On Painting Flowers

Pink Flowers Doodlewash and watercolor sketch

Yeah, I’ve gone almost a full month with nary a flower brought to our #NatureDoodlewash hike so here’s some now. I actually chose this theme to try painting flowers more and then promptly started doodlewashing insects. As much as I love flowers in life, they just confound and confuse me when it comes to sketching them. Perhaps it’s that I’m too much into the details and can’t quite decipher the delicate details of a flower. Perhaps I was beaten with a flower as a child and can’t remember it. No, sorry mom, we know that’s not true. But as we get closer to World Watercolor Month on Friday, I’m transitioning into my goal of being more fearless and trying subjects and eventually styles I typically avoid.

I love seeing the loose painting style of so many wonderful artists who appear on Doodlewash. When I try to paint in that same fashion, it doesn’t look quite right to me. Perhaps, it’s just not my style and that’s perfectly okay or perhaps I need to stop being a big scaredy cat and try it more. Saturday will mark 365 days of daily doodlewashes and so I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’d like to go next. I’m thrilled for July’s celebration because I’m personally using it as a chance to experiment, go back to the beginning and sketch full scenes of places I love, and paint things I’m terrified of painting (like people) and yes, maybe even more flowers. The only thing that will matter is having fun and continuing this wonderful journey.

I started Doodlewash because I fell in love with watercolor. I wanted to create a community of artists who simply loved it as well. I figured we could all learn from each other by sharing our work, in all of its varied approaches. That’s why there have never been any rules to follow here, save the use of watercolor in some way. I was alone when I started, but now I’m surrounded by watercolor lovers from all over the world. On Friday, urban sketchers, plein air artists, studio painters, abstract artists, illustrators, master artists and complete newbies from around the world are going to spend a month painting in watercolor – together. Early on in my enthusiasm, I spoke of a Doodlewash movement and didn’t even know what that meant. Now, a year later, I think I do. And it’s awesome!

Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month! 

World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Ultramarine Blue, Quinacridone Gold, Permanent Green Pale, Sap Green, and Neutral Tint. Sennelier: 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. cindy knoke 6 years ago


  2. Susan Feniak 6 years ago

    Gorgeous Charlie! We are all learning so much on this journey. Fearlessness? You bet. I know for sure I have tackled subjects I never would have before joining in. For that I thank you. 🙂

  3. Anne LaFollette 6 years ago

    I’ve just found you on wordpress and can’t believe my luck with Watercolor Month starting in July. Your website and blog are fabulous. Cheers to the Doodlewash movement you have created!

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much, Anne!! 😃💕So glad you found Doodlewash! And yay…hope you’ll be joining in for July! Will be a blast!😃

  4. Margaret Parker Brown 6 years ago

    I can’t wait to join you Charlie on your adventure….love your flowers and the first thing I thought was “oh, flowers for me?!!” lol I love how you were vulnerable in this post, part of being an artist in touch with oneself and open for growth, I love that in you. 🙂 so, do I plan on participating but do I need to sign up?

    • Author

      Thanks Margaret!! 😃💕Of course these are for you!! Hehe And as for participating in WWM, the only way I know for sure people are participating is the Facebook group and you’re in that! 😃👍🏻 When the month starts just be sure to tag every watercolor you post anywhere you post it with #WorldWatercolorMonth ! I’m linking out to the tag to various social sites from the main page for the project.

  5. Carmel Campbell 6 years ago

    You are awesome and your enthusiasm is helping to lift me out of the moving doldrums. I am not flower painter …and it is all those details. You just painted one of my favorite flowers like a pro!

    • Author

      Awww thanks, Carmel!! 😃💕It is proven scientifically impossible to have doldrums when one is a participant of World Watercolor Month. So yup…problem solved!! Hehe 😉😃

  6. Jodi 6 years ago

    Oh YAY YAY YAY for Charlie Flowers! I LOOOOOVVEE THEM! What a fun month we are going to have in store! Thanks for everything you do and your zest and passion and love Charlie!

    • Author

      Thanks, Jodi!!! 😃💕💕💕 Appreciate all your passion and your support! It means so much to me my fiend!! July if going to be incredible!!

  7. memadtwo 6 years ago

    Thanks for a great year Charlie. I never would have made it through NaWriPoMo without your month of days as inspiration. And new artists to learn from all the time! (K)

    • Author

      Oh wow…that’s awesome to hear Kerfe! 😃💕I loved that you used the challenge like that…your posts were such a joy to see. And being a writer type I was thrilled to see Doodlewash inspiring words as well as images! 😉

  8. Carol 6 years ago

    Congrats on your upcoming one-year mark. That is quite an accomplishment, Charlie!! Also, these flowers are beautiful, delicate, and expertly painted. Thanks for sharing your passion and clever, usually hilarious stories, and mostly for spreading the watercolor fever and encouraging us all! 🎉🎈😘🍷🎨

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Carol!! 😃💕You’ve been so supportive and I can’t thank you enough for your kind words. I love the idea of watercolor fever! Hehe … And no sad at all that there’s no cure! Lol 😉

  9. artandmoondreams 6 years ago

    If this is what it means to be confounded and confused by sketching flowers…sign me up. Beautiful painting! It has been a genuine delight seeing how far you, your art and your blog have traveled over the past year, and now we stand on the threshold of an international month long celebration of watercolor that you created…brilliantly done. Warm hugs, cheers, and a heartfelt thank you for having us along on the journey, looking forward to what lies ahead.

    • Author

      Aw thanks, Haunani! 😃💕Thrilled you’ve been on the journey with me. Your kind words have made me keep going. Thanks so much for the constant encouragement my friend!

  10. Teresa Robeson 6 years ago

    Like you, I almost never paint flowers either and admire those who can do them well. 🙂 You did a beautiful job on these (coreopsis? I don’t know flowers very well)! <3

    I still haven't decided if I want to work on a subject or theme for Watercolor Month…

    • Author

      Thanks Teresa! 😃💕 but you do people so well! That’s something I’m going to tackle in July. As for the flower…I haven’t a clue! Lol It was just pink and pretty 😊😊

  11. zuzala 6 years ago

    Charlie, congrats on your coming anniversary! I so look forward to the entries here, both from you, as well as your guest artists and reviewers. You have created a fabulous community of encouragement and information. I thank you for that. As for the Month of July. I am both petrified as well as excited. I have never created for myself, each and every day. This will be a challenge of time management, as well as the idea that it is okay, even if it’s just for me. I predict many will be wretched, and a few will be gems. I plan on learning from both of them. I can’t wait to see what everyone will be posting. Bravo to you for being the architect of all this creating. special thanx to ms Yukari, for introducing us!

    • Author

      Thrilled to have met you, Suzala! That Kari…she’s awesome…big thanks to her!! And I’m doubting any will be wretched in July! Hehe😉 I’m just gonna play like I did when I very first started!!! Lol Pretend I don’t know anything and then I won’t give a crap if I screw up! Haha! Thanks so much for your kind words. It’s been a fantastic year on Doodlewash and I can’t think of a better way to begin Year 2 than with some many talented new friends!! 😃💕

  12. Jill Kuhn 6 years ago

    You truly inspire me to keep dipping my brush in the watercolor paint, Charlie! 💕🎨 WOWZA! A year goes by fast! I’m so enjoying your humor, your creativity and your encouragement in my own art journey! 😃 Cheers friend! 💐🍷🐝

    • Author

      Awww thanks Jill!! 😃💕 You’ve been such an inspiration to me! LOVE that we even did a collaboration early on! Exotic birds rule!!!! Hehe So glad I met you on this journey my friend. Thanks for the smiles and fun!! cheers! 🎉🎉🐦🐤🍷

  13. M. L. Kappa 6 years ago

    Your flowers are lovely, Charlie, but I agree with you about using watercolor month to try out new things – at least, that’s what I’m planning to do. Some people might prefer to have a theme. I think we will all be inspired by each other, but it’s an opportunity to try things were not so good at, as well as improving the good stuff. 😊🌷🌹🌺

    • Author

      Thanks Marina! Yeah… I just want to play and see where it takes me. I think that will be so fun. And can’t help but get inspired to see what so many other folks are doing. Can’t wait!! 😍

  14. Rebecca 6 years ago

    Boldly into fearlessness – good on you Charlie! These flowers are beautiful, can’t wait to see more; bring on the changes, chances and growth. Thanks for sharing your journey and your friendship! 🙂

  15. Cathe 6 years ago

    What a wonderful post. To be fearless, at least mark a month for it! There is freedom in your thinking Charlie, a time to mix it up! You create the most beautiful flowers! One thing I have learned about flowers, there is no right or wrong…miss a petal, that’s okay. Now as for this community you have created, it really is so wonderful. Something to be very proud of! I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I find so much joy and comfort here plus a good bit of laughter and a ton of inspiration. Cheers to the first year, looking forward to playing with you in the next!

    • Author

      Aww I love hearing that about the community! I think Doodlewash filled a greatly needed niche of just celebrating the medium and allowing people to approach it however they like. There’s lots of groups telling people how they should paint and that’s cool… but here we just say “paint… something!” and everyone from those other groups is welcome here! I love the diversity and openness it creates! Thanks so much for your support and friendship, Cathe!! 😃💕

  16. Congratulations on an amazing first year, bro! I have learned so much from you, and continue to be inspired by your enthusiasm and outlook. Thanks for your endless encouragement, it means a lot! Looking forward to lots of fun next month. I’m no fan of FB, so I hope that’s not a requirement to participate! 💜💜💜

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕So thrilled to have met you and your support has been fantastic!! By the way… added link to creative prompts and told folks in the FB group (people hadn’t thought about trying abstract!! Got some interest there!). Facebook is super NOT required to play! lol Just a more interactive way to post and share as we go. I’ll be linking out to art tagged with #WorldWatercolorMonth on WordPress, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. So anywhere people prefer works! hehe

      • Oh that’s great news, Charlie! Sounds great! I just sent you an email that I wrote prior to seeing this lol 💜💛💜

  17. Teri C 6 years ago

    You’ve been keeping your flowers a secret Charlie! These are beautiful!
    I also wanted to thank you for all the inspiration you send your readers and for the watercolor month. It’s going to be the highlight of the summer for a lot of people. So happy I will be a part of it!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Teri! 😃💕So glad you liked these. They just don’t speak to me like other subjects. And I’m so excited by World Watercolor Month! It’s been incredible to see and feel the excitement. Thrilled you’re a part of it and thanks so much for all your amazing support!

  18. Delicate beauty…..looks like the cosmos in my garden. ❤️

  19. Beautywhizz 6 years ago

    Your flowers are beautiful.

  20. kirkistan 6 years ago

    Those are gorgeous.

  21. Courtney 6 years ago

    I am sooo overwhelmingly proud of you my dear dear friend. You are amazing with all you have done. Congrats on creating this and exploding your passion to the world. You are amazing and an inspiration!

  22. Ellie 6 years ago

    Charlie, I don’t know which I enjoy more – your wonderful doodlewashes or your fantastic commentary. Both are always, without fail, and despite your available time and/or wine, awesome. I am super new to the watercolor world and I am so happy that you have created this wonderful world here.

    • Author

      Hehe… Thanks so much Ellie!😃💕 I’m so thrilled you like my posts! And welcome to watercolor! Glad you’re here… this is sort of all things watercolor so you can choose the path you like most! Hope you’ll be participating in World Watercolor Month in July!!

  23. grlie 6 years ago

    Oh I will join too 😀 not much time, but I am planning ATC size, so should be doable. Excited!

    • Author

      ATC Size is a super great idea. I’ve always stayed small for that same reason. So thrilled you’re joining the month!! Yay! 😃

  24. Tom Merriman 6 years ago

    Nice flowers, Charlie… I’m attempting roses at the moment… we shall see how that turns out!
    So, can I ask, is July ‘anything watercolour goes’ month… by that I mean there isn’t a theme to follow? I have ideas, you see…

  25. Jacob 6 years ago

    I’d say you need to do more flowers – these are gorgeous!

    I’ve spoken previously on the Doodlewash Army and indeed I know more of the operations behind the scenes than others – say, I do fancy a boat ride! – but now I’m doubly excited to see what’s going to happen next month. I’m sure it’ll be lots of fun!

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob! 😃Yeah, no idea why flowers don’t woo me more than bugs! Lol The army is growing and it’s so awesome!! I only have the Facebook Group to see a count of people participating. Won’t know until the hashtags start Friday just how many folks are playing along! Gonna be awesome!! (By the way, are you on Facebook?)

      • Jacob 6 years ago

        You’re a boy, that’s why the bugs appeal!

        I don’t have Facebook, no – this is my only social media presence. If I was on Facebook, I’d have been bombarding you with friend requests until you caved in and accepted!

        • Author

          Yeah… but then I might finally learn your last name! lol

          • Jacob 6 years ago

            Ha! Well it’s only been, what, nearly a year! 😉 It’s Sutton. Jacob Louis Sutton. Now you know! 😛

          • Author

            Nice to finally meet you after all this time! hehe… I didn’t know we were doing full name. Okay then, I’m J. Charles O’Shields, but still prefer to go by just Charlie. 😉

          • Jacob 6 years ago

            J? Scandalous. It’s not Jacob, is it? 😉

  26. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 years ago

    Thank you for explaining the inception of Doodlewash as I haven’t been along since the beginning. What a wonderful experiment this has been.
    Your flowers are beautiful – you’re more talented than you know, Charlie.

    • Author

      Thanks sooo much Sharon! 😃💕 So glad you’re here now! Yeah…I basically got tired of breaking all the “rules” so I wanted to make a community without any. It’s wonderful to have so much variety I think! 😃

  27. The Leaf Diary 6 years ago

    That’s very nice.

  28. GOOD LUCK 6 years ago

    […] via On Painting Flowers — Doodlewash […]

  29. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    These are quite lovely!

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