Play Like A Penguin

Penguins Playing On Iceberg Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Iceberg” today, while I, of course, first thought of The Titanic, I then just started thinking about penguins playing on ice. I think penguins are really quite cute and they’re really fun to watch. This means that, yes, I lost a bit of time watching videos of cute penguins. They’re such social animals and they always like to do everything together. I don’t share this trait as I’ve never really liked to be in large groups of people, even before the pandemic. But penguins are inspiring in that they make it look like it’s always really fun. And from their funny shapes to their waddle walk, they just never fail to make me smile. We have penguins at our local zoo and Philippe has to pull me away to the next exhibit every time. Especially when it’s feeding time and they all charge the keeper excitedly ready to get some fish. Now, this is indeed a trait I share with them as I’m always really excited when it’s time to eat. And I’m not at all shy about waddling over to get a bite!

Lately, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t taken much time to just play and have fun outside of my sketching break. And that break has gotten shorter over the last few days. So, watching penguins today reminded me of the importance of good friends and lots of playtime. I think it’s super easy to get a bit lost in deadlines and other requirements in life. Many of mine are self-induced, to be sure, and I always have little projects going on the side as well. Sometimes, I get so caught up in checking everything off the list, that I forget what’s truly important. It never feels like a win to accomplish everything unless I’ve also been able to take time to have a bit of fun in the process. It strikes me that animals really have it good. They get to focus on living and only the bits required to do that. This leaves plenty of time to play and have fun in between. But sure, being able to DO all of the cool things we humans can do is rather awesome as well.

Humans are blessed with excessive talents and abilities. We have so many options of things we could be doing that it feels a bit overwhelming. Add in technology and suddenly we’re connected to more people than ever and even more inspiration of what we might try next. It’s actually a really fabulous thing at heart! I struggle with these possibilities all of the time. The idea I had yesterday that seemed so amazing doesn’t seem as interesting today and my mind starts to spin out new ones. It’s really a wonder I’m able to accomplish anything at all. But sometimes an idea bursts forth that feels like pure fun. That’s the gauge I use to determine if an idea is something worth pursuing. A good idea doesn’t necessarily mean that it would be fun for me to make. Perhaps, it’s a good idea for someone else instead. But when that golden notion appears, the kind that makes my heart flutter with glee, I know that it’s time to DO it! Finally, it’s not simply time to complete a another project. It’s time to play like a penguin!

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), 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? Click here!
Penguins Playing On Iceberg Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail
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28 Comments
  1. Marisela Delgado 4 weeks ago

    Hola, Charlie! Yay, first again! Today I decided to sit outside. After 100+ temperatures, it feels like I never go outside anymore. Only at night, which is wonderful! I am kicking back, sitting among all of my plants, enjoying the breeze, thanking God that Texas is so big that Hurricane Laura won’t affect us, and just relaxing. 😎 Penguins are just too cute! I love yours! My mother always says that animals have no worries. They just live. I, too, try to lift my head up from what I over -focus on and refocus on the good things now and to come. So tonight I came outside (bug spray on) and am enjoying the breeze and the evening. All is well. 💜😊🌼

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Your mother is very wise indeed. Animals DO just live and it’s a wonderful inspiration! Yay for kicking back and enjoying the evening! That sounds so lovely!

  2. Manoj Kumar Chowdhury 4 weeks ago

    Nice work Charlie

  3. Marisela Delgado 4 weeks ago

    P.S.
    I didn’t mean to sound indifferent about the plight of those in Hurricane Laura ‘s path. I would be terrified. May the Lord keep them safe. 🙏🙏

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Indeed! 😃💕 But it’s always good to talk about what’s happy… we need that more than ever now!

  4. Fascinante, Charlie, me gusto, los colores

  5. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    At the Oregon Zoo, the keepers take some of the animals for walks to enjoy the exhibits. They do this with porcupines, flamingos and, of course, penguins. When you want to be entranced by more penguin videos, google Nacho, Goat and Oregon Zoo. Nacho and Goat are the penguins and it’s adorable to see how fascinating they find the other animals.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Aww cool! I’ll definitely have to check out Nacho and Goat! They sound wonderful! 😃💕

  6. Karen Fortier 4 weeks ago

    This is so fun Charlie! I echo you about self inflected deadlines. I spend almost the entire day on the computer either making corrections in my ETSY shop on fighting with Facebook. I too need some serious fun. Note to self, tomorrow you will do something fun! 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yay for that! Yeah, we all need fun… I hope you hed some today!

  7. Zertab Quaderi 4 weeks ago

    Love this!

  8. Lisa 4 weeks ago

    I still have the stuffed Opus penguin I bought in college when Bloom County was such a huge hit. I wonder if he’s a valuable antique now? Hmm? I wasted a lot of time today doing nothing, but I managed spaghetti and sauce for dinner and I took my turn around the yard to see if any new stuff is happening. Its time to start remembering that winter is coming so I need to soak up as much green and heat as possible for the down time.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Indeed! Winter is on its way soon enough. Time to soak up all of the wonderful greenery while it lasts! 😃💕

  9. Gary Middleton 4 weeks ago

    Great doodle, Charlie. My friend hates the cold so he dreads coming back as an Emperor penguin when he dies. He has all sorts of penguins around his house from pictures to cushions and coffee mugs, to appease the penguin gods, lol.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 haha! I love that! Hopefully it works and the gods don’t get a mixed message! lol

  10. Mugdha 4 weeks ago

    Hello Charlie,

    Great Doodlewash as usual! Penguins always bring back a fun memory – I loved coloring them in as a kid coz you just couldn’t go wrong with only three colors. 🙂 I used to be so scared of getting things wrong and that fear still creeps into every new thing I start. Luckily I’ve learned to ignore it and still try. Thanks to you & Doodlewash, watercolor is one of those things. And I love the way you listen to your heart when making decisions. It’s something I’ve learned the very hard way and sometimes it becomes challenging but I stubbornly hold on. Thanks so for sharing that habit of yours.. it’s very reassuring. 🙂

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Aww yay for trying anyway… that’s how I DO everything. hehe… I know I don’t know everything I should about painting and drawing as learning about every little detail bores me. So I just keep playing and trying things and that’s really the most fun of all!

  11. Nellie Nellie 4 weeks ago

    Charlie I’m so grateful you remind us: F-U-N, fun, the whole point of creativity! I love your penguins because I think they have fun personalities like all your critters. Their stories are forming in front of us. Especially during these times when lots of stories are not fun-at all-I need to be reminded of just living and enjoying it! Thank you for sharing that gift with us today! When I see your art, I’m reminded that I need more color in mine, the darks in the penguins are actually beautiful colors together. Those DaVinci paints are really helping my process because I WANT to really get them in water and on paper!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Nellie! 😃💕 Yay for just living and enjoying life… it’s all we should ever do really, even in less troubled times. And yep! I use lots of colors for my “darks” … keeps things more visually interesting!

  12. Mary Roff 4 weeks ago

    Wonderful, Charlie!! Looks like fun to me!

  13. Bird 4 weeks ago

    I would have loved to join your penguins (except the ice cold water) Beautiful work

  14. LoriCtoo 4 weeks ago

    Wonderful!! I like to have fun. I don’t like adulting most days. I have so many small projects going on right now. It’s good because there is always something to work on depending on my mood. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 I agree! It’s always more fun to have lots a projects going. One never knows when the right mood will strike!

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