Saving A Bit Of Time

Pocket Watch Clock Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Clock,”  I opted for this antique pocket watch. I’ve always been fascinated with watches like this one and any chance to sketch a bit of metal and glass and I’m in! Before I could sketch anything today, however, I first had to start some homemade ice cream as I promised Philippe that I would this afternoon. In truth, it takes a couple minutes to mix up the ingredients and then I just pour it in a spinning frozen bowl, so it still doesn’t quite count as cooking. Weirdly, the whir of the ice cream maker in the background while I then sketched on the edge of my kitchen counter, kept my scattered brain more focused. So, this little watch was pretty much complete about the same time the ice cream was, 30 minutes later. I’m rather sure Philippe would divorce me if I were to suddenly start filling the freezer with ice cream each day in order to make faster sketches, but it was an intriguing side effect. It’s interesting that time, or indeed the lack of it, isn’t always the problem. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of intense focus that can make something that could take quite a long time happen in a very short amount of time. And, yeah, it’s pretty cool to know that I’ll be getting ice cream later as well!

Last night, Philippe was watching a cooking show where the host was helping people who feel they have no time to cook. She was showing various hacks that could be done to create something in a very short amount of time. I didn’t catch most of it, but saw a glimpse of her pouring pancake batter and some sort of berry mixture into a casserole dish to avoid making individual pancakes. It was a bit odd, but I had to appreciate the approach. I certainly employ lots of little hacks in order to create a little doodlewash each day. For example, a bit of blue sky in the background or shadow that I know is going to take a bit of time to dry gets painted first. Then I paint dark to light, using much less water, coming back with a bit of clear water to smooth any rough edges I don’t like or indeed mix the colors directly on the paper. By the time I’m done 30-45 minutes later, the background is dry and I plunk it down on my scanner, which automatically removes the paper texture, and then I post it. When time is short, which is all of the time, hacks are a wonderful thing to have indeed. In many ways, my scribble, doodle, color approach is a bit like quickly tossing a bunch of ingredients into a casserole dish and baking them.

What I love is that I only have to focus on the fun of creating and not get bogged down by worrying about specific techniques. I just have a library of ways I “could” approach something in my mind and grab for whatever way feels right in the moment. This isn’t simply how I approach my art, it’s how I approach life in general. I choose the fun way to do something if the correct way gets a bit tedious. Or, indeed, I simply go for the most efficient way I can imagine to complete something. It’s the same reason casserole dishes became so popular when I was a kid and why Instant Pot dishes are now all the rage. As we find ourselves busier than ever trying to keep up with all of the various alerts flashing on our phones, it’s no wonder hacks that save a bit of time are so popular. But, simply saving time, isn’t much of a goal, unless that extra time is put to good use. That’s why I’ve always made it a point to save time specifically to doodle and color each day. As I hack my way through life, I want to be sure I’m getting to DO the things I love most as I’m saving a bit of time.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, 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!
Pocket Watch Clock Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

 

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25 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    Fantastic colors on the watch case! I’d love to have some of that homemade ice cream.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕And you KNOW I’d share my ice cream if you ever popped over for a visit! hehe

  2. Mary Roff 3 months ago

    Love your metal and glass! My approach seems to be come up with an idea and, in the case of watercolor, pull out the pencil/pen, paper and watercolor start whatever it’s going to be and then wonder why the devil I didn’t think this through. Then when I’m done I wonder if my brain didn’t go into some sort of fugue state because there is no way in all creation that I can figure out what I did to finish it. So admire anyone who can explain their process…sigh.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕SEE? This is precisely why we’re friends… you really just described my process as well! lol I admire folks who can break things down into steps as well, but sometimes, there really aren’t steps. It IS just a series of mental leaps and that’s the part I love most! It’s why I ended up with an admittedly odd art instruction book filled with activities. I don’t know the magic order or formula one should use, but if you have a lot of really good ingredients… cooking up some art is always SOOOO fun!!

  3. Jacob 3 months ago

    Yay for metal and glass! I was oddly fond of timepieces as a child and always wanted one of these. There was a show on after school called Bernard’s Watch, where Bernard could freeze time just by clicking his pocket watch. I wanted one even more after that! I don’t think I ever got one, though, I assume because my parents didn’t like the idea of me having such a power.

    You make the ice cream now? How things have progressed since I was last here! 😉 The best part for me, of course, would be the whir of the machine… some things haven’t changed since I was last here. But let’s not rain on this parade!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕I love these timepieces as a kid as well. I even got one once, but I’ve no idea where it is now. But I couldn’t stop time with it… that would have been SO cool. Didn’t know of that show, but now I want to watch it. Instead, I had a silly made for TV movie The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything, where I guy could stop time. lol I’ve not watched it since… I don’t it aged well, but it had Pam Dawber from Mork & Mindy so I had to watch it. 😉

      And yes, it’s a huge testament to our friendship that it endures despite your disagreeable feelings about ice cream. ❤️

  4. Karen Fortier 3 months ago

    I love what you did with DOing your watch. I just shared it with my 89 year old mom who inspired me to renew my artist journey. She loved you use of color. Visiting in Maine for the weekend. Back home tomorrow night.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww that’s so awesome, Karen! Thanks! 😃💕And a big hug to your mom as well! What a lovely compliment! And safe travels home!

  5. Lisa 3 months ago

    I wore a pocket type watch for my wedding. It was on a chain that had a slide on it, and the slide was set with tiny opals and a pearl. It had been my great grandmother”s and passed on to the oldest girl. So grandma, mkm, me. With no kids. So I gave it to one of mom’s sisters who was passing it to her only granddaughter. I made sure to write what I knew of the history of the watch so it wouldn’t get lost. When my grandma had the watch, it was the depression, and WWII. Grandma let grandpa borrow the watch to take to work at the shipyard so he would know what time it was. They were too poor for him to have his own. I kind of miss the watch, but I’m glad it went to a good home.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Oh my goodness… I adore that story, Lori! 😃💕What a wonderful watch. It’s fantastic that it’s continued to make people happy in your family. Those are the kind of objects that possess a magic that’s truly timeless.

  6. Robert J. Coleman 3 months ago

    Terrific pocket watch, a classic! And your technique for metals shines forth again! It’s great that you have so many hacks to accomplish what your imagination brings forth, like having a library built from experience. Practice every day builds that library and soon you’ll have the Library of Congress!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Bob! 😃💕 Glad you liked this! Yeah, metal sort of spooked me at first, but one I figured out the hacks it’s one of my favorite things to sketch! And yay to practice every day!! My next post is celebrating quite a big milestone there!

  7. Mireya 3 months ago

    Your paintings are beautiful! As for quick , oh sometimes I hear artists say this and honestly it it’s hard to live up tp because they look great. I guess we are just too hard on ourselves.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mireya! 😃💕It’s all the daily practice, and that’s really all… hehe… I always made quick sketches, but can get them to look a bit cooler much faster now. Also… yeah… I put NO pressure on myself to make something great. I just make for the joy of it. My worst sketch will still be enjoyed by someone, somewhere… so it’s all good! 😉

      • Mireya 3 months ago

        yes

  8. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    It is amazing how a sound can help the mind focus. I’ve found that I can’t listen to music most of the time when I’m painting because I get a rhythm going, and it’s rare that it’s in sync with music (and that makes me sad). But something soft and whirring provides a wonderful background that doesn’t compete.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      So true! 😃💕 Yeah, if it’s only music, I can’t do it, but Philippe will have a show with music in the background and that’s just fine. I actually sometimes like the sound of folks talking even if I’m not paying attention to every word.

  9. LoriCtoo 3 months ago

    What a beautiful watch! Even the numbers are perfect! I need to watch that cooking show. Watching cooking shows is painful for me. Haha! I hack my way through my way through crafting all the time, but I call them tricks. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕Haha! Yeah, I think “tricks” is a much better term! So magical! lol And yeah, actually watching cooking shows is painful for me because I can’t cook. Philippe ends them, saying… I got some good ideas, but I end it saying, “When do we get that chicken pot pie I saw???”

      • LoriCtoo 3 months ago

        Imagine not being able to or liking to cook and having to do it every day! Talk about painful! Haha!

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

          yeah…. that’s basically the description of me if I suddenly ended up single. 😳

  10. Jodi 3 months ago

    love the way you roll!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe! Thanks so much, Jodi! 😃❤️ And back at you my friend!!

  11. Kelly Miller 3 months ago

    Cool! I love those kinds of clocks.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Kelly! 😃💕 Love these kinds of clocks. They’re my favorite!

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