Rolling The Dice

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 16 - Rolling The Dice - Doodlewash

Today for the prompt of games, I wasn’t sure what game to choose, so I chose some dice since that’s a staple of many games. And I tried a bit of gamble with a faster, looser doodlewash, not fussing over details as I’m normally inclined to do. I’m also getting a really late start as I had to meet with my financial advisor after work, which I now realize gives this post’s title a totally unintentional meaning. I was instead thinking of how my best friend in college and I enjoyed evenings playing Yahtzee when we were supposed to be doing our coursework. Evenings mostly being startled out of my chair when she would gleefully scream “Yahtzee!” in my face when all six dice matched accordingly. I’m usually not into games of pure luck, preferring games with a bit of strategy or knowledge required instead. But back in those days, the dice became a lovely mindless way to distract ourselves from having to think too much. We’d spent the day in classes trying our best to pay attention, so it was an escape of the very best kind.

In some ways, watercolor is like a game of chance. You can’t control every little thing that happens and have to make the best of what appears. But I love combining a touch of strategy as well, which is why I’ve likely never gone very abstract with my paintings. For me, it’s adding a touch of the illusion of reality that I like, even in the loosest of sketches like this one. A sense of dimension and form that pulls it off the page a bit. I’m astounded by the painters who can do so in just a few brush strokes. They are the masters that I continue to follow and marvel at their sense of style. It’s not a style I choose to paint in, but there’s so much to learn from every little brush stroke. Choices made, when choices are allowed with watercolor, that make all the difference in the world. It’s amazing to watch them paint, and if you haven’t, I invite you visit the archives of our previous guest artists to explore the wonderful and diverse range of styles they have to offer us!

As for my college days, well, I was actually a Studio Art major, but my emphasis was in computer graphics, such as they were at the time. I only took a couple drawing classes and just one painting class in acrylic. I was horrible at that medium, made huge messes, and put it down vowing to never paint again. That’s part of the reason why back in summer of 2015, trying watercolor was such a big deal for me. It was like I was breaking an age old promise to myself and journeying into the abyss. I found it equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. And honestly? I still do to this day. Painting is so rewarding, but also quite a challenge, particularly when you commit to trying it each and every day. And my doodlewashes have become a bit like performance art, combined with the words you’re reading now, creating a quick little something to share publicly. If the painting isn’t appealing enough, less people will read the post, so I’ve sometimes found myself experimenting far less and staying with proven subjects, even color combinations. But that’s not really my style, so on some days, like this one, you’ll find me throwing caution to the wind, and once again rolling the dice.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Blue and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 16 - Rolling The Dice - Doodlewash

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!

Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    Your gamble paid off! You caught all the necessary details, the feeling of movement and managed to sneak in something shiny! I hope your meeting with your financial advisor came out as well as your painting!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 hehe… always something shiny when I can! And yeah, the meeting went as expected. The usual dialogue in these times saying, “You’re in great shape as long as you plan to retire at age 75.” 😉

  2. Vicki Rowley 2 months ago

    I like your blogs Charlie, independent or in conjunction with your art (which is always great)

  3. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    I usually read your post after only a glance at the painting! After I’ve read, I go back and look at the visual. These dice remind me how easily financial fortunes can melt into oblivion. I do like the crisply painted cubes of juicy color!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe.. yeah, I think that definitely comes through here! These are certainly interesting times we’re living in. 😉

  4. smzang 2 months ago

    I think I’d go for a full house. : )

    Yahtzee is still one of my go to stress busters. I play it
    online until I feel the knots in my shoulders relax and then
    I go back to writing…or just enjoying doodlewash.

    I like that you didn’t show the fifth dice (or ‘die’ for the purist).
    It sets the mind to psychological probability. A huge thumbs up
    on the art and the story.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thanks so much! 😃💕 That’s so cool you indulge in a bit of Yahtzee therapy. I knew we had much in common!

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 months ago

    What a fun painting of dice in midair and the shadow ready to catch them when they fall. And thank you for sharing more of your personal art story. Those memories of what didn’t work well can make a mess of you but telling them can remove the discomfort. And look what success you’ve achieved.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s such a funny thing when it comes to art. It’s all such a performance that can often opaque the intent. But it’s so much fun!

  6. Jansi King 2 months ago

    I really enjoy your personal stories; you have a flair for writing to go along with your great treatment of watercolor!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Jansi! 😃💕 I really appreciate that!

  7. Pamela Smith 2 months ago

    Well done,Charlie

  8. June Hadaway 2 months ago

    Nice dice with lots of shine and glitz…a nice story as well.

  9. Kaye Boggs 2 months ago

    We grew up playing Yahtzee too for 25 cents a game. What fun it was. Thanks for another great memory Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe! Fun!! Glad you had great Yahtzee memories as well, Kaye! 😃💕

  10. Jodi 2 months ago

    Roll with it!

  11. Thomas Blanchard 2 months ago

    Painting is so rewarding. It’s great you get so much joy sharing your painting and the awesome words that go with it each day!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Tom! 😃💕 Yeah, painting really is my much needed break in the day. Life can get super overwhelming and painting always brings me back!

  12. Delores Azary 2 months ago

    Yahtzee! Brings back memories, we used to play it for hours!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Yay! 😃💕 Glad this brought back good memories for you! Yeah, it’s just a fun game to get lost in!

  13. Sandra Gilbert 2 months ago

    You captured such movement and the reflection underneath is beautiful. Amazing little doodlewash.

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