Portrait Of An Artist

Day 25 - Little Boy Rainbow Illustration - Doodlewash

Though I initially tried to sketch my current myself for our prompt of “self-portrait,” the result didn’t feel like me. I was worrying about getting everything just right so it looked human and then making tiny adjustments to make it actually look like me. Well, the me that one sees when they just look at me. So, I quickly ditched that one and just scribbled what was in my heart. If anyone were to actually meet me in person and sit down for a chat, I would end up seeming more like this doodlewash. A little boy, sort of lost in a sea of color and confusion, perfectly mesmerized and thoroughly excited to be there. When I finished this scribble, I was happy to doodle and color it. It was more authentic to me and told a bit of a story that might just relate to other folks out there as well. After all of these years, it’s still so much fun to play with color! In truth, I’ve not even strayed that far from my reckless “techniques” of my youth. To prove it, the other day I sketched a couple quick flowers and colored one in crayon and the other in watercolor. Watercolor was certainly prettier for it’s beautiful fluidity, but the style was exactly the same. I was pleased to discover that I’m indeed still that little kid holding a crayon and learned that Little Charlie guides me even more than I ever realized at first. Thanks, little guy!

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be working on a way to share my own version of how I sketch and paint with those of you who might be curious. Like today’s doodlewash, I started doing the obvious and then changed it up entirely to make it more authentic to me. The result is something I think is super cool, but I’ll be excited to see your reactions when I reveal it! Just remember this little boy from my self-portait and most everything I’ve written about here on this blog and you probably won’t be surprised at all. And I know I’ve alluded to “this thing” I’m working on before, so thanks for your patience. I just know that if I don’t make public announcements like this, my attention issues will get the best of me and I might not actually DO it. Now I simply have to! As a kid, I didn’t need this kind of motivation. I could barely be controlled and would dutifully finish, or at least finish to my own standards, everything I set out to do. These days, I’m still battling all of that awful adult self-doubt. I’ve always worried that my own personal approach to watercolor simply isn’t worth sharing. It’s wildly simple in the end and based on approaches we all did naturally in childhood. Granted, my technique is enhanced quite a lot on a regular basis by all of my amazing art instructors, but at its core, it’s terrifyingly simple.

As I was struggling to find my place, I think I’ve finally found it. I’m both a beginner’s introduction to sketching and watercolor as well as a friendly reminder for those more advanced as to why they adored this medium in the first place. From day one, my passion has always been simply to inspire more people to just try drawing and painting. And, with World Watercolor Month, which returns in July, and anything sold on this site, I’m able to offer a way to give back and support our future artists and get art supplies to kids who need them via The Dreaming Zebra Foundation. Those kids who are just like we all were once. Thrilled to play with color and make something new. I celebrate this with all of my heart! I’ve no idea where my own art journey will take me, but if I can inspire, bring artists together with one another, and share what I can along the way, then I’ll have made my little self proud. And, in the end, I think that’s all my personal journey has ever been about. There were so many dreams and schemes that Little Charlie had in store for the two of us. And this now quite middle-aged man is bound and determined to fulfill all of them. I’m a bit scared and worried that I won’t actually be able to DO it. But that’s just my adult mind talking. All I have to do to get past it is take a moment to consider this portrait of an artist.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, Opus (vivid Pink), Benzimida Orange, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Little Boy Rainbow Illustration - Doodlewash
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
29 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    I’m so excited to see how you are going to show us your methods. I know it is going to be something unique and illuminating. One of the things I most admire about you is how much you keep in touch with your inner child.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Hehe… “methods” feels a bit elevated. I’m instead just coming clean with how silly and easy what I do actually is! lol 😉 I’m not only in touch with my inner child, he’s the guiding force in everything I DO! So I’m actually rather thrilled now to share that with others!

  2. Lisa 4 weeks ago

    He’s cute! I’m sure your plans will all work out not only because of your inner child, but because you’re tenacious. At least about stuff that matters.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, If not else, I am tenacious! hehe… I’ll just go ahead and DO what I’m imagining no matter what! Though, I DO hope people enjoy it! 😊

  3. LoriCtoo 4 weeks ago

    This is so darling!! Yes, we are sitting on the edges of our seats waiting for the big reveal! (No pressure at all.) I love learning new ways to do things, especially unconventional ways. The quicker, the better too, as I don’t sit still either. 😉 I just realized this morning that I don’t think I’ve posted any of my sketches this month. :0 Of course then my mind went to wondering where this month has gone. Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I always tease something I’m working on to keep me on the path of completing it and then realize I’ve set expectations rather high in the process! lol But if you love the quicker the better, then you’ll definitely enjoy my approach!

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 weeks ago

    You were an adorable little boy whether this Doodlewash is an “authentic” image or a bit re-imagined – I can tell by your writing voice behind all the paintings you share. I like this image especially because I see Little Charlie, looking out at the world, ready for whatever comes his way. I remember my own two sons in much the same pose when this tiny, and i see it now in my four grandchildren.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sharon!😃💕 My images are always usually authentically re-imagined! lol And I adore that you’re seeing this same sense of wonder in your grandchildren. My greatest hope is that our future generations will take the time to get lost in a sea of thought and color. One that doesn’t come from a smartphone or a computer. 😉

  5. Carol 4 weeks ago

    What a sweet self-portrait, Charlie. At that age I’m sure you never thought about inspiring so many people to create art, but I’m thankful that you have and continue to do so. Looking forward to seeing your creative process! 💖 🎨 😍🥰

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thank you so much, Carol! 😃💕 That’s such a sweet thing to hear! My only goal is to inspire others to make art each day. If I can do that, then I’ve done everything Little Charlie expects of me!

  6. Sharon Nolfi 4 weeks ago

    Lovely painting of Little Charlie with a magical background! I can’t wait for your new thing – I know it will be wonderful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I hope people will like it… it’s 100% me, but not the usual fare to be sure. But, it makes Little Charlie happy so I’m just going with it!

  7. Anita Sinha 4 weeks ago

    Beautiful painting! Looking forward to your new endeavor..Is it you tube watercolor tutorial video?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Anita! 😃💕It’s a video tutorial, but not on YouTube yet, along with a unique sort of book. I’m determined to realize it in all in April!

  8. mlaiuppa 4 weeks ago

    You’re too late.

    I thought I’d never do a self portrait, or paint any portraits for that matter, but for last year’s July 2018 WWM one of the prompts was childhood memories. I had a B&W photo from Knott’s Berry Farm of myself about age 5 sitting on a stuffed bucking mule. It doesn’t really look like me but I know my parents will recognize it from the photo. I did it in B&W so it was a bit easier than a real self portrait. I have more appreciation for Norman Rockwell now.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      That’s so awesome you painted your little self! Love it! 😃💕 Yeah, I managed one illustration that echoed Rockwell, but most of my illustrations of people are not that awesome! It’s fun to keep trying though!

  9. Sarah 4 weeks ago

    I think it’s perfect, Charlie! I have a pretty good feeling that more people than we think actually see themselves like the little kid they once were. Sadly most of them don’t have the courage to DO what they did when they were young, meaning just being ourselves and not be burdened with that awful adult self-doubt.
    Your doodlewashes always make me smile and brighten my day! Don’t you ever dare to doubt your awesomeness!! 💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled my little doodlewashes brighten your day! You’re so sweet! And yes to getting that childhood courage back. It’s all in the DOing… without fear that’s where the magic happens!

  10. Snehlata Maheshwari. 4 weeks ago

    Very clever charlie , painted from back side .ok u find it prompt. Darling kid.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Yeah, the front side at my age didn’t turn out like I expected. lol Glad you enjoyed this!

  11. Bekki Page 4 weeks ago

    Absolutely love the energy and wonder in this doodle
    Looking forward to seeing your process unveiled, too!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Bekki! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this. As ever, my “process” will be a bit different in its approach, but I hope at least it will be a ton of fun! 😉

  12. memadtwo 4 weeks ago

    May we always see rainbows! (K)

  13. smzang 4 weeks ago

    Charlie says, “If anyone were to actually meet me in person and sit down for a chat, I would end up seeming more like this doodlewash. A little boy, sort of lost in a sea of color and confusion, perfectly mesmerized and thoroughly excited to be there”

    Beautiful! and the painting…so huggable!

    And the loveliest mission statement imaginable is found in Charlie’s statement:
    “And, with World Watercolor Month, which returns in July, and anything sold on this site, I’m able to offer a way to give back and support our future artists and get art supplies to kids who need them via The Dreaming Zebra Foundation. Those kids who are just like we all were once. Thrilled to play with color and make something new.”

    Yes.

    I raise my glass to The Dreaming Zebra Foundation

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Aww thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Yay to that! The Dreaming Zebra Foundation does such great things. I’m so proud to center World Watercolor Month and this site around this cause and hopefully together we can make a big difference!

  14. Jodi 4 weeks ago

    Oh I’m so excited! I think you are going to do tutorials/demos right??!! I love little Charlie and the rainbow!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Jodi! 😃💕And both Little and Big Charlie love you right back! I’m going to do something like tutorials/demos, but not in the same way that most people do them. I hope people will enjoy it, but if nothing else, it’s authentically me! 😉 hehe

  15. June Hadaway 4 weeks ago

    Such a cute “little Charlie!” Waiting patiently for your video tutorial. That will be as awesome as your self portrait.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕 🙂 I hope people enjoy it. It’s not going to be quite like the usual fare since I can’t seem to be usual even when I try! lol

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