Taking The Road Less Traveled

Day 9 - Taking The Road Less Traveled - Doodlewash

When it comes to travel, any journey down a new road will often do. For today, I took a journey down the road of a fast and loose watercolor sketch to see what might happen. This is what happened. In many ways, sketching with watercolor is always a journey down a new road. It’s never quite the same and no matter how many techniques you learn and hope to employ, there are always magnificent surprises. This is why watercolor continues to enthrall me each and every day. I don’t approach it in a very classical style, tending to work wet on dry and wet on wettish, never letting anything quite dry fully, and quickly doing whatever comes to mind in the moment as I paint and sketch. For me, that’s what transports me to new places. It’s entirely all of the fun. Were I to adopt a specific approach, there would be the pesky issue of possibly being wrong. There’s no fun in that. Instead, I approach each day like I’m a child eagerly grabbing for a new crayon. So results will always vary, and yet each little doodlewash still manages to exude my own personal style. Man, it’s fun to paint each and every day. And I hope all of you will continue to join me!

I’ve always had a thing for little roads and paths that seem uncharted. While traveling in a car with my parents when I was young, I would ask them to turn down any little road that I saw. They didn’t, of course, but I was so intrigued by what might be just beyond the horizon. A rambling trail of a road that seemed to head into something mysterious. These days, we have GPS to tell us precisely where we are and what’s around us. Back then, there was nothing that clever to guide us. It was just bits of impulse combined with bits of instinct that could lead us through a trail or wooded area. In many ways, I still prefer this approach. I don’t want to be so obsessed with where I’m trying to go that I forget to truly experience every little bit along the way. In life and art, the journey isn’t part of the experience, it’s the entire experience. Every little epiphany and each incredible discovery is the entire point of this ride we call life. Destinations are overrated. They are places where we already now what the outcome will be. To me, the thrill is in the journey itself. Taking steps forward to reveal the next piece in the puzzle.

In truth, my pursuit of the journey often leads me to do everything in a weirdly different way. This website, while generally adhering to many website principles, veers wildly of course each time I show up. I don’t talk to you about art supplies and watercolor techniques as one should rightfully expect from someone in this niche. That’s simply because my fellow artists are far more fabulous at doing so, and I choose to feature them instead. You’ll still find the content you’d expect from a site like this here, but then you’ll also find yours truly. Almost defiantly showing up to simply sketch and write about anything at all. My role in all of this is simply to inspire and remind you to be true to yourself. There are a million rules in the world that can feel a bit stifling and limit your creativity. Don’t get me wrong, we do live in a robotic world where algorithms rule and doing things by prescription will usually succeed in sending your posts to the top of the list. Do a bit of that, but never let it overtake your creativity. There are still people out there who crave real and original content written by and for humans. So, I hope you’ll also follow your own unique creative spirit and inspire ours, by maybe just sometimes, taking the road less traveled.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!
Day 9 - Taking The Road Less Traveled - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

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!

28 Comments
  1. Tyler Hagan 2 months ago

    Taking the road less traveled is always an adventure, and one worth taking!

  2. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    I love your painting of this prompt – it’s apt and also visually interesting. I’m definitely one who still craves, and reads, real content created by, and for, humans! That’s why I’m a daily reader of your blog.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 And I can’t thank you enough for showing up to read my rambles each day! I truly appreciate it!!

  3. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    There are so many others who discuss art supplies and techniques. Your rambles are unique and refreshing!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 hehe… you discuss them SO well!! It’s fabulous!! A gift I don’t possess, so I’m thrilled you blog here on Doodlewash as well my friend!!

  4. June Hadaway 2 months ago

    This is a fun painting. Such adventure in traveling roads less traveled whether physically or mentally. Great painting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Yeah, I think I tend to travel far more mentally than physically, but they both provide amazing insights! 😉

  5. Lisa 2 months ago

    Nothing was more fun when I was a kid than dad saying, “Who wants to go for a ride?” We all did, and we saw some amazing stuff and had some amazing ice cream cones. Once we were stopped beside a road watching the pea picking machines harvesting a field. When the pickers were close, dad got out, talked to one of the drivers, and came back to the car with an arm-load of pea vines that he dumped in my mom’s lap, so she could pick off the pods and pass them out to us. I still love raw peas!

    • LoriCtoo 2 months ago

      Oh the old simple days. We used to be hauled around in the car a lot when visiting my grandparents. Some of my best memories. Thanks for reminding me. 😉

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

        That’s such a fun memory! I loved car trips with my grandparents! 😃💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      That is such a fabulous memory, Lisa! 😃💕 I love it!! What fun that after the promise of ice creams, the raw peas won out in the end. 😉

  6. Zertab Quaderi 2 months ago

    A beautiful one!

  7. SnehLata Maheshwari 2 months ago

    As i am daily reader of u r post. To day s story of taking the road less traveled is always an adventure . More over enjoyable
    Working with water is not so easy.but the way u does its a lesson of learning.
    Awesome 🌷 work done.
    Thanks lie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      You’re so wonderful, Snehlata! 😃💕 I truly can’t thank you enough for your comments and continued encouragement. You make me feel like what I’m doing matters… and that’s a wonderful gift indeed. Thank you so much my friend!

  8. Paintprojectblog 2 months ago

    Love it! Whenever I try to paint something very specific, like a photograph, it always turns into something different in the end. Now I try to just paint what comes to mind, both before and as i go along. But it’s harder to get it to look good, though 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, when I started painting with photographs I tried to make them look like the actual thing, and have sense strayed quite a bit. I’ve painted from memory a few times and hope that the more memories I create, I can do so more in the future!

  9. Les Grindey 2 months ago

    another great post you should write a book it would be most interesting Charlie . with the illustrations you would do yourself . Most enjoyable to read

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thank you SO much, Les! 😃💕 Have you listened to my “Sketching Stuff” podcast (sketchingstuff.com)? I’m curious to know what you think! It’s a total experiment in translating some of my posts to audio. Fully experimental, so I’d love to know what your thoughts!

      • Les Grindey 2 months ago

        Yes Charlie from when you message me all interesting stuff . I’m so pleased I joined your site and I have another course with Angela 3rd now

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

          Awesome!! So happy you’re enjoying it! And yay to a 3rd course with Angela! She’s awesome! 😃💕

  10. LoriCtoo 2 months ago

    Wonderful piece! I so enjoy reading your words. It’s like you have been talking to me. 😉 Recently I was struggling with my work not looking like my fellow sketchers. I can’t seem to get my colors bold, like theirs. We are all using the same paints. They’ve been very good at giving me tips, but it just doesn’t work for me. So the other day, I had the realization that my way, is my style. Wow! A big weight was lifted and I am now free to enjoy what I love so much…..painting. I’ve never been one to follow strict rules. Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe! Love hearing that!! 😃💕 Yep, when you discover the thing you can’t do to make it look like others, then you’ve discovered the very thing that makes it uniquely YOU! Yay! Pastel or bold… be YOU and the rest will take care of itself. 😉

  11. smzang 2 months ago

    I love every word, every brush stroke
    of this post. I do not doubt that Robert Frost
    is applauding from heaven. I know for sure
    that I am applauding from West Virginia!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Oh wow.. Robert Frost? Thank you so much, Sarah! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this!!

  12. ann christina 2 months ago

    Great post and very true words, Charlie! It´s about the result, and many ways lead to Rome 😊

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