Shades Of Pink

Flamingo Sitting Laying Down Watercolor Illustration

For Day 25 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Shades Of Pink,” I opted for a flamingo, as I know many others did as well. It’s no surprise, really, as when it comes to shades of pink, a flamingo seems to be sporting all of them. This is only the second full flamingo I’ve ever sketched and I decided to make one resting so it would better fit in my sketchbook. What I find fascinating about these birds in that they begin their life in shades of grey. They get more and more colorful as they get older thanks to their diet of brine shrimp and blue-green algae, which due to a natural dye causes them to gradually turn pink. I rather love the idea of this process and think it applies metaphorically to humans as well. When we’re young, everything seems to be in shades of grey as we try to figure everything out in the world. As we get older, we learn more and more and gradually we change to our true colors in adulthood. Or, at least, know more than we did back then. I think I’m still changing color each day, blending hues of knowledge with the next and always morphing just a little each time. And it’s wonderful to move from a black and white sketch to glorious color each day. It’s the gradual transformation that makes for all of the fun!

I’ve met people who tend to live their lives in black and white where everything seems to have an implicit answer. I find this a terribly dull approach to life, as my favorite part about it happens to be all of the various nuances that can be found there. I still use the same eyes of my childhood self used to explore and discover the world. And, now I realize, it wasn’t exactly in shades of grey at first, as this would imply total confusion and a lack of color. Instead, I set about looking for those nuances and shades of color and putting them back together in a way that made sense to me. This is precisely how the mind of an artist works. It’s not about creating reality, even in a realistic piece of work, but creating the artist’s impression of it. A sort of alternate reality that’s a blend of the artist’s imagination and the world we all know. This is equally why so many of us love and are drawn to creating art. It’s an incredible experience to view the world, and then translate it into a medium of some kind. My mother still does it to this day by crocheting and sewing things and the effect is equally magical. It’s all art to me, even when they call it craft. I’ve not yet been able to understand the difference.

What I know in my heart is that when we make something new, we make something wonderful happen in the world. This world can be as small as our own home, and the people who love us there, or as large as the global stage that social media has offered us. And, though, on some days, it feels like we didn’t make a difference at all, when we share what we create, we always DO! When I first started posting the stuff I sketched, I was thrilled when I received that very first comment! The entire idea that someone else out there enjoyed what I created enough to pause and say so, was the most incredible feeling in the world. And yes, I still adore every comment I receive to this day, and still try my best to comment back to every one. This gets harder every day as Facebook and Instagram filter comments by “Most Relevant’ and I have never figured out what that really means. To me, any comment is a relevant one. So, thanks to all of my friends who comment on my posts for encouraging me to keep DOing each and every day! It means the word to me! A world that was once shades of grey, but has now been transformed into lovely shades of pink! 💕

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, 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? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Flamingo Sitting Laying Down Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
28 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 1 year ago

    Elegant flamingo Charlie! I’m not sure I would want the characteristic of my coloring to mimic what I ate. It looks lovely on a flamingo then my mind went to what we eat as humans. Odd thought. 🤔

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕hahaha! I love that thought! hmmm…. I wonder what color we would be? Yeah… it’s probably too terrifying to consider! lol

  2. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Your optimism is perfect for the color pink. And I learned some new things about flamingos! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 Yep, you can still always count of me for bits of trivia you never knew you needed! hehe

  3. Lisa 1 year ago

    What? No time for sprinkles? Oops! Wrong pink thing.😂😂😂 When I was writing poetry and running the 30/30 poetry challenges including prompts, I was always thrilled to get comments. I also tried to make it my business to go through all the poems submitted each day, and if a poem didn’t have at least one comment on it, I would comment myself. I didn’t want anyone to feel bad. I’m a softie that way.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Lol… I realized I sketched a pink donut the day before. But it was only one shade! 😉 That’s awesome… I was just about to comment on my own early posts as well when someone finally showed up. I was just talking to myself for a couple of weeks… therapeutic or crazy… you be the judge! lol

  4. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 1 year ago

    Beauuutiful Flamingo!!! 🙂 I hear you loud and clear about colors.. We can play in any color and make magic. when i was an art director one of my artists was doing a black and white illo and I got to really teach him about the varied hues of grey and black as well. It is fun to play in the shadows sometimes after all black is the rainbow all mixed up right? lol!!! But to see all the colors shining through is spectacular. They all need to shine. Totally agree creativity can come in so many ways cooking, dancing, gardening, and all the things others readily see as the arts. 🙂 Happy creating always 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕That’s such a great story! Love how many colors are in that mixed up rainbow of so-called neutral hues. Those get even more interesting with watercolor, especially if you don’t use black as I never do. And yay to all types of creativity! I love all of the arts!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 1 year ago

    I love that flamingos change color as they age! I’d much rather comment on your blog than on social media – I subscribe to a few blogs and enjoy their individual content. This sort of commenting is direct, without any “tech titans” and their algorithms interfering.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      And thank you SO much for your comments, Sharon! 😃💕 I adore them and they make me happy every time! Yeah, I rather love the little Doodlewash community most. Though I have to be on social because that’s where everyone still goes, I would love it if one day, they all came here instead! 😉

  6. June Hadaway 1 year ago

    Beautiful pinks on your flamingo. I like the position you painted him in too. Comments are just nice and it is really nice that you take the time to comment back. I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Yes, I always take the time to comment back… as long as I can see the comment. These days, that gets harder and harder on social media. But here on Doodlewash, I can always see every one and respond, so yay!

  7. Amelia walters 1 year ago

    Lovely flamingo Charlie . Saw some in a wildlife park in Provence last year so so beautiful. I love your blog. People liking and commenting on my attempts is so so gratifying and since joining Sketchbook challenge and completing two years there plus revival this year and finding you there I am enjoying doing something each day now …all part of the routine and amazing how one can find the time too….keep going you are an inspiration…..

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks, Amelia! 😃💕 Aren’t flamingos just the best? So interesting! And so thrilled you’re enjoying Doodlewash. More thrilled to know you’re enjoying daily sketching now! YAY! My mission accomplished!! hehe… it’s just so much fun, isn’t it? Why on earth aren’t more people DOing it? 😃

  8. Mary Roff 1 year ago

    Wonderful flamingo! Life would be fairly dill in only black and white. More fun to splash colors all around!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 So true!! From the beginning I could never leave things as a sketch… I just had to color them! hehe

  9. Laura Hale 1 year ago

    Beautiful art and commentary Charlie! Thank you for YOUR daily encouragement!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 And right back at you for encouraging me my friend!! Much love!

  10. LoriCtoo 1 year ago

    A flamingo! I did not think of that. It is lovely. Because I like to sketch/paint and craft….everyday, I say I like to create. It’s the creating process that fills the urge. This is one reason why I love sketching/painting, I can do it everyday and just about anywhere without making a big mess. I have a sketchbook in my car, just in case I am in a wait situation. I discovered the other day that I did not have one in my son’s car while waiting to renew his plates on his car. Drove me nuts! Hahaha!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Awww I adore that story!! lol… being without a sketchbook is a horrible thing indeed! I once discovered that I didn’t have my in my work bag, but I don’t drive to work as Philippe drops me off. I very nearly got an Uber to take me home, but resisted!!

  11. LoriCtoo 1 year ago

    I forgot….I post replies on here because it is easier to type and I can say a whole lot more. Lucky you! ;P

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      YAY! I love that!! I love it that people say so much more here! Sometimes I find myself scrambling to decipher if the two words someone left on social media were even a compliment. 😉 lol

  12. Robert J. Coleman 1 year ago

    That is one fine flamingo, and your comment about its color is proof that you are what you eat! So don’t eat nothin’ ugly! Nice decision on posing the bird in a different position than mostly illustrated; seated instead of standing. And thanks for reminding us of the DO manifesto-it work for making rt and for life!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks, Bob! 😃💕 Glad you liked this pose and my flamingo. Yeah, apparently in some cases, you actually ARE what you eat! And thrilled you enjoy DO manifesto… I think it really does work for regular everyday life just as well!

  13. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    Changing to our true colors as we grow up – not as we age, but as we grow up. A perfect observation. And a beautiful pink flamingo. These birds are becoming more often associated with love as people find their twisty poses resembling hearts. Yep, we all gotta grow up, and hopefully better as we age.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this one! And yay for love and getting better with age!

  14. Sandra Strait 1 year ago

    Your flamingo is bodacious! FB and IS do make it harder and harder to keep up with everyone. I’m really not sure if they are actually trying to be helpful or if they just think it will make them money somehow.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕Yeah, I’m not sure what’s happening with social, but it’s made me want to revamp the Doodlewash community. If nothing else, I hope to create a space for all of us to escape to! hehe 😉

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