Making Dreams Come True

Zebra Watercolor Illustration

For Day 15 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Monochromatic,” my mind immediately leapt to a zebra. Sort of monochromatic, shown here in two colors, because that’s as low as I can ever go. Sure, Lion King comes out this week, but the real reason is, of course, the wonderful heart of World Watercolor Month and our charitable partner, The Dreaming Zebra Foundation. As we hit the half-way point of the month, I hope you’ll join me in donating art supplies and/or shopping in our awesome World Watercolor Shop! (yes, the shop is ONLY open in July and closes August 1st!) Every single dollar in profit from the shop goes to help underprivileged kids get art supplies, and I can’t think of a better cause in the world! If I didn’t have art supplies and art classes as a kid, I wouldn’t be sketching stuff today. There would be no Doodlewash and no World Watercolor Month as I wouldn’t have had those wonderful childhood memories to return to in the first place. I always talk about connecting with your inner child in art, and that all starts when we were kids. So, yes, I’m very passionate about arts education and hope you’ll join me in helping kids get the art supplies they need this month!

When I started World Watercolor Month, I was asked by several people, “how does this help the charity?” And truthfully, my own inner child simply said, “who wouldn’t want to help kids if I ask?” This, of course, isn’t how the world really works, but just try to tell Little Charlie that and he’ll stick his tongue out at you and run away giggling. As organic social reach dropped precipitously almost in the same year the month was founded due to various, nefarious algorithmic changes, fabulous sponsors joined me in the second year to support the cause and help with advertising costs. In the third year, awesome artist ambassadors joined to help spread awareness and donate money themselves from the sales of their classes and products! And everyone and more is back this year as we continue to grow and spread the word about the month. It’s a big dream, to be sure, to take a month-long art challenge and try to actually do some charitable good in the world at the same time. It’s hard to get the message out there about the real cause of the month. So I hope you’ll help me, but spreading the word and reminding folks to donate to The Dreaming Zebra Foundation! ( you can find badges and a video to share at the bottom of the World Watercolor Month page) I’m just one guy, and even though Little Charlie likes to dream big, I know that we’re much stronger when we all come together!

So, thanks in advance for supporting this amazing dream and I hope you’re enjoying this official month-long celebration of watercolor! And in case anyone is actually wondering, of course, I’m going to be seeing Lion King this weekend. Wouldn’t miss i! I love that, each day, I wake up feeling like a kid again, ready to take on all of life’s challenges, even the pesky adult ones. And moreover, I’m thrilled knowing that while I’m acting like a child, I’m also helping actual children along the way. In my heart, I simply believe that art and creativity are the single most important things we can experience as children. And, I’ve read over 500 stories from artists here on Doodlewash who all talk about that same childhood experience. So, yeah, there’s definitely a clear link and I hope to keep that link alive for our future generation of artists. Not alone, of course, I hope all of my friends out there will join me! I know that when we all join forces in our collective awesomeness, incredible things can happen, and soon, together, we’re making dreams come true.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. 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!
Zebra Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
23 Comments
  1. Mireya 3 months ago

    I’ll check out the art supplies right now. Thanks for sharing Little Charlie with us. I feel like we would have be best friends. Yeah I try so hard to get back to Little Mireya because even thought there was hard times my art and imagination carried me through. I have taught special needs children art and it was the best days of my life. I’ve thought about going to get my credential but the educational system just doesn’t allow for the kind of freedom to truly teach art.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Mireya! 😃💕Glad you enjoy this posts! And I think Little Mireya and Little Charlie are already best friends! And the adult versions as well! Adult life is so much harder, but it doesn’t have to take away that childhood spark of curiosity and wonder. And yes, systems usually seem set up to kill creativity. But there’s always a way through! 😉

  2. Karen Fortier 3 months ago

    Great Zebra and a great cause.

  3. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    Love your Zebra! Yeah, I think it is a rare thing if someone becomes an artist if they were DOing art as a kid. Yay, World Watercolor Month!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah… I think becoming an artist is simply a rare thing and getter rarer. I hope we can reverse that!

  4. June Hadaway 3 months ago

    This is the perfect painting for the prompt and to help support your fundraising. I am in the process of putting a box of art supplies together and mailing it out. Are their specifics on what to send? Only watercolor related or any art or craft supplies? Thank you, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕 And yay!! The only specifics are the art supplies need to be reusable. Watercolor is definitely one of the most needed, (hence World Watercolor Month!), but any ready to use art supplies you have to offer are appreciated as well!

      • June Hadaway 3 months ago

        Thank you, Charlie. A box will be mailed to them before the month is out. Happy to help.

  5. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    I can definitely imagine Little Charlie sticking his tongue out and giggling. Wonderful zebra, a favorite animal of mine.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Hehe… yeah… Little Charlie sort of does his own thing. Not terribly different than Old Charlie.

  6. Lisa 3 months ago

    Yay to kids getting art supplies! When I was in school once a year we had a pancake dinner with sausages and bacon. Upstairs in the big gymnasium there was a student art show. I may not have been an athlete, but I took art classes, and I always had something in the art show! Yes, kids need art supplies as much as footballs!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Yay to that Lisa! 😃💕I’d venture to say that art has created much more in this world than footballs, so I hope together we can make sure it continues to thrive!

  7. Mary Roff 3 months ago

    Love that we can support education for kids through World Watercolor Month. Thanks for making your vision a reality and thank you to all the sponsors and ambassadors too!! Wonderful Zebra!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕It’s a big old dream, but continues to grow each year so I’m so happy.

  8. Robert J. Coleman 3 months ago

    Super zebra, great perspective as he faces us! And a great perspective that you express, with art donations to the newest artists. It’s the best way to turn on the creative fire in kids’ hearts, when they don’t have to worry about the cost of supplies and just let the inspiration work. Little Charlie is doing a wonderful thing!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Bob! 😃💕 I DO think Little Charlie would be proud of me today. I’m quite sure I’ve barely managed to touch his full vision of the future, but I’m happy I’m making strides each day! 😉

  9. smzang 3 months ago

    Charlie says, “help me, by spreading the word and reminding folks to donate to The Dreaming Zebra Foundation! ( you can find badges and a video to share at the bottom of the World Watercolor Month page) I’m just one guy, and even though Little Charlie likes to dream big, I know that we’re much stronger when we all come together!”

    way to go Charlie!

    BTW, that is one fine Zebra…the stripes are just right and the eyes are sublime.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕Yeah, it’s tough to get the message of the cause out, since no other challenge like this is purely non-profit. But I’m happy that it grows a bit each year and we’re able to continue making a difference!

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    Wonderful zebra. I can’t wait to see Lion King, hoping to take the grands. Talk about dreaming big – did you see the TV special about how they made this film? Holy zebra – what a process. Though one of my all time favorite life production shows I ever had the pleasure to see was The Lion King at the art deco Pantages Theater in LA.
    You do good work, Charlie. You’re a mensch. That’s a complimentary recognition of your big heart.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕You’re so sweet! I’m honored to be a mensch! And yay to the Lion King… I didn’t see the special, but I’ll definitely look into it now! Sounds cool!

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