• Today, for our prompt of “Desert,” I decided to make a sketch of a blooming cactus. I don’t live in a desert climate, so this isn’t a view I normally see, but when I’m traveling to the desert, it’s one of my

    • How to come out of your head. Come up with an answer for that, Charlie, and you likely will win a huge windfall. I would love to know how to pay attention. So far in the past week I blew myself off my feet by trying to lift them both at the same time. Or something. And then I splashed hot oil onto myself. I was in my head and not paying attention. But I did manage to get a sketch done today and never broke anything. Love your articles, Charlie. Carry on!

    • Charles, I love your cactus in bloom. My sister lived in New Mexico for a while. I never visited but she would sent pictures when the desert was in bloom. I took a bus trip from Las Vegas and saw a bit of the desert but would never want to live in the heat. I’ll stick to New England. Sometimes traveling to another place makes you realize how nice home is.

    • This is beautiful!

    • Wonderful sketch! I love cacti and there are many in my neighborhood.

    • I painted a blue line today. I was looking at some minimalist paintings and it must have rubbed off on me. Lol My cleaning and yard girls were here today. We got a lot of weeds pulled and hubs did some mowing, so it feels like I will have time to paint more than a line tomorrow except I promised to make some Thai curry and that always takes time to cut stuff up. I like your cactus. People eat those fruit. Prickly pear I think they are called. I had some at a Mexican restaurant once. I don’t remember it well, so I guess I wasn’t too impressed! 😂

    • Beautiful cacti. I love to really look at plants and visually disect them. They are always made up of many interesting pieces. As far as sketching in crowds, it doesn’t bother me. My favorite place to sketch is Disneyland and there’s always a crowd. I can blur out all the commotion for some reason. I figure people are so busy doing their own thing, they don’t notice me. Occasionally we have someone come over and ask what we are doing. We love it when a child comes over, in hopes we have sparked something in them. 😉

    • Gorgeous cacti! Cactus growing in a real desert. Hmmm…something else to add to the travel list!

  • For our prompt of “Pets” today, I opted for a chihuahua in a travel bag. Our own dog Phineas is basenji and small, but a bit too big to fit into a carry on bag, so he’s never been on a trip with us. While I was

    • Great pet sketch Charlie. I’m afraid that I am not a big fan of chihuahuas. The place where I got my hair cut, when my mom didn’t cut it, had a chihuahua that was mean. I was afraid of it. I had a boxer so I loved dogs but that one tried to bite our ankles. Don’t give up on taking that vacation.

    • You’ve captured the perfect look on the dog’s face: What the Heck?? Karen hits the nail on the head about chihuahuas, they can be very dominant. Just watch a few episodes of the Dog Whisperer for examples of dealing with problem tiny dogs. Our friend has trained hers from a tiny puppy to be happy and friendly to all, and he gets along with our two shih tzus. (Consider a shih tzu in the future; they can be found in the shelters or adoption rescue groups. We adopted ours from friends and relatives!)
      And it is amazing how our canine pals resolve our anxiety-they have been with humans for so long that they are almost a part of us. And, Charlie, I really love all your dog portraits; they show the love our dogs have for us.

      • Thanks, Bob! 😃💕Yeah, our experience comes from our niece who happens to be a professional dog trainer. So there’s a theme here when it comes to chihuahuas it seems. 😉 And what a lovely compliment. I love dogs so much! I’m happy to know that love shows up in my sketches!

    • Love that doggie in the bag! My daughter and son-in-law have always believed their little dog needs socialization with other dogs, but then, they treated Red like a human child until their daughter arrived. Once I picked him up at a doggy hotel, and the concierge said, “Oh yes, we have your name down as Red’s Grandma.” No comment.

    • That looks like a barky little dog! 😂 They really are though, aren’t they? Give me a bigger one. We had big dogs as I was growing up. Mainly outside dogs. Hounds for hunting, a German shepherd because my mom wanted one. I never became very attached to any dog. I suppose that was because they didn’t stay in the house. Years ago I was house and dog sitting for a friend of mine. They told me that on the first night the dog would sleep on their bed, but as the week went by she would get more comfortable with me and sleep in the guest room too. So the second night she came in and slept on the floor, and every night after that, she was right there in the bed with me. Dogs!!

      • haha! True… I didn’t consider the bark. as I mentioned in a previous reply my niece trains dogs so the chihuahua I have in mind is insanely well-behaved! 😃💕 lol And our current dog is barkless by breed, so yeah, tiny dogs might not be an option. And I love your story… see… that dog wanted to be even closer to you by the end! Adore that!

    • Hope Phineas isn’t too jealous because this is one sweet looking chihuahua! It’s too bad you’re allergic to cats…they are much easier to travel with…most of the time :-).

      • Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Hehe… Phineas just assumes he’s the only real dog on the planet so I’m not sure jealously is something he can muster. lol And yeah, I know, right? Cats are way easier in those aspects, but yep, still allergic.

    • That’s a different kind of ‘doggy bag’ and pink is so his colour, though I’m not sure he agrees! Cute! There was a childhood phase when I quite wanted a chihuahua, but now I tend to prefer large dogs. I can totally see the joy in taking them on holiday, though. My sister did that with her two dachshunds recently, and they had a blast!

      • Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 hehe… awwww…. two dachshunds on a trip sounds so cute and lovely! But yeah, Philippe I think really does was a large dog at some point. Hopefully when we’re retired and living on some land instead of living in the city! hehe

    • Oh my gosh! This dog truly does not want to be in this bag. She’s probably thinking, “I have 4 legs. I am capable of walking. I want to smell that fire hydrant. Let me out!” She is darling and her pink bag with chevrons goes well with her. What I want to know, is how are airlines going to handle service minature horses on flights? Will they get their own row? Do the owners have to pay for 3 seats? Do they have to make sure they do their duty before they board? What happens when they do to potty on the plane? Air freshener? Just wondering, in case I get that baby goat! Bahawaha!

      • Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Glad you liked this little pup!! Yeah, I tend to give my animals a bit of attitude in my sketches… hehe. And YES! What about those service miniature horses? lol But ohhhh… baby goats are just the cutest! Get one!!

    • Such a cute little one. And of-course so is your beloved Phineas. How cool to go to Dog camp. I never heard of that but super cool. lol 🙂

      • Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ve sketched Phineas quite a few times now so I end up with a proxy pet for this prompt often. hehe Yeah, they call it a resort, but we call it camp… I mean, anytime you’re forced to bunk with a bunch of other kids, it’s not really a resort in the end. 😉

    • Made me think of our Roxy. she’s jack russel too and is 12 years old. I hope she lives 8 more years. I love her so much.

  • Hello! My name is Emaan Imtiaz. I’m 19 years old and live in a small town in Pakistan. I am also currently studying biotechnology and want to pursue a career in teaching. I remember being quite terrible at both

    • Emaan Imtiaz Your work is wonderful. I always said I can’t draw til a seasoned artist and crafter encouraged me. Even I like my work now! Just keep doing it, you are already way ahead of me! Your mom is right.

    • Your work is wonderful! Art is a journey and you are well on the way; there’s nothing lacking in your work at all, it’s beautiful!!

    • I love your style, and that the paintings don’t appear heavy. There is lightness about them. I love everything I see here, and that is not always the case.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Emaan! First of all, your paintings are lovely. And you are absolutely right about the joy AND stress we can experience in our watercolor journeys. Especially when we are trying to learn a new technique or aspect, right? Keep at the painting — as much as you can in between studies — and keep sharing your beautiful work.

    • Emaan – you are deserving. Keep believing in yourself.

    • Emaan your work is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Awesome work! Hope to see more!

    • I think your work is pretty amazing and you are only 19. I like your style all ready. Nice and light and clean. I a sure you may discover new styles with more practice and daring to try new things even though they won’t turn out perfect. Its learning what you can make work and what doesn’t. Practice practice practice will make it happen. You are off to a great start. I think your mother may have recognized this talent in you when you didn’t. Mothers are like that. You are lucky.

    • Thank you maham 😍😍😘😘😘

    • Thanks so much for the advice and love! 💜💜💜

    • Lovely, soft colors, and nice lines! Keep up the good work. Mastery only comes with practice.

    • Your work is amazing! You are very talented and too hard on yourself. Your heart is obviously in the right place. I love the style you are doing. I like traditional watercolor paintings, however I get real joy in the style you create. Continue with your passion, it is what makes us happiest. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Your work is wonderful…keep up the good work!

    • Your paintings are great and just think of all the time you have to improve yourself. In three or five years you will be way beyond where you can imagine yourself now! – If you don’t let a carreer interfere, then it might take up to ten years. Anyway: keep painting!

    • Thankyou 😍😍

    • Thank you! 😍😘

    • Thank you Julie I try my best! 😁😁😊😉😘

  • For our prompt of “Trains” today, I opted for one of a vintage variety. I’ve no deep knowledge of trains and how they function, but did have many toy trains as a kid. This is likely why every time I sketch a

    • YOU did GOOOOOD Charlie! Love this!!!! 🙂

    • I do try to comment on everything, both here and in a few other places. It does take a lot of time, so most of the time they are one-word replies, but I try to make it more of a conversation with a few of the comments each day.

      • Yeah, it’s so tough to comment on everything. I try to pop in whenever I can! But, I figure if we’re all out there commenting… it will be enough to go around! 😉 💕

    • Hey Charlie, great train and I love that you encourage us to tell the stories about our art and share them with one another. This has become an important part of my day. Thanks for all that you DO!

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhh sweeeeeeeeet!! I love trains and yours is fabuloussss. When I was a kiddo they used to come through our lil town and I would hear them at night and it just made me feel so good inside. Not sure why but just that it does is what matters 🙂 I get what your saying. It is good to be supported for what we do in the world we all need this 🙂 To be accepted for who we are:) I am happy you decided to do sketchbook revival as this is how I got here and I love the community that is growing and likewise how others tell their stories too. Writing was always my first love. thanks for creating this most excellent place for us to hang out. I am taking my art in new directions for the benefit of my writing. My time is coming for those books. This community encourages that. so thanks for that too. 🙂 <3

      • You had trains too! And then we moved to a metro of Vancouver, BC and we got to hear the foghorns across dark water. Oh creepy. Oh beautiful.

      • Aww yay!! I’m so thrilled to hear that, Lisa! 😃💕I really wanted to create a place that was about stories. To me, that’s the heart of any kind of art. And, yeah, I’m not big into getting mired down in technique… hehe… as you SAW! lol It was fun to do my first, and still only, video. I haven’t made another yet, because I need to figure out my own kind of show. But I will one day. 😉

    • You’ve managed to take show and tell to the next level! All the likes and comments mean a lot to me. I thought I didn’t need any of this stuff when I retired, but I was wrong. I like the feedback and just knowing my paints and poems have an audience makes me happy!

      • Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕Yeah, it’s true, likes and comments really DO matter as they keep us motivated. I find myself commenting most on posts that have no comments at all. I figure if I can be that one voice that showed up, I can make a big difference in an artist’s life. I know it made a big difference in mine.

    • Charlie you worry way too much. I love your stories and your art is perfect, I can’t and don’t want to do left-brain stuff as it gets in the way of my right-brain creativity. I finally had to stop sketching it first because that means left brain rigid. Now I just get out the brush and do what I want. When I am not too busy procrastinating. Like now.

      • Thinks, Linda! 😃💕 Lol! I never actually worry, but I love to ponder things! My mind enjoys exploring ideas, but yeah… when it gets too technical, my mind shuts off! hehe And I’m a master at procrastination! I would definitely become a teacher if that were a course! 😉

    • I honestly don’t know how you manage to DO all that you already DO! Relax and enjoy.

      • Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I’m enjoying every moment, but do miss being able to comment on others works as much. So I figured I’d enlist some help! 😉

    • Wonderful train, Charlie. I grew up hearing trains going through town and love the sound and it was something I missed for the 20 years we lived out in the country. Where we live now I can hear the trains as they head to the Tropicana plant across the river. Still love waking up to the sound of them making their way across town. I think it’s the connection to my childhood that I love most about that sound.

      • Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕That’s lovely! Yeah, sounds that connect us to our childhood are the best sounds ever. We live near Union Station here so there’s often a sound of the train in the distance. I love it!

    • Love your train !

      Charlie I am doing things in and outside your book.
      And I remember you had once a log about how you made that circles (and not strokes) in the color wheel.
      I cannot find it back ! *cries* do you remember from what date that blog was?

      It is about the technic you used to make your circles and why in that way.

      Please help….

      and I love your book, I do it step for step for step, because also busy with other things.

    • It’s a wonderful train! All those details! Oh my! Some day, maybe, you could share with us one of your doodles before you add color. Then the after. I am always amazed, in ahhh of the little doodles you use to complete your painting.

      • Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕Actually, I move so fast that I never captured the initial sketches until I made my first Activity Book. Now, I do try to grab many of them before I paint in a folder I call Coloring Book! hehe They’re for my next books, but I’ve thought about including them in these posts as well one day. In truth, even one extra step makes it dicey as to whether I’ll be able to make a post happen. 😊

        • I understand the extra step thing….notice you haven’t seen any of my sketches this month? tee hee. I wouldn’t want to see them every day, just once in a blue moon , or red or black moon. Just a little reminder to ease up on details, which I seem to go overboard on. It’s your blog and you can do whatever you want and I’ll continue to be here. 😉

          • Aww thanks! hehe… but you gave me a good idea. True… I do put in a lot of “details” but they’re quickly faked, so maybe I’ll try a post next month where I show examples of that! 😉

    • Thanks, Linda! 😃💕 Wow! What a nice compliment! Sometimes it’s tough to tell if you’re improving when you look at your own work. But yeah, I think I’m getting a bit better day by day, I hope!

    • Oh wow! Thanks so much, Gail!! 😃💕I’m so thrilled you found my blog, and of course, extra thrilled you’re enjoying it! YAY!! Next post is coming right up! 😉

  • For our prompt of “Grass” today, I ended up on a patch of grass with a curious kangaroo staring back at me. Well, not in reality, but that’s what appeared on my sketchbook page, at least. Actually, at our local

    • I love the expression on your kangaroo’s face! I’m the epitome of curious – when it comes to art supplies anyway. I want to try them all and find out what makes them different from all the other art supplies. Not so curious about sports scores or the latest in fashion, lol.

    • What a cute and curious kangaroo Charlie! Being curious is what makes art come alive. Your stories and prompts inspire us to keep being curious. I think that it adds to our artist toolkit which I hope adds to my other daily art. By the way, it’s nice to be home and I’m glad that I could share a bit of my vacation. I look forward to when you can do the same! Meanwhile I look forward to each of your daily stories.

      • Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yay to daily curiosity! It’s truly what makes art so FUN! And thank you for taking me on your vacation with you! I adored that!! Yeah, Philippe and I have still yet to plan one… ugh… hehe… though I still have hope it will happen before the family travel starts!

    • He’s a great kangaroo. There was a recent news story about snow in Australia and the roos were having a blast!

    • I agree. Being content but curious is a great way to live.

    • Being curios keeps us young…or at least thinking we’re young. 🙂

      • Hehe!! Thinking young is BEING young in my book! 😃💕 And looking young I think… although some mornings that bit is a bit debatable. 😊

    • Oh my gosh! He made me giggle. I like that…always stay curious. The nature class I took this summer had a prompt of “wonder”. I never realized how much I wondered about things. It really brought it to the surface and I actually followed through and researched a few things.

      • Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Super odd perspective here! lol Wonder is the best trait we can ever possess! It’s so fun! But yeah, some of my sketches get a bit rushed as I rush off to explore so new idea, thought, or other mystery! All fun though! 😉

    • “Stay curious – try stuff” is advice I give my fiber arts students.

      • That’s fantastic advice, Laura! 😃💕 Yeah, I think it’s really the only advice artists need. The rest all sorts itself out in the end.

    • Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 Yeah, I adore kangaroos! I think they have all the secrets to living a content and happy life. And who knows, maybe it is just, always stay curious! 😉

  • For our prompt of “Fish” today, I took the chance to sketch some glass again along with my favorite sort of fish, a betta, or Siamese fighting fish. I just love their fabulously opulent look like they are getting

    • Wow! Glass, water, and fish all spectacular. Love his expression.

    • I’m sure with the skill you have in painting glass and with a subject ‘wearing their best fish drag’, you’ll pull them in tonight. Although it is vacation season – the competition is tough!

    • Your rendition is great.

    • What a flashy fish Charlie and I love your description! Well vacation is winding down. Today was relaxing and not as hot as yesterday but I still managed to get a bit more pink. A little sketching, walking the beach and standing in the ocean but only a bit past our ankles. Watching sailboats and fishing boats come and go. We ended the day with having dinner with friends. I managed to squeeze my DOodle in as well. Back home tomorrow.

      • Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 And it sounds like you enjoyed your vacation to the fullest! Yay! It all seems quite lovely. I’m a bit jealous! hehe Safe travels home my friend!

    • I am kind of a science geek. When I take those left brain right brain quizzes, I come out almost 50/50. I even like math. When we lived in Chicago-land, Joe and I attended some lectures at Fermi Labs. I could keep up for about half of the lectures, then I got lost and started day dreaming about being outside watching the buffalo. Yes, they had buffalo on the prairie under which was the giant super-collider.

      I always wanted one of these betta fish. I’m not sure why I didn’t get one, but I think it should go on my Xmas list.

      • You should totally add one of these fish to your Christmas list, Lisa! 😃💕 Yay! hehe… and buffalos under a super-collider is super geeky awesome!! lol Love it!!

    • Lovely!!!

    • love this bubbly frilly fish “somewhere inside fishbowl”

    • What a pretty little guy. We used to sell them at my work. Hmmm, haven’t seen them for awhile.??? I try to read all of your posts each day and comment, however there are those mornings I am limited on time. 😉 Most days I only have time to get on the internet in the morning (I have to have time for sketching!).

      • Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕As long as you have time for sketching, we all know that matters mostest! hehe And, I adore your comments… thank you so much my friend!! ❤️

    • I love today’s fabulously flamboyant fish–I am in awe of your skills. I may be a rare reader, though, who is drawn as much–or even more–to your stories as to your paintings. I guess that’s why I enjoy the podcasts and why I have read through your “Sketching Stuff” book in less than a week (I have a few short chapters to go). I too have come to the quite obvious realization that “life” as we see in on the internet is often merely a carefully curated view that masks a quite different reality. In your writing I can feel a sense of authenticity and humility that is so lacking and so desperately needed in this world. Most importantly, for me, you are willing to laugh at your own flaws and foibles and enthusiastically embrace your imperfections.

      • Wow, thank SO much for the wonderful comment, Michael! 😃💕 It’s SO affirming to hear! Yeah, I’m one of those guys who still just blogs what he really thinks and feels and doesn’t well… show up in my best drag! lol That said, we DO live in a world that favors success for those who play by the rules and the game, so I always try to point that out. But for me, success has always meant just being true to myself and always showing up as ridiculous me, no matter what! 😉

    • Beautiful fish!! I look forward to your stories AND your doodles. It’s always fun to see what you’ve painted and your stories are always fun and inspiring. Keep up the good work!!

      • Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yay! I’m so thrilled you still enjoy my stories and show up to read them. I know daily is sort of overwhelming… hehe… but I really, really appreciate the support!

    • Oh, he is beautiful. And such a sly look in the eye!

    • Thanks so much, Myriam! 😃💕hehe… yeah, it’s probably good I don’t have a fish and a fish carrier or I’d take him everywhere! Especially if he was in fabulous fish drag! lol

    • Thanks so much, Ellen! 😃💕And oh my goodness, that’s a fabulous story! Well, a not so fabulous ending for the Betta fish to be sure, but a beautiful tribute to youthful persistence at least!

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