Making Marbles

Day 2 - Marbles Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash

Today, we have a prompt of marbles, which I’ve actually sketched multiple times and love them so much that I even use them in lieu of color swatches. I think I must just have a thing for circles. From my avatar to the Doodlewash DO icon, everything is basically shaped like a marble. This seems complete and total proof that I’m just a big kid. And though an adult is usually meant to say “at heart” to append that, the reality is that I’m just a big kid. Somewhere along the way, I sort of forgot to grow up. I didn’t fight it so much as I just now find myself about to turn 48 this month and realize that I somehow forgot to DO it. I have so many crazy things on my list of crazy things I’d like to try next that “growing up” just never made the list. For my birthday on April 13th, I’ve requested a Mickey Mouse LEGO set and a couple of books filled with children’s illustrations. That’s it. And worse, I’m not even sure what a grown up might normally ask for at my age. But, I had someone tell me recently that I looked very young, so perhaps my natural mindset is working well! Or, if nothing else, I can at least save a bit of money on fancy face creams. Not that I’d ever remember to use them properly anyway. And in my heart I’m super young, like embarrassingly young. I function at that age before we ever learned to doubt ourselves and our creativity or become competitive with others. I simply think I’m perfectly capable of making awesome things and I think everyone else is as well and love promoting them while they’re DOing it! It’s so much more fun that way, too!

Like a small child, I simply couldn’t do these things alone. I thrive on your lovely comments and for those of you sketching along with me, I adore seeing your lovely art in answer to these prompts! Yeah, it’s still just me at the helm of it all, which means that I can’t always comment and get way behind on most everything. But, I hope you know I’m still seeing what you make and reading your lovely posts. That’s never changed because it fuels me. Truly, it’s my oxygen. Sketching something each and every day is quite a thing to attempt. It’s a solitary experience when I DO it, but then what? There’s a saying that goes “if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Who cares, right? We make things to share with others. Even things we make for ourselves and special loved ones will ultimately get shared with other people at some point. Why? Because we’re proud of what we create and we totally should be! I’ve posted many things that I truly thought were not my best work. But, I adore them because they’re MY work. Something I made that day that didn’t exist the day before. It’s as though a truly magical moment occurred and seriously, everyone should know about this new thing that was just created!

Yep, that’s totally how a child thinks. Thrilled about what they made happen and fearless in their exhibition of it. And with social media we all get the opportunity to be regular and enthusiastic exhibitionists. Which sounds like something else entirely, I know, but it made me giggle so I went ahead and said it that way. I adore social media for all of the connections it makes, but do get a bit tired of the bits that feel like high school. I had fun in high school, but we were all too old at that point to truly celebrate the beauty of life. To really get to that feeling, we’d have to go back much farther in time to remember what it was like to experience the simplest of things for the first time. The time just before someone told us how we should feel. That’s the exact time I like to channel each time I sit down to scribble, doodle and color something every day. I just want to make a little something and enjoy every moment of making it like I did back then. Sure, I want to get better and learn awesome new techniques from brilliant teachers, but I don’t want to ever lose that feeling of simply showing up like I know nothing at all. And equally, never once fretting over the fact that others are making far more brilliant paintings, while I just showed up to my coloring book yet again today and found myself making marbles.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Vermilion, Leaf Green, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. 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!
Marbles Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash

Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Jodi 4 years ago

    Happy Birthday Month Charlie! I know it cannot be only a day for you! 🙂 <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe! Thanks, Jodi! 😃💕You know me so well! YES! Of course, one is never meant to celebrate a single day when you reach a certain age. I say, celebrate all you can!

  2. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 years ago

    I’ve realized by the breadth and depth of this blog and all the other artists you host and programs you support that your half hour a day commitment “to Doodlewashing” is more like 10 – 20 hours a week to all its other aspects. Your part time volunteer job. Though I don’t participate in sharing my art, I love seeing everyone else’s.

    Love your marbles here, and have employed your color test on circles – lots of fun, and wish I’d known about it when I was teaching art. As much as I’ve learned over the years of learning and teaching art, I still love the excitement of being a student to a more masterful artist. Even a rabbi has a rabbi, BTW. (I’m no rabbi.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yes, my part-time hobby is probably a bit more like a part-time job by now in reality. Thankfully, it still serves up the joy of a hobby so I don’t mind at all! And so true! I think in art, we’re always students and never masters. Even the masters have their masters, so almost impossible to find the origin. And no matter how masterful we become, there’s always someone out there to teach us something new. I think that’s just really cool!

  3. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    I love circles as well. There is part of a quote from Black Elk that always resonates for me “…the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round,” That sort of fits your philosophy – you keep circling around back to your childhood without losing your experience as an adult.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Yes! I DO keep circling… hehe… I’ve no real clue as to what I’m meant to become, but I love circling around trying to find out. 😉

  4. Laura Kate 4 years ago

    If what you said in the second paragraph is true, then give me life-long childhood. Thanks for this post.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      So thrilled you enjoyed this, Laura! 😃💕 And yes, everything I right is at least true to me. I don’t edit and just ramble with whatever thoughts come to mind that day. So happy you enjoyed this!

  5. rubiescorner 4 years ago

    The marbles look so real. Good job!

  6. memadtwo 4 years ago

    You do have a way with glass Charlie.
    I’m always shocked when I look in the mirror and see I don’t look at all the age I feel. Who wants old dreams? (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 hehe… I know, right? I looked in the mirror the other day and the guy staring at me was haggard and tired. I felt like cleaning off the glass to see if things would present themselves properly again. But then I saw that sparkle in his eyes and realized that skin is overrated… it’s all there in the eyes. 😉

  7. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    Incredibly lovely marbles! Keep functioning like a child – it makes you especially lovable.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Aww you’re too sweet! Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Glad you liked my marbles and my childlike outlook. I really do think that last bit is the most important of all.

  8. June Hadaway 4 years ago

    Excellent marbles. Again, the glass looks so real. Really beautiful. Happy birthday! You do know now that we celebrate months not just one day. It’ a lot more fun that way!!! 🎉🎁🤹‍♂️🤸‍♂️🎼🎂🍨🎨✏🖌

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕 Glad you liked my marbles… hehe… oh yes, I’m always well aware that we celebrate months now! It’s WAY more fun!

  9. Lisa 4 years ago

    Such good circles! My circles always turn into ovals. We played marbles on the asphalt playground by my school when I was young. I wasn’t very good, and didn’t really like to play because I became quite attached to my marbles and didn’t want to take a chance I might lose one. I’m fact I am pretty sure that if I went through some boxes I could find a blue marble from way back when that has followed me through space and time. At one point my dad worked at a place where they used ball bearings. He would bring a few home once in a while and they become prized steelies in our marble collections. Playground marbles was a spring thing, as soon as the snow melted, but the ground was still muddy. I wonder if kids still play with them, or if they are too caught up in their electronic devices? I might have to buy my great nephew a bag of marbles to celebrate spring.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 As to the circles… I actually traced them using various souvenir medallions and actual currency we’ve collected from our travels! lol I’m no Da Vinci… I can’t make a perfect circle to save my life! And I’m curious as well… what do kids play with this days that isn’t digital? I think a bag of marbles would seem almost magical to them! 😉

  10. Phil Cooper 4 years ago

    Beautifully painted marbles , really captures their beauty . And I noticed we share the same birthday Charlie 😀. Hmm, is everybody born on April 13th a big kid lol? Maybe! Lovely delightful post.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Phil! 😃💕 What?? How after all these years did I not know that? I’m never shy about promoting my birthday… not for the gifts so much as patting myself on the back for living this long. That’s awesome! We’re birthday buddies! Well, then a very happy birthday and birthday month to you my friend! 💕

      • Phil Cooper 4 years ago

        Hey same to you Charlie, happy birthday month! I love having a birthday in April when it’s Spring time 😀💕

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

          I know!! It’s the best, isn’t it?😃💕 No matter how old we feel, there’s spring to tell us we’re just starting over again. 😉

  11. smzang 4 years ago

    Charlie says, “…to truly celebrate the beauty of life… To really get to that feeling, we’d have to go back much farther in time to remember what it was like to experience the simplest of things for the first time. The time just before someone told us how we should feel.”


    On another note…

    I hang my hat in West Virginia and have done so for the last 45 years. This from the ever informative Web:
    “with three of the nation’s five marble factories, West Virginia could well be called the marble capital of America.
    The marble industry is nothing new to the Mountain State. Ever since marble-making started in the 1920s, West Virginia always has housed most of the nation’s factories.”

    There used to be many other states that had said industry but they have all lost their marbles, (except for Ohio
    and Illinois.)

    …and where is this leading? I just wanted to say, you may be ‘just a big kid’ (at heart) but it is for sure you have not
    lost your marbles. You are a creative genius.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 I’m so happy you enjoyed what you quoted. That’s pretty much the essence of how I feel about art and life! And I love that about the marble industry! So cool! And I don’t know that I’m a creative genius, but I DO love losing my marbles every now and again. hehe… it’s just a fun way to live life!

  12. Ruth Bailey 4 years ago

    Oh, Charlie, your love of circles and glass and watercolor all come together in these beautiful marbles!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Ruth! 😃💕I’m so thrilled you enjoyed these! Painting marbles is just super fun! I’ve done it a few times now and each time I just can’t help but giggle with glee! hehe

  13. anamika808creative 4 years ago


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