Painting & Sketching Like A Kid Again!

#doodlewashApril2018 - Day 1 - Rainbow Slinky Watercolor Sketch - Doodlewash

Welcome to April and a brand new Doodlewash adventure as we lose our inhibitions and have some fun painting & sketching like a kid again! It’s also both Easter as well as April Fool’s Day, which is a rather odd combination, so I’ll just say I hope you’re having a very happy day today whatever it is you’re doing. For our first prompt of “rainbow,” the first thing that came to mind was a rainbow Slinky. This little toy was invented in the early 1940’s, and was originally metal. It was essentially a metal spring that could walk down stairs on its own and it still fascinates me to this day. When I was a kid in the 70’s, they started releasing a plastic version as a safer alternative the the metal ones. Apparently safer because they posed no threat when inserted into electrical sockets, something I never really considered doing, but apparently some other kids did. The plastic ones didn’t work nearly as well as their metal counterparts, but what they lacked in function they more than made up for in color options and soon a rainbow version was released so you didn’t have to choose at all.

Though this seemed like a horribly complex thing to sketch and paint, I dove in with a scribbled contour and then just started drawing lines to hopefully create an illusion. I’m positive this one wouldn’t actually work if manufactured as not all the rings line up properly, but it turned out to be a satisfying facsimile. I actually have a metal Slinky that Philippe put in my stocking one year. After watching it walk down the stairs a couple times, I quickly lost interest, proving that not much has changed since my childhood. I’m excited for this month, because beyond the prompts of things kids love, there’s another goal. This month, I’ve opened up the challenge to drawing as well, since drawing is so fundamental to watercolor painting. If you’re just starting out with watercolor and haven’t yet taken drawing classes, then I definitely recommend starting there, before you grab for that brush. It will make for a far more satisfying journey in the end. I started with pen and ink drawing classes, then urban sketching, and right into classes focused on watercolor painting. You can see all the classes I took and recommend by clicking here! 

The reason for the theme this month is more about the spirit than the subject matter. (check out my 1,000 days post to learn more). It’s about approaching each thing you sketch and paint with the courage and confidence of a kid. We were all fearless once, ready to try anything that came to mind and never thinking that we might not be able to actually do it. It’s how we learned to speak, to walk, and to play. At some point in adulthood, we often begin to question things, not in the fun “why” way as a kid does, but in the self-conscious way that makes us doubt ourselves. This, is no fun at all. So, for April, let’s just pretend that never happened and enjoy life as it should be enjoyed. With all the exuberance, joy, and confidence that we can muster! Draw, sketch, paint and be happy my friends! You’ll find that everything magically falls into place when you’re truly painting and sketching like a kid again!

Join Us For The April Art Challenge – Like A Kid Again!
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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour BookWant to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click Here!
 #doodlewashApril2018 - Day 1 - Rainbow Slinky Watercolor Sketch - Doodlewash
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on, contact me!

  1. Sharon Nolfi 8 months ago

    Wonderful job on the rainbow slinky! All good wishes for a Happy Spring and more memorable art adventures.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon!! 😃💕Yay to lots of great art adventures ahead!!

  2. Mary Roff 8 months ago

    Wonderful Slinky! Loved watching those things slink down the stairs.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 hehe… yeah.. there was magic in that slink!

  3. Sandra Strait 8 months ago

    I’ll accept the challenge to be confident that I can do anything and enjoy life as it should be enjoyed! At least…I think I can do that… (just kiddin’). Happy Easter, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 hehe.. Oh I know you can totally DO it! Hope you had a Happy Easter my friend!

  4. Sandra Strait 8 months ago

    Oh, forgot to say your rainbow slinky is awesome. I never lived anywhere that had more than 2 steps – slinkies just don’t have any appeal slinking down two steps, so I’ll enjoy yours vicariously.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      hehe!! Thanks! 😃 My eyes definitely crossed while sketching this one! lol And we lived in a split level house… had 5 steps only to my bedroom, but the rec room was deep and came with a glorious set of steps for slinking!

  5. Rod Fletcher 8 months ago

    A triumph Charlie!

  6. memadtwo 8 months ago

    This brings back wonderful memories. And what could be better than a rainbow that moves? (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      I know, right???! hehe… the best invention ever!! Glad this brought back good memories, Kerfe! 😃💕

  7. smzang 8 months ago

    The slinky you painted works in every sense. I am a kid again.
    My metal slinky (about the 5th one I’ve had) is all tangled up
    beyond repair. At last, a plastic one that is tangle proof.

    I had a rainbow colored one. I treasured it, and can not imagine
    at what point I let it just disappear. I’m guessing it must have been
    somewhere about the time I began to learn about doubt.

    “We were all fearless once, ready to try anything that came to mind and never thinking that we might not be able to actually do it. It’s how we learned to speak, to walk, and to play. At some point in adulthood, we often begin to question things, not in the fun “why” way as a kid does, but in the self-conscious way that makes us doubt ourselves.”

    Those words put tears in my eyes. We give up so much to ‘become adults’ (bah, who needs it!).

    What a wonderful month this will be at doodlewash. I look forward to it with joy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Oh, I’m so happy you connected with this post, Sarah! 😃💕 I DO feel like we sort of felt like we had to give things up to move into adulthood, but I’ve always been confused as to why. Guess the kid who still asks “why” is stronger and I don’t want to doubt myself to be a grown up. Not only is it no fun, it’s perfectly unproductive. 😉

      • smzang 8 months ago

        So very true! I raise my glass to that kid!

  8. Jill Kuhn 8 months ago

    What a fabulous rainbow, Charlie! 🌈👍 I’m liking your theme this month! Cheers to creating art fearlessly! 😃

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 hehe… I knew you’d like this theme. It’s the reason why we’re friends! Yay to creating fearless art and enjoying live like a kid again!

  9. bingingonabudget 8 months ago

    Great job, very pretty picture. I love looking at this artwork.

  10. Jacob 8 months ago

    Ah, memories! I used to have one of these, but I think it was dodgy as it never seemed to make it that far down our staircase (which obviously was the issue, not me). I quickly lost interest in the thing, too, but the colours were always appealing, just as they are here!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      hehe… yeah… it wasn’t the most entertaining as toys go for sure! LOL But those colors were awesome!! 😃💕 The plastic ones didn’t go as far…. the price we pay for a rainbow. 😉

  11. Jennifer McLean 8 months ago

    this came out absolutely beautifully!!

  12. Miss Gentileschi 8 months ago

    Oh my! I really loved these things when I was a kid and could spent hours with letting it hopping done the stairs! 😀 And you´re so right about the ones made of plastic not being equally good! Here´s to the inner child and letting it out to play more often! 😀 <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Yes to that! I think we should totally let our inner children take control. Life is just way more fun that way!

  13. […] seriously, I take them gleefully! It’s way more fun that way. And truly, if you’re sketching a Slinky or a boy about to pop a bubble, there’s really no other way approach it. But even if […]

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