That Next Masterpiece

Crayons Scattered And Cup Watercolor Painting

For our prompt of “Crayons” today, I didn’t have my crayons with me when I was ready to sketch today. So, I closed my eyes and thought back to when I was a kid. Then I grabbed a brush pen and very quickly sketched what I remembered. This was, I recall, the usual scene. A cup of some kind held the crayons that had already been orphaned from their original box. Just a handful of colors were selected from that cup and those would be the ones that I’d use to make my next amazing work of art. The tips were usually much more worn out, but I also remember that getting a box of fresh crayons was the coolest thing in the world. And that familiar smell of fresh wax and hope was all I needed to be inspired to create something wonderful. Did I always make wonderful art as a kid? Of course, I did! We all did! Every single time. It would be years before I would ever question that. Years before I would think that what I made wasn’t particularly amazing every day. Now, as a busy adult, I still have to keep myself from questioning what I create. But mostly, I’m just excited I was ever able to make something in the first place.

When I look back to those young artistic days, I remember that I always loved to draw. Yet, I also remember that I didn’t love to color quite as much. Crayons were clunky and didn’t blend very well. Colored pencils were fun, but it took too long to color things. Weirdly, I didn’t use watercolor as a kid, so hadn’t yet found that one way to color that would ultimately thrill me. Most of the work that my mother kept, the ones that won awards, were all black and white drawings. So, that’s why I got so excited when I discovered watercolor. It was just the “crayon” I’d been looking for all my life. And, truly, that’s how I use it. I color my illustrations, but I don’t make proper paintings. I’m a huge fan boy of watercolor painters, of course, so I feature them as often as I can on this site. No matter how one chooses to use a medium, there’s so much to learn from absolutely everyone else who’s using it as well. I’ve borrowed techniques from my awesome watercolor painting friends and applied them to my illustrations. It’s the same kind of learning I employed back when I was just playing around with crayons.

But, today, my “mom’s refrigerator” has become this blog as well as the various social media spaces where I post. My audience of just one has grown to be quite a few more these days. Yet, I still like to think that each time I post, I’m just handing in a coloring page to Mom. It takes all of the pressure off and makes me super happy to remember back to those times. Sure, I want to improve as an artist and do better and better work, but that just happens naturally when a person continues to show up. Nobody gets worse at something by practicing. And even if the improvements seem slight or too small to even recognize from day to day, the magic is always happening. There are things I wish to improve upon, though, so I just try them more when I can. It’s also why there have been a lot of critters around here lately. I’ve not really mastered any of the things I’ve set out to learn on this art journey, but there’s plenty of time. Thankfully, with my childlike view of the world, I don’t have to be a master to make that next masterpiece.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Opus (Vivid Pink), Vermilion, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Kuretake Sumi Brush Pen 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!
Crayons Scattered And Cup Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail


Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Fantastic Charlie! I tried so hard to keep mine in the big box and to keep them organized but with two younger siblings that tended to break things they generally ended up with other broken crayons. Likely they would be in a cup or a box with a cover. To this day I like my supplies to be organized and my sister not so much.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 hehe… sounds like some things never change! Yeah, I’m not super organized, but am a touch better when it comes to art supplies. Mostly, so I don’t lose them entirely.

  2. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    You were so lucky to have a mother who encouraged you in your drawing. My mom was proud of my work in a way, but she was a bit baffled as to why I would want to do it. She always tried to encourage me to sew or crochet or do something that had ‘function’. I did enjoy doing those thing occasionally, but my heart belonged on paper.

    • Priscilla DeConti 3 years ago

      That was my folks too..they reveled in the academics but not in the creative arts..but I am glad I have returned to it today!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      And we’re so happy to see what your heart makes my friend! 😃💕 Yeah, my mom loved to sew and crochet dolls and bears. To her, making people smile was always the best ‘function’!

  3. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 years ago

    Yup, these are the crayons that started it all for most kids, age 2 or 3. Klutzy to use (the tears when they broke!) but beautiful in the gold and green box, all those promising colors.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Yes! Always so sad to see a broken one! 😉 But so many awesome possibilities waiting in that gold and green box!

  4. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    Fabulous crayons!!! I enjoyed my crayons a lot. But truly loved my drawing. Drawing is what kept me doing art. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Same for me! Drawing has always been the thing that keeps me going. But, thanks to watercolor, I no love coloring as well!

      • Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

        Same with the watercolors. I really adore them. I say a lot of that is thanks to you my friend!! 🙂

  5. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    Yes! The smell of a new box of crayons is intoxicating and brings up many happy memories. Lovely painting from memory.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I loved the smell of crayons. Play-Doh was always a great smell and well. Both were a masterpiece waiting to happen!

  6. Mireya 3 years ago

    Yeah you had me at those were the days I used to love to draw. The best happens this way and I ve struggled for years trying to shut up the stupid voice that tells me I’m no good. The little Mireya thought I was awesome.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      That little Mireya was totally correct! You are awesome! 😃💕 That inner child is right there to remind us that we’re being silly grownups whenever we question it!

  7. Priscilla DeConti 3 years ago

    I just love your posts..the images and the words…so uplifting and encouraging…I am so glad to have found this place…kudos to you and your next masterpiece!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 Thrilled you’re enjoying Doodlewash. I’m so glad you’re here with us! Kudos to your next masterpiece as well my friend!

  8. Gary Middleton 3 years ago

    Great painting. We have a wicker picnic basket full of art stuff for our grand children and everytime they stay it comes out at some point.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Gary! 😃💕 That basket sounds awesome!! I bet the grand children are totally excited each time they open it!

  9. Lisa 3 years ago

    I wish I could remember what I painted with watercolor when I was in high school. I know I did something because I have a very strong memory of stretching paper and taping it down with that brown paper tape that you wet with a sponge. If I ever get hypnotized again, I’m going to ask the person who does it to try and find out. It must have been a big painting because I also remember the large heavy plywood board we mounted our paper on. My school took art fairly serious with an annual art show and pancake dinner. I know I dragged my parents to it on more than one occasion. 😂😂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Oh wow! I find it so fascinating that you remember all the details of the process leading up to the painting, but not the painting! hehe 🙂 If you do ever get hypnotized again and find out, let me know! I’m so curious!

  10. Jill Kuhn 3 years ago

    I always remember the smell of that new box of crayons too! 😃 We have a local Italian restaurant that uses white paper as their table cover and there is always a cup of crayons to draw… my favorite thing to do there besides eat! 🎨🙌

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      hehe! Yeah, my mom always has a tablecloth to draw on when I visit! 🙂 It’s the best!! Add in yummy Italian food and it just gets better. That’s awesome! So Fun! 💕

  11. greenmackenzie 3 years ago

    Pastels are the greatest in between to crayons and paint😁imho….they transformed my colouring world from frustration to blending…thanks fir stirring the memory

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Glad this brought back good memories! 😃💕 Yeah, are definitely are great at blending. I tried them a few times, but they’re messy… and… well… I’m sort extra messy so they didn’t work as well for me. I used a tooth brush to add white gouache snowflakes to a painting recently and ended up covering everything within a few feet in snow. 😊

  12. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Love crayons!! Wonderful that your mom has always been such a supporter of your art!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Yeah, my mom just supports being creative in general! 😃💕 So, I grew up to carry on that same idea. Life is way more fun that way!

  13. Fatima Chamkha 3 years ago

    Beautiful crayons Charlie!

  14. SMZ 3 years ago

    Charlie says, ” I don’t have to be a master to make that next masterpiece.”

    Just for the record, I think you are a master. Even if I didn’t think that, I’d still be bowled over by the wisdom of that statement.
    It is profound in every sense, and something that should be conveyed early on to every living being. Once again…Bravo, Charlie!

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