Strawberry Shortcake Surprise

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 2 - Strawberry Shortcake Surprise - Doodlewash

Okay, so for those of you who follow my posts and the daily prompts, you’ll know that today’s prompt is “surprising.” And you’d also know that me painting another dessert is anything but surprising, as I adore them. However, the surprise for today isn’t the subject matter, but rather the approach. There’s something suspiciously missing from today’s doodlewash if you look closely. Yep, you guessed it, or if you didn’t, I really have no way of knowing so let’s just pretend you did. There’s no ink! For today’s entry I just did a quick pencil contour and then happily jumped right in with some quick watercolor. Still, I added my technique of jabbing bits of dark in places so it didn’t appear too flat, but it’s quite a bit less rendered than my usual sketches. I’m feeling a bit playful this month and wanting to branch out and try a few new things. I know the pen will return as I do prefer it, but I think these little breaks help me see things in an entirely new way. If nothing else, it certainly has me craving some dessert!

Friday evenings are quite possibly the toughest for me to squeeze in a painting before unplugging and enjoying the first night of the weekend properly. As ever, I’m running a bit behind today, and this post is later than usual for a Friday. But I do have a glass of wine nearby and am relaxing into these last few words that I’m about to ramble. One of the reasons why I’ve been reluctant to change up what I do is because the moment I do, fewer people seem to respond to it. Sometimes, even the vaguest of departures from my normal style will yield less likes and often crickets from my social audience. And yet, I now realize it’s not entirely actual people who are in charge of my success. There are so many algorithms at play today that robots are determining what we even see in the first place. They used to only understand words, but have become more advanced and can now begin to read images. And when it comes to social media, they’re now in charge. This has become more than a little disturbing to me.

I don’t want robots to tell me what they think I might like. I still prefer to hear that from my friends and acquaintances. They, after all, really do know best. Yet, today, when I log into my social media accounts, instead of seeing my lovely artists’ posts in chronological order as nature intended, I’m met with wild guesses, and attempts at pushing “influencers” to the top of my feed in hopes of increasing advertising revenue. And I’m seeing more suggestions for new friends than the people I actually chose to follow in the first place. It’s an interesting shift we’re experiencing in the world of this thing called social and I have to admit that I’m missing the old days. Thanks to all of you who have joined the Club and have begun interacting right here on Doodlewash. I don’t actually propose to know how to make the best social media space for watercolor artists, but I know that when you let your users build the path it’s a far more fun and rewarding experience. Thanks to all my early adopters, and if you haven’t joined us yet, please log in now and join the fun! I’m quite sure a robot might bury this post having said all of that, but I’m fine with that. I only want to live in a world where I can do what comes naturally and, yes, occasionally serve up a strawberry shortcake surprise.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Opus (Vivid Pink), Quinacridone Red, Da Vinci Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue, in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 2 - Strawberry Shortcake Surprise - 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!

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Catnip Blog 2 weeks ago

    You’re right on track . . .strawberry shortcake and ink don’t mix. A very tasty rendering.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      hehe! Thanks, Judith! 😃💕Glad you liked this one. It was fun to experiment a bit!

  2. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    Your strawberry shortcake looks so yummy – now I want some, lol! I’m with you on the robots. It gets harder and harder to find the things you got online to find in the first place. But one of the first things to occur in any eco-system is the parasite, and I think the robots are the parasites of the internet.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah, I think the robots are definitely making things harder and worse, a lot less fun! hehe

  3. Lisa 2 weeks ago

    I’m craving some of your dessert too!
    Some days social media is exhausting! Good thing we have paint and paper the fall back on when things get too social. 😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Yay to paint and paper… it’s definitely a great place to escape to!

  4. Anita Sinha 2 weeks ago

    Nice painting of strawberry shortcake without the use of your favourite pen and ink…Surprising facts about these search engines..& social media…I have not used them for many years but now I like them sometimes because it allows you to connect to the likeminded people from across the world without spending much of your money or energy…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Anita! 😃💕 Yes! Connecting with others across the globe is the coolest part! I’m so happy of all the connections we’ve made and our big little global group!

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 weeks ago

    I like your newer approach, Charlie. You have to grow as an artist, you have to change things up and find new ways of expressing yourself, or you’ll never find your total artistic voice. To be less dependent upon line and to go with a more intuitive instinct about paint, to let the paint find its way on the paper is to trust the universe.

    Of course, you could send me a fork….(boy, that would be trusting the universe.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      lol… one fork heading your way! Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I think I still prefer ink as I’m really an illustrator and not a painter at heart, but it’s great to experiment a bit!

  6. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    I like the way you changed it up today – the painting is lovely. I’m not really active on the standard social media sites for the reasons you mentioned. The platforms are rigged and intrusive.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 True… I think Doodlewash is a nice little place to escape to, even for me as I have to play catch up with all the cool stuff people are posting here! hehe

  7. Rod Fletcher 2 weeks ago

    You are extending my education again Charlie. Never heard of shortcake, but what you have painted is, to me, Swiss Roll. A car dealer has just lost a sale from me. Expressed interest in a car they respond, and then follow up with two more totally unsuitable cars and a contract plan I didn’t want either! However, we just have to go where we can with our art. Had a couple of “Muddy disasters” recently, so trying to recover them, but that comes from trying new stuff (or perhaps not being careful enough?).

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      I think this is a Strawberry Shortcake Swiss Roll, but that was too long for a title! lol 😊 Yeah, a car dealer is a similar sort of conundrum. I’m not sure why giving people what they actually want would ever be a bad thing. But yay to trying new stuff and enjoying each and every muddy disaster along the way! hehe… it’s all part of the journey and the fun!

  8. smzang 2 weeks ago

    My 4 a.m. treat.

    It is so luscious to look at, it fills all the empty spaces,
    and the hunger is sated. Beautiful work…so tasty!

    we have created a monster with social media, and if we do not
    stay true to ourselves, it will devour all that is good. (just my opinion)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 Glad you liked this one. And I agree… I think there’s something unsocial happening with social. I like the little world right here on Doodlewash best! hehe

  9. Jodi 2 weeks ago

    It is crazy and frustrating – the crazy ever-changing world of social media and the power it has on influencing us. I love your strawberry shortcake surprise. I want to bake a cake today. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      I’ll be right over!!! 😃💕 hehe… you wouldn’t want me living next door. You’d find me on your doorstep daily after your food posts! lol 😊Yum!

  10. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    With or without ink your painting is lovely!

  11. Pamela Smith 2 weeks ago

    Very yummy looking and no surprise here that it’s a sweet..😆

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Pamela! 😃💕 Nope! hehe The only surprise was no ink… I figured I should then stick to what I know best! lol

  12. Tom Merriman 2 weeks ago

    A nice painting as always, Charlie!
    I don’t use social media (apart from blogging, but I class that *completely* differently), but already I’m disliking algorithms! Search engines use them and seem to think they know what I’m searching for – when clearly they don’t. I have a feeling that one day, these algorithms may become just a little too clever for their own good – but not is a good way.
    Enjoy your cakes, Charlie – and your weekend! 😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Tom! 😃💕Yeah, sometimes it feel like algorithms are running the world! That’s a really crazy thought and takes all the humanity out of things making them dull. I love blogging though, particularly the way our group seems to do it, which is honest and genuine and never catering to an algorithm! Yay! Hope you have a great weekend as well!

  13. Beverly Dyer 2 weeks ago

    I think I need to go back to school to study social media!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      hehe… it’s a moving target these days! Best to just keep making awesome things and moving forward I think! 😉💕

  14. Jacob 2 weeks ago

    Sooo tasty, and just in time for dessert here! I love the strawberry just thrown on top. Perfect. It can be irritating when sites tell you what you want to see – YouTube is particularly irritating for this, not to mention its ‘relevant’ ads. Happily, I remember I found this place all by myself! The only relevant ad was that windmill you painted 😛

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Oh wow!! I didn’t even THINK of that! The windmill!! Yay! So glad I painted that then. hehe… and that was very early on… what how times flies. We’ve made it through zonkeys, Toy Story dinos, Citrus Polos, and me taunting you with ice cream any chance I can get. Glad we became friends!! 😃💕 Fun journey, and I hope you’ve completed your movie watch list by the way.

      • Jacob 2 weeks ago

        That’s quite a list (though don’t forget the seals, or that creepy super soaker!) If we’re still friends after the ice cream revelation then I expect we can get through just about anything.

        Oh no, I’m gonna be in trouble! I don’t think I have… although I did see most of Dirty Dancing last summer. Not sure if that was even on the list, but I can remember you mentioning it before. I think the last film I watched was Home Alone on Christmas Day, but I’ve seen that a million times (not that it ever gets old!)

  15. Susan Cuss 2 weeks ago

    Delicious-looking treat! Ack! Makes me want one, but, gee Charlie…….no wheat and no dairy for me so…..well, I guess I could have that strawberry…..grumble.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 Hmmmmm… if no wheat or dairy then I would send you to an awesome vegan restaurant nearby. They can make a strawberry shortcake a reality! 😉

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