For our optional World Watercolor Month prompt of “Spontaneous,” I wasn’t quite sure what to do for this one. Then I thought about it in terms of those impulses that make me jump to the next thing, often without even thinking too much about where I’m heading, much less forming a plan. To demonstrate that we have a goldfish leaping out of a fishbowl while another looks on with a bit of shock. While there’s a phrase that says one should “look before they leap,” I think it’s really fun sometimes to just sort of go for it and see what happens along the way. Okay, so that’s pretty much my usual approach to things and it’s not particularly rare. Lately though, I have been putting a bit more thought up front into what I’m about to sketch as I’m wanting to practice more narrative illustration. Once I’ve spent time thinking through an idea, however, it’s back to jumping like a fish out of water and quickly seeing what appears. And like a good story, t’s always fun to find out what happens next!

I’ve been having lots of fun this month exploring concepts and trying more illustrative sketches. And I’ve learned that my impulsive nature still holds true for the execution, but if I spend a bit more time dreaming something up, the results are a touch more interesting. Though I still can’t quite make every crazy idea that pops into my head appear on paper, I’m getting a little better at doing so for some of them, one little sketch at a time. When I first started this art journey, my goal was to write and illustrate my own storybook. Rather than jump right in as I normally would and just go for it, I’ve dutifully practiced sketching stuff each and every day now for five years. But, I only have time to make one little thing each day, so the results weren’t immediate. My inner child was so impatient for results, but I just mentally patted his little head and reminded him that practice is everything.

While impulses in art are fabulous, I’m happy to report I’ve curbed my impulse shopping a bit these days. Mostly because I’m stuck at home and without immediate gratification, I pause and make more thoughtful decisions first. But, I kind of miss going to the stores and seeing something I just have to have in that moment. It’s like getting a little gift I wasn’t expecting. Whether or not it feels the same way the next day is another story indeed. And I’ve had more impulsive hobbies that I’ve started and stopped than I can possibly count. Yet, as I get older, I feel less compelled by the shiniest of new things and more intrigued by how to make what I’m already doing feel fresh again. So, with my art, I’m taking a step back and considering my ideas a bit more thoughtfully when I can. And then, of course, rushing them to gleeful completion once I start. Some things never change. Yet, I’m quite happy to be on this adventure, always driven by those rather wonderful sudden impulses.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade) 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!
Goldfish Jumping Out Of Bowl Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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40 thoughts on “Sudden Impulses

  1. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie….your water splash is FABULOUS! It is simply fantastic! How fabulous are you!! Wow. 😊 haha haha Your comment about impulse shopping, reminded me (and made me laugh) of my neighbor, MaryLou. (Her husband, Frank, is an awesome painter.) They are an older couple and have been really good to me. I called MaryLou to check in on them. She ‘s so funny. She said that she is bored at home and misses shopping . She said that she spends hours on the internet shopping. She said, “Man, I keep finding crap that I didn’t know that I needed! ” She cracks me up! Anyway, fabulous painting , Charlie! 😁😀😇

  2. Your goldfish leaping toward new adventures is wonderful! Love the water effects. I’ve always been one to consider any action before jumping in in life, but I can indulge that impulse and be spontaneous in my art! (well, sometimes lol )

  3. Another beauty, Charlie!! Every day you get closer to that dream and I can’t wait to see the result; I know it will be fabulous!!
    I’m finding it almost as easy to shop for things “I really don’t need” right from the comfort of home though I do much prefer shopping local and independently owned shops. The shopping I do miss most is finding interest gifts in local shops for Christmas and birthday gifts…that’s my favorite kind of impulse shopping.

  4. Thanks for the inspiring fish! Now I want to remember, “Be the flying, floating fabulous and free fish!” (I do admit I’ve looked a bit more like the bulging eyed concerned fish as of late!) World Watercolor Month couldn’t have come at a better time-time to lighten up, relax and just be joyful again!

  5. Fantastic Charlie! I can relate to this adventurous little fish when it comes to my art. It has been about 1 1/2 years since I took the risk to retire early and leap into becoming an artist. I’m still painting at a fairly good pace even though the opportunities to exhibit and sell have screeched to a stop. One of the daughters expressed concerns on the phone last night that the number of paintings was mounting. The two daughters are worried that they will be stuck with them. Such a support family. I venture on! Enjoy your weekend!

  6. I like your storytelling doodlewashes a lot. I posted my 17th pear painting today. Turns out pears just don’t have much story to tell. At least I’m more than half done, so in short order I’ll never have to paint a pear again! I think next year I may take on trees. All that lovely variation! That’s the plan!

  7. This Doodlewash might just be my favorite. So much action, so much expectation. The fish leaping, the one left behind. Yes, this one tells a story. I’m all ears, all eyes, all attention. Well done, Charlie.

    I’ve taken my own leap, of sorts. Waiting for gouache paints to arrive (have never used them). A sketch is ready and though it could be done with watercolors, I got it into my head that gouache was the right medium. If you knew how cautious I am, you’d understand the leap of faith I’m daring to try.

    1. Aww thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this! And glad you saw the story there! Awesome on the gouache! Honestly, I’ve been waiting to try it for the past couple of years, since it’s more common in illustration, but haven’t even made the leap yet!

  8. Almost every day, when I see your art, I think – there’s a story there! It only makes sense that you write and illustrate a storybook! I know it’s a real time-consuming thing to do though.

    1. Aww thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 yeah, it’s my dream to DO, but I can’t seem to find the extra time. Mostly though, that’s an excuse… I don’t have that idea yet that makes the time magically appear! hehe

  9. Hello Charlie,

    That sketch is so ALIVE! I love everything in it… the leaping fish, the fresh splash – most of all the expression of the fish still in the fishbowl. 🙂 I’m so happy to know that you wish to write and illustrate a story book. Please please please write one soon. I’ll definitely be waiting to buy it! Sending truckloads of luck your way for your book wish to come true soon.


    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Aww… you’re too sweet! Thanks so much for the encouragement! Yeah, I’m still forming the concept and idea, but I’m definitely going to be making a storybook in the future!

  10. Oh my gosh! That fish in the bowl is hilarious! His facial expression made me laugh. Thank for sharing your thoughts on stepping back and rethinking your art journey. It is good to push ourselves. These prompts have been tough for me, not knowing what the thought Angela had behind them. I must admit, it has pushed me! I just haven’t had as much time to do them as I would like. We are half way there!

    1. Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Aww yay! Glad this made you laugh… yeah, I used actual fish references, but some have eyes that just say, what the heck? lol And yeah, these prompts are way more open-ended than some previously… the intent is to free your own muse and creativity! Whatever comes to mind is absolutely correct! Paint it! it’s so much fun! 😉

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