Strutting Like A Peacock

Day 8 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Strut Like A Peacock Head In Profile Watercolor - #doodlewash

I had every intention of sketching full traditional peacock plumage, but when looking at references, I was totally intrigued by the face of this regal bird. Plus, I was dying to sketch something with a bit of detail, so this is today’s entry. I also wanted to try something that mimicked the bokeh of a photograph in my current experimental state. I can’t ever seem to draw the traditional version of this bird each time I go to do so, which is only twice now, as last year I did a drawing of a flying peacock. This means I’ve already shared most all of the peacock trivia I know in that previous post. One thing I do love about them is that their exquisite coloring is actually just a trick of the light. They are really rather unassuming brown birds, but their feathers change color based on how the light is reflected in them. I considered painting this one entirely in brown with a caption that read, “Is it just me, or am I badly lit?” but, in the end, I couldn’t resist adding the lovely reflected colors that make people swoon over this showy bird.

I do admire that the peacock seems so uninhibited and proud of itself. Strutting up and down, showing off its many feathers for all to see. Mostly, of course, for the lady birds that he’s trying to impress and mate with, of course, but anyone who happens by can’t help but be dazzled. I’ve never quite had this level of confidence, though I attempt to appear otherwise whenever possible. Throughout my career, I’ve often had to speak in front of crowds of people and spend most of my time pretending I’m someone else while doing so. I love to talk about creative projects, so that’s a plus, but my preference is to share the spotlight with others and not dwell too much on myself. That’s why I’ve always surrounded myself with talented people who inspire me and push me to try new things. That, and it’s a wonderful distraction when I happen to mess something up.

I’m constantly telling people to DO and forget about everything, but I often have trouble following my own advice. That’s why this month, I’m taking my own advice and just grabbing my brush and going for it, not worrying about the outcome. It’s been incredibly fun! I’m sharing this, to say that my DO advice is actually rather good after all. I never know what I’m actually capable of doing until I go ahead and throw caution to the wind and try it. There’s always something that I learn and will indeed do differently next time, but the thrill of trying is a total rush. So, I may not fully get over all of my fears or become a social butterfly in public settings, but I will slowly improve my art over time. Each little layer of paint every day is a new lesson that informs the next. I think that’s been the secret to my daily painting habit. I’m always excited to share what I made today with you, no matter the outcome, simply because I made it. My own little version of strutting like a peacock.

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Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Quinacridone Gold, Red Orange, Sennelier Red, Dioxazine Purple, Phthalo. Green Light, Phthalocyanine Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine Deep, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink and second pen with sepia ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 8 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Strut Like A Peacock Head In Profile Watercolor - #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 Doodlewash.com, contact me!

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
45 Comments
  1. Laura (PA Pict) 9 months ago

    This is a stunning painting, Charlie. I love, love, love peacock colours so I’m instantly attracted to this painting. You’ve captured the colours, sheen and plumage of the bird perfectly. I’m truly impressed.
    PS My Gran once told me that peacocks were just “pretentious chickens” which is a put down I’ve never forgotten.

  2. Jill Kuhn 9 months ago

    I love the peacock colors and your doodlewash is magnificent Charlie!! Bravo! 💙🌈👍

  3. Margaret Parker Brown 9 months ago

    I think that you did a beautiful job of “do”! it is freeing to let go and not fret and allow the painting to just happen not worrying about the outcome. Your posts are so insightful and very honest, I had forgotten how much you are ‘front and center’ with your blog, very much appreciated.

    • Author

      Aww thanks so much for that, Margaret! 😃💕 My posts are such a stream of thought, I’m never sure if they’re even very interesting sometimes. So happy you like them!

  4. Jenn 9 months ago

    Oh , she’s gorgeous! I love every inch of her! Beautiful application of colors!! 😄

  5. debiriley 9 months ago

    great painting, love the background so soft and gentle very nice touch Charlie. all the colors….. are so lovely! and what really needs comment on, and people to really have a good look at is:
    how you have painted the eye!
    its not just a flat color and tone. you’ve created a beautiful eye on the peacock with all these variations – so well done! 🙂 Cheers, Charlie!

    • Author

      Aww thanks, Debi!! 😃💕 I actually always start with the eye, because if I screw that up, no sense in continuing. hehe I played with several colors this time around to mimic more of a reflection. So pleased you liked the result!!

      • debiriley 9 months ago

        my pleasure Charlie!

  6. memadtwo 9 months ago

    Bird faces are amazing. I didn’t know that about the reflected light producing the colors either. Excellent! (K)

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ve always loved bird faces. My last bird face fave was the emu I painted last year. hehe

  7. YesterdayAfter 9 months ago

    That’s great Charlie I like your approach when comes to painting! And is great to share every day I love that too whenever I share what I create! Your peacock is beautiful and your style shows! 😉 <3

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Carolina! 😃💕 Yep… we should all be strutting and sharing what we make! hehe

      • YesterdayAfter 9 months ago

        Yes that’s the greatest part of what is happening here with our Blogs and FB group! 😉 <3

  8. I love the detail on your peacock, the eye is outstanding, bravo ❤️. I think he is trying to eye me up for food, getting ready to peck me…I’m about to run, beauty he may be, but I know they can move, and have a sharp peck…..we had two running wild in the next village, escaped from someone’s garden, then could not be caught for years, noisy beasts too…it split the village, some loved having these birds wondering free, others wanted to shoot them, as they wrecked gardens, pooped on everything, sat on roofs and squawked away, wondered in the roads….insidently I was in the ‘love them’ camp. 😀

    • Author

      Thanks, Rebecca! 😃💕Lol…oh my.. yeah… that doesn’t sound like the best review of peacocks. I’ve heard they’re really annoying!! hehe Guess they feel entitled since they’re so darn pretty.

  9. GeorgieMoon 9 months ago

    Tremendous! Who doesn’t love a peacock! What amazing colours, I love this.

  10. lizintheshed 9 months ago

    Fab peacock! I am doing eyes with my class this afternoon and will pint them in the direction of this post to see the variation you can achieve in even a simple bird’s eye. Lovely.

    • Author

      That’s awesome!! What a fantastic compliment! 😃💕 I love painting eyes… so many possibilities there. Thanks, Liz!!

  11. Jacob 9 months ago

    Oh my, what a perfectly pompous peacock! The character is bursting out of this one, beautiful doodlewash. The “am I badly lit?” idea made me chuckle, too, but I’m certainly glad now that you went for full, resplendent colour!

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Jacob! 😃💕 Yeah… that would have been a fun written joke, but a cruel visual joke and peacocks are meant to be colorful! hehe

  12. Snehal Kank 9 months ago

    Absolutely gorgeous work Charlie 😍
    yeah I’m following your advice ‘Do’ for my 100 days series.. sometimes I get upset with the outcome of painting but I convince myself saying every piece of art won’t be a masterpiece so carry on today you learnt something new though 😀

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Snehal! 😃💕 And yes to that attitude! I actually get frustrated with many of my paintings. hehe… but just post and move on. I keep having little tiny breakthroughs and really liking one, every 15 or so, and that’s enough for me! 😉lol

      • Snehal Kank 9 months ago

        Hahah True that I agree 😀 same with me 😎

  13. Yvonne C 9 months ago

    Love the peacock, and all of your drawings really, they are fascinating to me. And I am truly impressed with how big the “little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop” is!!!!!!!!!!! Everything goes in there ! You ought to be running out of pages by now 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Yvonne!! What a sweet compliment! 😃💕 Actually, I started a new one as I filled the last one. hehe Just started it with the post Happy Birthday Cake, so it makes a fun cover page to these full scenes.

  14. Yvonne C 9 months ago

    I HAD to go look when you started “the little red sketch book” so I checked every doodlewash caption, kid you not. I hit a point where you were using the Pentalic Journal, and voila, found the doodlewash of when you bought it! I was going to count Doodlewashes from that point to see how many you crammed in there already but you saved me the time by saying there are 200 pages in the sketchbook so that explains it, lol! But also creates a bunch of fun reading for me as I have only been looking at the doodles so far – now I see where you went to France (the car keys doodle!) and cannot help but to wonder what the heck you were doing over there anyhow – looking forward to the story I am about to read and sorry for the digression from the peacock doodlewash
    🙂

    • Author

      Awww thanks for looking back through my sketchbook! 😃💕 Hehe I just keep on posting things and haven’t even looked back myself in awhile. Yeah, I thought it was huge, but as I mentioned in my last comment, I actually filled it and these scenes are in a new one I grabbed on a second unexpected trip to Paris. (I actually grabbed two so hopefully they’ll last until I return… love this sketchbook!) I’m there every year to visit family as that’s where my partner is from! 😉

  15. Tom Merriman 9 months ago

    I never knew that about peacocks, Charlie, that they are really brown. But how would we know – or how did we find out? Even in photos I see them full of colour, as in your painting. Very strange. (The fact they’re brown… not your painting!!!) 😉
    Confidence is an issue with a lot of us; ‘just doing’ helps a lot with pushing through the barrier!

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Tom! 😃💕 Hehe… yeah… and polar bears aren’t actually white, but have hollow, transparent hairs. It’s just a strange world when perception meets reality. But fun!!

  16. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 9 months ago

    To think, all this blinged out glitz and glamor so an invigorated boychik (had to find a way to write that without being crude or offensive – hope I succeeded) can grab the attention of a rather dowdy looking girlchik. This one is indeed gorgeous, and beautifully painted.

    The color on feathers as on butterfly wings is rather ephemeral and best appreciated in sunlight. Someone else has to explain that to the peacock here though with his pea-sized brain, he’s likely to disregard anything other than urgent yens. Well, enough science for one day.

    • Author

      Lol… yeah… the peacock will only ever assume he’s beautiful and go for what pleases him with a brain that size. But definitely has the glamorous look to back it all up when the sun hits him just right. 😉

  17. snigdhadotcom 9 months ago

    Beautiful..😃😃😃

  18. Carol 9 months ago

    Charlie, this is stunning, and this peacock must certainly be extra proud because of the way you portrayed him! Extraordinary!

  19. […] Not only that, much of the coloring we perceive is simply a trick of lighting and reflected colors, like the peacock I sketched earlier. But no matter how it happens, subtle and brilliant color combinations always […]

  20. samba2017 9 months ago

    Thanks for sharing this. I love peacocks! I have a YouTube poetry channel called Peacock
    Poetry and this poem was what gave me the idea for the name. Have a good day, Sam 🙂

    https://youtu.be/8sGLI8bU0jE

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Sam! Glad you liked this! 😃

      • samba2017 9 months ago

        It actually inspired me to include my peacock poem on today’s blog entry. Thank you! 🙂

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