Taking Road Trips

Day 17 #WorldWatercolorGroup Recreational Vehicle Volkswagen Camper Van

Tonight, I’m running super short on time, but made a quick doodlewash of an old Volkswagan camper van as my recreational vehicle for today’s prompt. I’ve never actually owned one of these or even ridden in one, but find them really cool. In fact, the only kind of recreational vehicle I’ve ever experienced in person was the camper my grandparents had when I was a kid. My parents’ version was simply whatever car we currently had. Since we didn’t have a lot of money, air travel was not really an option. If we wanted to take a vacation, we would simply drive for hours and hours before finally ending up in a new location, that still managed to be miles away from a beach. My favorite part was stopping at roadside gas stations where I would always get a little activity book. The books came with a special marker to color things in or reveal hidden answers. These books made miles of road travel rather enjoyable.

As an adult, I don’t enjoy road trips very much. I prefer to simply take a plane and get to where I’m going. The main culprit is that I absolutely hate driving and get so ridiculously bored that taking the wheel during a road trip is actually putting people’s lives in danger. I’ve never been good with repetitive tasks and driving through Kansas to get anywhere westward is like that bad dream when you’re running screaming down an endless hallway. If I can get away without driving, then I find them rather enjoyable, even without my trusty activity book. I think this is why I love traveling by train. Nobody ever asks you to stop what you’re doing and drive it. You can simply focus on the scenery around you, zone out for a while, and let a professional do that bit.

I wish I loved the open road more and understood how to enjoy it properly. If I did, I could justify purchasing one of these Volkswagen camper vans. If I could only be a kid again, with parents in charge of the boring stuff, so I could happily focus on my little activity books then everything would be wonderful. But those days are sadly in the past, so these days, you’ll find me taking a plane, which I don’t really enjoy, but the pain lasts for a much shorter time. Even though I don’t enjoy them now, though, traveling in a car was a rather wonderful childhood memory. It felt like an adventure to travel outside my city and see landscapes I’d only ever seen in books. An amazing time, actually, counting the rest stops by the number of activity books I’d accumulated on those long and exciting road trips.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Cobalt Teal, Permanent Green Pale, Cobalt Blue, Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.
 Day 17 #WorldWatercolorGroup Recreational Vehicle Volkswagen Camper Van

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
44 Comments
  1. Jacob 1 year ago

    Are we there yet? Fantastic, count me in for this kind of road trip! Could this be the new Doodlewash Express I’ve heard about? Super cool with that enviable spearmint hue, definitely the paint job I’d prefer! They are fun, aren’t they – my sister was driven to her wedding in a VW Camper. That’s style for you!

    It is a rather more joyous time when you aren’t behind the wheel, isn’t it. I always forget how much I enjoy the train though, watching the locality zip by – certainly it beats the bus with its cranky drivers and iffy odours. Running late and ending up in the ‘quiet carriage’, though… that’s always a hoot!

    • Author

      Yeah, I love these things, but soooo don’t want to drive them. Trains definitely win! Way better form of travel. I love it having to deal with anyone until you happen to cross a border. Hehe

  2. Laura (PA Pict) 1 year ago

    The teals and blues in this painting are gorgeous! I want to hop into your camper van and hit the road.

  3. Teri C 1 year ago

    Such a great looking Van. Love that color. As you know I do the driving back and forth to AZ and I long for the days where I could just sit, watch the scenery and sketch.

  4. Terry 1 year ago

    This is gorgeous and fun. And it makes my soul feel happy vibes 😊

  5. There is nothing like the open road and I have to admit Volkswagen buses always brings out the inner hippie in me. You need to just do it and see how wonderful it can be….all that landscape, places and people to meet.

    • Author

      Oh I totally agree with all of that…I just don’t want any part of the actual driving!! Haha! I super hate driving. If I can sit in the back and sketch like I’m on a single car train, then I’m all good! Lol 😉👍🏻

  6. Jodi 1 year ago

    our what glorious CBT this classis is! Love it!

  7. Great little camper, we didn’t have one either, but someone I know restores these old beauties, and they fetch quite a price!! All our childhood vacations started with a long car journey, blankets for sleeping, food, drink, books, oh and sick bowl! Usually one of us got car sick, we didn’t stop for activity book, we stopped frequently ( usually on the side of the road) for a vomiting child, usually quickly followed by another, it must have been catching? He he. I too prefer not to drive long distances, boats and planes still make me sick, but as you said, shorter time traveling so bearable 😀

    • Author

      Thanks, Rebecca! 😃💕 yeah they do fetch a good price restored, but they’re just so iconic and cool!! Yeah, my bother and sister were much older so I got to be an only child. That meant less germ swapping and therefore no vomiting! Lol

  8. M. L. Kappa 1 year ago

    Today the encroaching banner has disappeared, but so has your painting! Oh, well, I’m off to see it on Instagram. But I’m sure it’s lovely!

    • Author

      What? Oh no! Are you viewing it in a browser then? (Or a reader?) curious to know where the problem is happening as it’s fine on every device and viewer I have. Let me know! Thanks!

  9. GeorgieMoon 1 year ago

    These VW camper vans are super trendy in UK and even old ones sell for vast prices. There are huge festivals dedicated to such vehicles. I love your doodlewash, such great colours! I’m still plucking up courage to use my first set of watercolour paints. I’m happy drawing objects with pencil or inks, but can’t bring myself to colour them in!

    • Author

      Thanks, Georgie! 😃💕 And just go for it!! Seriously…don even give it a second thought. Sketch something and then start splashing color on it. It’s just fun! Doesn’t have to be a masterpiece and you don’t have to show anyone else. Do it! Do it!! 😉

  10. Terri Bate 1 year ago

    Iconic – and great pic for a quickie!
    As for road trips – try cycle touring! I am not particularly fit – but having a wonderful time on my bicycle.
    Thanks for the prompts.

    • Author

      Thanks, Terri! 😃💕 so glad you’re you liked this and yay to cycling! Fun! And glad you’re enjoying the prompts!

  11. creatingincolors 1 year ago

    Love love love your VW bus! It takes me back. I’ve never had one but they always make me smile. Road trips are good if you can find old roads without traffic and meander through Fall foliage, small old towns with character, little shops and farm markets, and other scenic spots. But sadly, more often today’s road trips seem to involve endless miles of monotonous superhighways with aggressive drivers moving at 80 miles per hour, and road rage. Not fun – and scary.

    • Author

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 these are totally iconic aren’t they? Love these things. But agree… driving through small towns is charming but superhighways are horrible! Not fun at all.

  12. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    A friend of my parents had one of these in white. I like the colors of yours much better! 🌈💕 I remember a road trip my family took to Disneyland with my grandparents. We were all squeezed into a Chrysler. The best part I remember of the trip was this game board sized candy tray that one of my grandma’s neighbor’s made! It had all these little compartments and lots of colors and choices… Of course, I ate too much of it and by the time we arrived at Disneyland, I had a bad stomach ache. 😉 Funny what memories stay with you, huh? It would be cool to look at your activity books after all these years! 😄

    • Author

      Hehe…love that memory!! 💕I bet it was totally worth the tummy ache…sounds like the perfect road trip to me! Lol 😃 I’m definitely going to track down those activity books again…I should try to get them for the plane ride to Paris! Haha!

  13. Phil Cooper 1 year ago

    Who couldn’t love this VW, it’s adorable, chock full of the romance of the open road and a bit of an adventure 😊

  14. Sandy 1 year ago

    you are not missing anything by not riding in one of those old VW camper vans! you would like road travel even less! you do not have to experience everything in life to find out it’s not all that great, you can listen to ones who know. there is a very cool pink one parked on a road I take a walk on sometimes and have to take my sketchbook and paint it one day. pink! very cute. I think they are mostly good for yard art. yours is charming. but I want you to try to rethink road travel, it really can be great, but then I have lived all up and down the west coast, and it’s so beautiful you can’t not like it. come on out, and I’ll take you on a tour you will love. 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Sandy! 😃💕 hehe… that pink one sounds like it definitely needs to be sketching this instant! Cute! As for road travel… I’m all for riding, but I don’t you could change my mind about driving (hate it! lol)… as long as you’re driving, I’m in! hehe

  15. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    When in college, I rode often in one of these old vans, also the VW bugs. The memories came from the people I traveled with, not the vehicles themselves. They were always losing and breaking parts, the rides felt like you were driving inside a Bingo ball tumbler, and these old VW boats were sure to get you there slower than any other means of travel.

    But my companions – here the memories are wonderful, warm, funny, and exotic. College road trips – yes!

  16. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    How did I forget to mention the fabulous painting of an iconic vehicle – every dent and bump, every window and chrome decoration – every teenager’s dream. Well done, Charlie.

  17. memadtwo 1 year ago

    More fabulous color…like driving in a 50s kitchen or bathroom.
    I prefer public transport myself, but these vehicles do have a certain allure for traveling. (K)

  18. jmnowak 1 year ago

    I used to want one of these too, although with more flower-child artwork on the exterior. Had visions of travelling all around Australia, on my own. Never happened as I don’t know how to change a tyre! LOL. Trains for me too!

    • Author

      Hehe… yay to trains! Yeah… the flower-child ones are really the best, but I didn’t have time to do on with that much detail! 😊Lol

  19. Nancy Lemon 1 year ago

    Totally cool! I want one! 😀

  20. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    I remember when these vans were plentiful and many of them were painted in psychedellic colors.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      haha! Yes! Those colors were awesome! Must make a note to try them in a doodlewash soon! hehe 😃💕

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