean, but I guess that probably applies to life in general as well. I think it’s always good to take a bit of a pause sometimes rather than just keep barreling forward. And it’s helped me figure out many of the things that I’d love to try and DO next!

One of the new things I’ve tried most recently is sketching on an iPad Pro. It’s actually Philippe’s iPad, so I have to steal it away to practice. In the past year, I’ve seen more artists showing up with digital art pieces, so I decided I’d give it a go myself and see what it’s like. And, I discovered that it’s super fun! Also, digital painting is simply another medium like anything else. Though there are brushes and approaches to replicate traditional painting, including watercolors and gouache, the real fun comes in creating things that could only be done digitally. Here’s an example of a quick little digital paint I made of a bunny in a forest….

Digital Painting Sketch Using Procreate on an iPad Pro 12.9″

Granted, it’s only been a few days since I’ve been trying digital sketching, but I loved the lush colors and storybook feel that I was able to achieve. Philippe had downloaded lots of brushes and was able to walk me through the interface of Procreate, so I could get the basics down very quickly. I’ll definitely keep playing, as it’s a wonderful way to take a creative break. Though, not surprisingly, it also made me long for traditional water and paint, so I went right back to my sketchbook and grabbed my watercolors again. I’ve seen folks replicate the look of watercolor and now see how it’s done, but for me anyway, there’s just no replicating the feel and experience.

Philippe was actually excited that I was trying digital painting, since he’s been dabbling in it for some time now. He was slightly less thrilled, I’m sure, when I asked for my own iPad for my birthday next month so I wouldn’t have to keep borrowing his. We joke that our dog Phineas thinks money should only be spent on dog treats and anything else is a horrible waste. So, I haven’t told Phineas yet. But, it’s so much fun to learn and try new things so I’m excited to play and experiment even more. Perhaps it’s spring fever, but I always find something new to try this time of year. My inner child goes bonkers and wants to play and create and there’s really no stopping that kid when he gets going. But everything I’m wanting to DO next has quite a steep learning curve so I’m just taking things one little step at a time. Each goal is moving nicely forward and I’m excited for what’s coming next. It’s a slow process, but it’s equally refreshing and wonderful, like little raindrops.

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Duck Duckling Holding Rainbow Umbrella In The Rain Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
34 Comments
  1. Brenda Sommerville 1 month ago

    Wonderful!

  2. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    LOVE the duckling and your digital painting is fabulous, Charlie! A friend gave me an Ipad Pro last year (she was no longer using it) and I’ve played with Procreate a bit but haven’t gotten beyond the very basics. It was fun but I felt the need to get back to real watercolors and a brush too. I sure do love the digital art that can be created….maybe one of these days I will get back to it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Yeah, I think it’s definitely worth practicing digital alongside traditional painting. It’s fun and going back and forth gives me new ideas about color and technique which is really cool! But… I did all the sketches for my newest book on paper first… that’s still the most natural for me! 😉

  3. writerleenda 1 month ago

    Happy Birthday in advance, Charlie! I will stick to paper and brush although today I messed up the expensive Daniel Smith paints gifted me at Christmas by my progeny . I was so afraid to waste I mixed it too thin. Yuck. Oh my. No cusswords could fix that so I didn’t bother. You did a good job and it does look ethereal. Awesomeness prevails!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, I think I see a bit of mixed media in my future, but I’ll always hold tight to the traditional approaches. Even though they’re messy! It’s just always more fun that way!

  4. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    LOVE the duckling and what a fabulous digital painting. I’ve played with Procreate and can see how it could become as addictive as watercolors and a brush. Hope you get your birthday wish!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 I did get my wish… and I’m having a blast coloring in all different ways now!

  5. Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

    Charlie, my friend! I thought of you yesterday and I missed you.💜 What a beautiful digital painting. Wow, you’re awesome at it, Charlie! I know how you feel. They now have digital stamps (digis) and, while some are cute, they just don’t compare to the actual thing. Even the clear stamps that are all the rage just don’t match up to the real deal of actual rubber stamps.
    Your painting is so cute. Such a sweet little duck. I’m glad that your weather is better. We’ve been circling 80*F all week, but this week…low 80’s and lovely humidity. Of course, the entire state is in an uproar over the governor’s stupid decision, as you already know. With Spring Break, Charlie, we’re scared of the consequences. I was vaccinated last week, thank the Lord, and my mother got her second. Still, it’s concerning with variants roaming around. I hope your mom has been vaccinated. I hope things will move faster and everyone can have their chance. Until then, vaccinated or not, we must remain vigilant and safe.
    Any big birthday plans? Covid limited mine also. As long as you are safe and healthy. HUGE party next year! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 Warm hugs to you, my friend. Fingers crossed for your own iPad. HSN has good prices. (Home Shopping Network on tv/web) They had them at $450 a few months back. Worth checking. 💜💜💜 Hugs and kisses to my friend, Phineas.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m enjoying lots about digital, but also learning ways to combine it with my love of traditional. I’ll end up with my own sort of hodge podge style and approach I think! hehe For my birthday, I’m getting together with just a handful of friends outdoors. But it’s actually all of our friends that actually live in the same city, so it will feel like nothing is missing at all! And I did get my iPad… early even so I can play!! Yay! Hugs to you my friend!

  6. Zertab Quaderi 1 month ago

    The digital painting of the bunny is awesome!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕 I really enjoy digital painting, but think I’ll combine it with my usual approach to find nice mix!

  7. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    I do like the lighting effects you can get with digital painting. It doesn’t surprise me that you are an instant master at it. Are you using a pen or some device for the painting?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      I’m using an Apple pencil and Procreate on an iPad… it’s really quite impressive. I tried doing those things I’ve seen before like the bunny, but know I’m sketching and painting like I normally do, and I have to say, it’s rather fun. Also, looks pretty much like what I always make when I just stick to what I do most. I’m definitely going to be mixing it in a bit. But I still love sketching on paper first! 😉

  8. Gary Middleton 1 month ago

    Nice to see you popping in again. Your digital art is great. I’ve noticed more digital art using the #doodlewash.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Yeah, there’s a lot of digital art these days so I figured I’d try it as well. I think having a basis in traditional is always key to finding success in digital!

  9. LoriC 1 month ago

    My inner child goes to the darling little duck. Love all your bright colors. Your digital is amazing. I have heard of people using an ipad, but have never seen the difference. Thanks for sharing that. I also thought it sounded like cheating. Hahaha. I’m with you however, wanting and needing the physical interactions. AND when your power is out, you will be able to create. Lololol! Good see you again!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, digital is totally fun! And truly… it’s makes some things easier, but you still have to have the basics and knowledge of traditional art to make it work well! And so true!! No power needed… I haven’t tried painting by candlelight yet, but that sounds like something fun to try! lol

  10. jkpringle21 1 month ago

    Enjoyed the the story Oh! how true we all get to be another year older. Sending early Warm Birthday Wishes from Ms. Maisie (aka-cat) & myself from WINTER WONDERLAND in Parry Sound, Ont. Canada . Make sure Phillippe and Phineas both sign the card and the present (aka-iPad) is elegantly wrapped so you can truly show excitement.
    Like you say there’s nothing that can replace the real thing. My daughter bought mine just recently, she thought I might need a change from watercolour. The change is the challenge getting to remember, make layers so you don’t accidently erase the whole design, followed by OMG were has my drawing gone. This conversation is happening with Ms. Maisie just sitting on the desk staring at me with a weird look on her face.
    Digital has its positive side, just look at the terrific piece you create, bunny in the woods enjoying the rays of sunshine, can’t get anymore adorable than that. Oh! wait, you certainly can, Charlie Duckling in the rain. Now that’s adorably cute, what a smile duck has that’s why I named him after you, what a smile you have Charlie 😊.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m excited for my birthday even if it does mean getting a year older. hehe You’re too sweet! I’m really loving digital, but I think I’ll tone it back to the style I know and enjoy. I’m sure there will be bits of mixed media in my future as I will always prefer sketching on paper! 😉

  11. shawnthompsonart 1 month ago

    Ohh Puddle season, the little ducklings will all be out with their umbrellas and rubber boots jumping in the puddles. haha, you forgot the rubber boots. I really like your use of colour and shading. Did you use a thicker watercolour paint for these?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Shawn! 😃💕 There were two different paintings in this post. the little duck was just my usual watercolor painting and the bunny was done via digital painting on an iPad! 😉

  12. Lisa 1 month ago

    Fun stuff! The thing about digital art is that you don’t need to buy supplies. I suspect that in the long run, it’s cheaper being a digital artist than a paint and paper artist. Better do both. Lol!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Indeed! Yeah, I’m actually really enjoying digital, but I still sketch everything on paper first. hehe I think it’s a good skill to have, but I can’t imagine trying it without having a lot of experience in traditional art. I think it’s great to have both!

  13. Fatima Chamkha 1 month ago

    Great to see the little duckling with the rainbow colored umbrella so much expression,digital art procreate a powerful sketching and painting app for illustrations have fun creating incredible sketches Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Fatima! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed my little duckling! And yes! Procreate is awesome and I’m enjoying it very much… it’s just fun to sketch stuff… however it’s done!

  14. Priscilla DeConti 1 month ago

    How wonderful!! the duckling is wonderful and so is your digital sketch. I have tried digital sketching and it is fun but I still prefer old fashioned paper and… 😊
    Very nice to see you here !!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed these. Yeah, I’ve enjoyed digital more than I expected, but in my head, I’m just a little boy coloring no matter what medium I use. So it’s all just fun to me! lol

  15. Nellie Nellie 1 month ago

    Oh Charlie! What a breath of fresh air to hear how you’re doing! The duckie suits my joy for Spring to be right around the corner😁🐣🦆🐦🌻🌱 although we had hail, pea- sized hail this morning! It’s so unusual for this edge of the World, it could have rained 🦄 and been no less surprising! Your e-illustration is impressive and someday (if I learn how to turn my computer on again🤦‍♀️) I suppose I’d love to try it too. I hope you are seriously over indulged for your birthday-you deserve it! I’m going to do my part with my niece and grand-niece celebrating in April as well!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 hehe!! I love the very idea of being overindulged on one’s birthday. What a perfect way to celebrate! And yeah, I’m totally enjoying digital painting, but have sort of combined it with my traditional sketching so I’ll end up with some sort of Charlie hybrid I’m sure! lol

  16. mt 1 month ago

    Hi Charlie, I love your watercolors! And look forward to receiving every blog. Your digital art was wonderful. I have an iPad pro and pencil and just happened to download Procreate. I just don’t know where to start to learn how to use it. So—lol—-I am looking forward to your new blog for absolute beginners to learn digital art. I guess this is the beginning of “DIGIDOODLE”—please think about it–your art always makes me smile and you would be a good teacher

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 Yes, indeed!! I’m totally loving working with an iPad and Procreate, but also love my traditional roots! So I’m sort of combining it all at once for my new book. Which isn’t too surprising since my inner child determines pretty much all that I DO! lol I’m working on the book now and finishing it up this month, but I’ll most definitely share all of the things I learned along the way! So stay tuned! 😉

  17. Carol Hartmann 1 month ago

    Hi Charlie! Sounds like a lot of fun! I haven’t seen posts from you in the last few days. Is everything okay? 💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Carol! 😃💕 All good here! I’m taking a bit of a break while finishing up a new book I’m writing and illustrating! Way more work than I expected, but almost complete now so yay!

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