Proud As A Peacock

Peacock Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash

There’s little doubt when looking at one of these birds why we have a phrase such as “proud as a peacock,” our prompt for today. Beyond the luxurious tail feathers plumped up for visual display, they have a look in their eye that just exudes a sort of quiet confidence. An almost endless sense of self-worth that seems very enviable. And when I make a little something in my sketchbook each day, there’s always a moment when I’m quite proud of the page I just created. Sure, there’s quite often a moment just after that when I intend to share it with the world that I question it. Well, not me, of course, my verdict is solid, this is the opinion of my inner critic. That odd voice that isn’t truly a part of me, but more like a strange bystander. That heckler in a crowd that doesn’t really know me at all. It’s strange to have a voice inside my head that doesn’t belong there, but since I know it doesn’t belong there it makes it quite easy to ignore. Instead, I listen to the voice that is meant to be there with me at all times. This is the voice of my inner child who is my constant companion on this art journey, urging me forward happily and giving me a thumbs up because I showed up, and made us both proud.

In truth, I had to think about pride a bit as I saw this prompt. That’s something that can also have a negative connotation as in being too prideful. But, I think that when we take the time to make something, we should always be proud of the result. No matter what! To me, it’s the act of showing up to create that should be the entire source of that pride. Transforming a blank sheet of paper into a little piece of art is a wonderful thing indeed. Often, sure, I’m going for a completely different look than the one that appeared that day, but I always love that I managed to make something appear in the first place. During my journey with Doodlewash, I’ve heard from a lot of people who are reluctant to post what they make, and I always tell them to simply DO it! Go ahead and post whatever you make each and every day. It’s so rewarding to see people DOing just that and, you know, it’s always something beautiful in the end. That’s the thing, no matter what we thought we wanted to make that day or how loud our inner critic is in trying to dissuade us, the end result is always something new and lovely!

So, that’s why I happily tell people to post what they create. It’s always a joy to see what people have to say about whatever I made that day. Even on those days when I had very little time and I myself wasn’t overly certain of the result. The beauty is always that something resulted in my time spent, however small that time might have been. And these moments of creation are always a wonderful thing to share with others. There’s nothing better than the thing you made yourself that day. A little notion, with a bit of ink and watercolor, or a poem or some words from the heart. It’s a gift that we have to share with others and I think we should always share it with pride. While I’m fully aware that my own coloring book pages won’t likely find their way into a gallery at anytime in the future, I’m still happy with what I made. I never hoped to be in a gallery in the first place. My only hope has always been to create. I hope that I’ll make something that others will enjoy that day. Nothing more complex than that. And, in this approach, I have to admit that I very often find myself feeling proud as a peacock!

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!) + Cobalt Turquoise. 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!
Day 8 - Peacock Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    You are spot on! There is a difference between pride and being proud of something you do. Pride would be assuming that everything you do is a masterpiece and looking down on what others have done. Being proud of your work is rejoicing in the fact that you have created something. It’s the act that should be celebrated and sharing the finished piece is asking others to share your joy in that creation. I say this, but still have to force myself to share some of my work. The inner critic has a strong voice even if it totally misses the point!

    • Ujek Rai 4 years ago


    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕Yeah, I always speak what I think is the truth, but I too struggle with showing what didn’t turn out so wonderfully. hehe In Tonight’s post, I’m vowing to share those outtakes in our Sketching Stuff group on Facebook! hehe… honestly, I think some of my doodles are super fun and odd… I’m kind of excited to share them! 😉

  2. LoriCtoo 4 years ago

    Alright, I have to be honest. I quit posting not because I was embarassed (I probably will never meet most of these folks), but because I was tired of having to turn my photos around. If it isn’t quick and easy, I lose patience. I recently received an update, I should see if it was corrected. Your peacock colors are spot on! So beautiful and detailed. Love it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕Oh, do mean posting on Doodlewash? In the gallery problems that are now fixed, the fix for uploading from mobile got disabled, but it should be back now. If that’s what you mean! 😊It’s a crazy dream to try to create a true social community here with my limited skills, but I think it’s a really cool one! Just shoot me a note via my contact form if you ever experience an issue:

      • LoriCtoo 4 years ago

        Thanks Charlie! I promise to try it this morning! If you see a batch of pics posted from me, then you know it worked.

  3. Mireya 4 years ago

    wow congrats on the book! Yes I love peacocks too. They are so beautiful and that’s why I had to make it my logo…thanks for the reminder to always create from the heart. I struggle with this a lot and as a first time author too. I want so much to build a tribe so I can have the honor to earn a living at what I love most. I realize that I must first make an audience of one happy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mireya! 😃💕And your words are so wise and true! Yes, to that. If we can make that audience of one thrilled, the tribe will follow us and our excitement!

  4. memadtwo 4 years ago

    He must have been at the Met Gala the other night…
    you really caught the colors. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 I love thinking of this guy going to a Met Gala! lol And double thanks… peacock colors are deceptively difficult!

  5. Lisa 4 years ago

    You should be proud. The sheer number of paints you have done is proof of that!

    Here is what I’m proud to have written today. The happiest day. On a very hot summer day, probably July, on a narrow beach on Lake Superior where the trees are almost pressed against your back, and the sand is hot, so you have to wear shoes as you walk along finding the perfect spot to drop your towels and sunblock. It is one of those few days every year when the wind is just right, and the sun has been shining for a stretch of time, all the surface water rolls to the shore and you can stay in the water for a long time. So you walk out feeling the wavy sand ripples under your feet and when the water hits your shoulders you bob in the waves and talk about Gordon Lightfoot, and where you would like the cabin you’ll buy one day to be situated, sunrise or sunset? And whether to have trout or walleye for dinner and if maybe this year you’ll see a moose in the slough on the way back to the rental cabin.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 And you should be proud of painting that story! It’s wonderful! Full of all the perfect feelings we feel when we’re in that perfect moment just before heading back to reality. I love it!

  6. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    Gorgeous colors on the peacock! With all you’ve achieved, you should be at least as proud as a peacock.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕I think we should all strut our stuff and be proud as a peacock!

  7. Jill Kuhn 4 years ago

    I enJOYed your writing tonite, Charlie and your peacock!! 😍 For me, creating art is what makes me happy and hopefully give someone else some happiness too. 💗

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕We have always been in agreement on this! hehe And I can personally tell you that you art ALWAYS brings happiness! To me, at least, even if I’m weeks behind on commenting to tell you that. I see everything you make and I love it every time!

  8. Mary Roff 4 years ago

    Wonderful peacock and excellent post! There are days when I’m really not happy with what I painted but hopefully I’ll learn from whatever it is I didn’t like and do better on the next “doodle”. If I listened to my inner critic I would probably never paint and what fun would that be?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕So true! If I listened to my own inner critic I would never have started Doodlewash. What on earth would make me think that I guy just starting out with watercolor should bother to create a blog at all? Thankfully, I don’t listen to my inner critic… or, more accurately, just DO things on purpose to spite him! lol

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 years ago

    “To make something appear in the first place.” That’s a wonderful motto for taking on the world, Charlie. So many people do so little and you do so much. Thanks for always being here, a place I can see something delightful and read something provocative.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      And thank YOU my dear friend (yes, you are… we’ve never met… yet… but one day we’ll hug… and I DO hope you’re a hugger!)😃💕 Thank you for always encouraging me to show up in the first place. I admire your writing and though all of my crazy projects make it nearly impossible to comment these days, I’m inspired by what you create. Thanks for sharing your beautiful creativity!

  10. Yvonne Reeder 4 years ago

    I love how you’ve taken something of an iridescence quality yet accomplished it without iridescent paint – you ROCK, Sir Charlie! You are so spot on with the distinction between proud vs pride! ❤️👏🏻😘

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Von! 😃💕hehe… it’s my penchant for painting dark to light that pulls off that effect quickly. I’ve not idea how to do it in a traditional way! lol So, yay for all of us being proud to be US!

  11. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 4 years ago

    So beautiful!!!! 🙂

  12. naca A 4 years ago

    Lovely to do something a little different – in this case, it’s a peacock, but it’s *not* the cliched tail. Thank you!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, I tend to veer from the norm quite a bit. So happy you enjoyed this!

  13. smzang 4 years ago

    Charlie says, “it’s the act of showing up to create that should be the entire source of that pride”

    So true…

    The colors are beautiful, but it is the eyes that capture.
    Always something special here.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 Yeah, I think we should do a little jig, pat ourselves on the back, and celebrate each and every time we show up and make something! It’s an awesome thing to DO!

  14. Claudia Weller 4 years ago

    Really beautiful, I love the sassy look of für face and the colors. And you are right, it is important to create something and enjoy creating. I started about a year ago via Sketchnotes and learned from many others and love to watch older drawings
    Of mine and see the progress. I personally don’t mind to post but can understand if someone else does.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Claudia! 😃💕 And that’s so awesome to here! Yeah, as my friend Angela Fehr always says, we should be fearless as artists. To me, that means posting whatever we make. It’s bound to be something wonderful to someone! 😉

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