National Orchid Day

National Orchid Day - doodlewash and watercolor of pink orchids

Today we celebrate National Orchid Day which was created by Mike and Faith Young, who became enraptured with the blossoms after volunteering at an orchid reserve in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. It’s also a great opportunity to attempt a doodlewash of a flower. Despite flowers being such a common subject for watercolor, this is only the second time I’ve ever attempted them. Precisely what kind of orchid I’ve ended up with here is a bit of a mystery as there are over 25,000 documented orchid species in the world and horticulturists have produce more than 100,000 cultivars and hybrids.

Orchids were once so rare and exotic that they were referred to as the “plant of kings.” There were very few available commercially back when, but today, they can be picked up for less than 10 bucks at Home Depot and have become one of the most popular houseplants of all time. With proper care, orchids can live to be up to 100 years olds, so they’re quite a long term commitment. If you’re a fan of vanilla beans, you have the vanilla orchid to thank for delivering that wonderful flavor. The vanilla pods from these plants are plunged in hot water before they’re ripe and dried for 2 to 6 months.

Growing an orchid from seed is a rather daunting and challenging taste. They have the tiniest seeds in the world and can often take forever to actually sprout into a plant. The reason they exist at all in such numbers comes from human’s strong desire to grow them. Some believe this human affinity for them is because they possess bilateral symmetry similar to a human face. When you look at an orchid, it can actually appear to be looking back at you. Now, what it might actually be thinking, is still anyone’s guess.

Join me any and all days you like during April by celebrating a National or International Day with a doodlewash! Tag your image #doodlewashaday and I’ll feature everyone who played along on at the end of the month! 

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Sap Green, Ultramarine Blue, and Quinacridone Gold. Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Susan Feniak 7 years ago

    Gorgeous! Like portraits, perhaps you should tackle painting flowers more often too! 🙂

    • Author

      Awww thanks Susan!! 💕😃 The only other flowers I made were daisies and I didn’t like how they turned out so just hadn’t tried again. Hehe So glad you liked these!

  2. Curious to the Max 7 years ago

    Loverly! I particularly noticed the wash you used for shadow – you really made it look like a flower stem on the paper.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Judy! 😃💕 I decided to go with limited colors and not use my go to Neutral tint for the shadow and mix my own gray using all the colors. Glad you like the outcome!

  3. Carol J Forrester 7 years ago

    Beautiful as always. My mother and I are both generally useless with house plants but we can just about manage to keep an orchid alive.

  4. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Lovely painting, beautiful color variation especially on the bud soon to flower. As always you make me smile with your amusing back story.

  5. rsbense 7 years ago

    This is one on my favorites! I too like the shadows…and the use of ink ( assuming)- Thank you for sharing!

  6. Really, if this is only your second attempt you should do florals more often, you have captured the dainty look of the flower. If I painted one it would consist of only a green stem….I kill all indoor plants, they don’t like my living conditions 😕……however outside is a totally different story, I have run out of space, jungle mania (orderly though, with many to suit the bugs, frogs and newts, and slow worms).

  7. YesterdayAfter 7 years ago

    I love your Orchid Charlie, beautiful colors they are one of my favorite plants I always have an Orchid!

  8. Jodi 7 years ago

    beautiful orchids charlie! glad you chose this day to doodlewash 🙂

  9. Kari 7 years ago

    Beautiful orchid! I tried growing one, but as I’ve mentioned many times in my comments that I can’t grow anything. So now, the only orchids I have in the house are silk kinds.. 😁 I love how delicate it looks but I understand they are quite hearty.. 😘❤️

    • Author

      Thanks Kari!! 💕😃 Hehe…we have one that Philippe had tried to keep alive but it hasn’t blossomed again yet. They’re really pretty, but I’m all for the silk look…lol…lower maintenance! 😉

  10. Sharon Mann 7 years ago

    Nicely done Charlie, I love the purplie colors. Interesting history about orchids.

  11. Carmel Campbell 7 years ago

    Beautiful colors and orchid. There is a lot of detail in flowers. I tend to just look at them . Nice work. I hope you will do more. There is lots to explore in the florals.

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Carmel!! 💕😃 I’ve never really gravitated to florals as a painting subject, but this was pretty fun, so I think I will try more! And I do love flowers! Hehe

  12. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 7 years ago

    You captured the orchid’s beauty well, Charlie. There are orchids in every shop this month, in every color. I plan to purchase a few to put on the table at Passover later this month – they suggest everything wonderful about spring and looking forward to the future. I hope you’ll try other flowers soon.

    • Author

      Thanks Sharon! 💕😃So happy you liked this! I love that spring is here and orchids are truly beautiful. It’s the season of flowers so I was more inspired. I had fun so I think I will try more!

  13. memadtwo 7 years ago

    Those look exactly like the orchids that were on our table at the restaurant…obviously your painting is much closer to reality than mine. Beautiful! (K)

    • Author

      Thanks Kerfe! 😃💕Hehe…I actually want to be more stylistic…I free handed the initial sketch in like 3 minutes trying to be more loose and it just came out looking real. I LOVE your painting…it’s so expressive and evokes the mood of your lunch so well!! 😍

  14. Jill's Oil Paintings 7 years ago

    What!?! I sketched an orchid yesterday, I’m right on it with today’s “day”! Or close, a day early. Nice painting.

  15. Carol 7 years ago

    So pretty!

  16. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    You’ve certainly doodlewashed a beautiful specimen, whatever species it might be…LOL! I didn’t realize it’s only the second time you’ve painted flowers; it looks like you’re a pro at it! I actually don’t like to paint flowers myself. I don’t know why, but I would rather paint anything but. Please don’t psychoanalyze me! 😉 Anyway, I love yours, so that’s all that matters! <3

    • Author

      Thanks Teresa!! 💕😃 Haha…I was same way with flowers…no clue why. Philippe likes painting them. Maybe I liked the orchid because it’s more like a face as they say. I’ll have to try to another kind of flower to see if this was just a fluke. Lol 😊

  17. Jill Kuhn 7 years ago

    I was painting a flower today. Wish mine turned out as beautifully as your orchid! 💜😃 I needed to add the Opera Rose as I see now that is what I was missing to make my painting sing! 🎤💕 I hope you paint more flowers! 💐🌟👍

    • Author

      Thanks so much Jill!! 💕😃I have a love affair lately with Opera Rose!! Hehe😊 So glad you liked it…off to see yours immediately!! 😉

  18. Teri C 7 years ago

    You have captured the beauty of this flower so wonderfully. I gaze at the blue ones in the store and think, ‘I should paint that’, and then I don’t. Maybe it’s time to rethink that.

    • Author

      Thanks Teri! 💕😃Yep…it’s totally time to rethink that!! You’d do them brilliantly!! Do it, Teri! Do it! Yeah….I’m a pusher. 😊lol

      • Teri C 7 years ago

        Thanks Charlie. I need that push. 💞

  19. davisbrotherlylove 7 years ago

    Beautiful work! I am reading Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe’s mysteries. In the book, he spends at least two hours every day with his orchids.

    • Author

      Thanks so much!! 😃Glad you liked these. Flowers are my thing so this was an experiment. That book sounds interesting…I wouldn’t give anything to have two hours a day to relax with orchids. Hehe 😊

  20. wendymuldon 7 years ago

    Every orchid has its own personality. That is why they are so fun to draw! Lovely doodlewash and article

  21. Jacob 7 years ago

    The word ‘orchid’ comes from the Greek word for testicle, I believe, as many roots apparently look similar to a scrotum. Happy Testicle Day, anyway! Your orchids look wonderful (to be sure, I am definitely referring to the flowers). I have had similar reservations about tackling flowers; not really sure why. I’d never have guessed this was only your second attempt; in fact I was sure I’d seen more floral art in my time here! Lovely fresh colours and great soft depth, like you could pick it up and give it a sniff!

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob! I think I realized it may have been a third attempt as I think was one sunflower early on and then some daisies. I honestly can’t remember what I’ve doodlewashed anymore! Lol Most of the floral art here comes from my guests, so there’s plenty to view! Hehe… that said… I guess now I would be remiss if I didn’t wish you a belated Happy Testicle Day! And I’m thrilled you enjoyed my pink ones. Hope you celebrated it in style! 😉

Leave Me A Comment!

©2015-2018 Doodlewash®  Privacy Policy | Terms Of Use | Disclosure  Powered By


Want to say hi and connect? Do you make lovely things with watercolor and want to be featured in the next Guest Artist post?! Great! Not sure, just feel the need to say something? Awesome! Just fill out the form below!


Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?


Create Account

%d bloggers like this: