The Flight Of The Dragonfly

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 27 - The Flight Of The Dragonfly - Doodlewash

For centuries the little dragonfly has been an object of interest to people in many different cultures around the globe. Most anywhere in the world its a symbol of change and self-realization. As it scurries across the top of the water, zigzagging its way along an impossible path, it’s equally fascinating to watch. It reminds us to go beyond just what’s on the surface and look deeper at the world around us, ourselves, and others. Also, in some parts of the world, the dragonfly is considered a good luck charm. So that’s a pretty wonderful thing to consider indeed. And, since we have just one more day left in this month’s adventure, it’s definitely a signal of changes ahead! I hope you’ll join us for the March Watercolor Challenge, a Paint What You Like theme, exploring ideas and concepts that I’m sure will lead to some truly surprising and unique paintings. I’ll be very excited to see what we all come up with!

As for dragonflies, I’ve loved them since I was a kid. Despite the lack of oceans nearby there are plenty of lakes and ponds where these little guys like to hang out. They are mesmerizing to watch as they zip about and then suddenly stop, defying gravity for a moment. I’ve read that their flight is so intriguing to scientists that its still being studied in hopes of making robots that can mimic it. I can’t remember why one would need a robot dragonfly, but that bit didn’t bother me as the thought of one is just too cool, so why not? And I do love the symbolism. The idea of going beyond the surface and zipping around to view things from all angles is a wonderful reminder in life, particularly as an artist. I’m hoping to push myself beyond some of the comfort zones I’ve formed these past couple of years as we transition into next month’s challenge. I’m not entirely sure what that amounts to yet, but I’m perfectly thrilled to find out.

I’ve always moved almost too quickly from one thing to the next. My attention span is roughly on par with that of a three year old child. Once I start doing something my brain shifts and begins to process a million other things that have nothing to do with what I just started doing. My little moments with watercolor have given me a better ability to focus a wee bit longer. But, yes, you’ll find me happily rushing to scan today’s illustration and sometimes not even waiting for it to dry first. I’m like a little kid who just brought home his latest creation for his mom to post on the fridge. Only in this case, the fridge in this blog, and well, my mother doesn’t even own a computer, so I guess the similarities end there. My short attention span is partially due to my insatiable sense of discovery. I love learning new things, not just about the world around me, but about myself. As I’m rushing to creating a little painting each day, I get to suddenly stop here and ponder things for a brief, quiet moment. It’s a rewarding process indeed, and perhaps more than a bit like the flight of a dragonfly.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 27 - The Flight Of The Dragonfly - Doodlewash


Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    Charlie, you say you flit about, with little focus, but like the dragonfly you make the world more interesting every time you land!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      That’s the sweetest way anyone has ever described me! 😊 Thanks so much for that, Sandra! 😃💕

  2. Sandra Gilbert 5 years ago

    That is a beautiful dragonfly!

  3. louiseaprimeau 5 years ago

    Lovely Charlie!

  4. Mary Roff 5 years ago

    Beautiful dragonfly, Charlie!

  5. Anita Sinha 5 years ago

    Beautiful dragonfly and its shadow..Loved reading about the symbolism too…

  6. glacken2016 5 years ago

    Such a beautiful dragonfly! Annie

  7. June Hadaway 5 years ago

    Oh wow, this is truly an amazingly, beautiful dragonfly. The wings look so transparent and lovely shadowing underneath. I have always loved them.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Aww thanks, June!! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you liked it! Yeah, I’m a total fan of dragonflies!!

  8. Pamela Smith 5 years ago

    So beautiful..I love dragonflies and yours is exceptional…

  9. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    Gorgeous in every way – line work, colors, shadow, plus it’s my favorite insect!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed the line work on this one… it’s tough to get all the intricacies of dragonflies without quite actually sketching all of them!

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 years ago

    I like few bugs – they terrify me, especially the ones that are roaches or even remind me of roaches. But dragonflies – they’re creatures I love to watch. They look as if the pigment fell of their wings and left only the outline behind, a trait you captured beautifully in your painting, Charlie. Thank you for info about the symbolism of dragonflies – even more wonderful now.
    As for Little Charlie – we’re all pretty lucky he’s still zipping around, enchanted by one thing after another. But you really should give your mom a tablet or laptop so she can see how incredibly talented her son is when he is still and quiet for 30 minutes a day, paintbrush hovering over a sheet of paper.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I agree… I like a lot more bugs as a kid, but as an adult, the dragonfly is the least creepy and the most intriguing. And as for my mother, I DID give her a laptop several years ago which she promptly gave to my niece. Today, she resorts a version of Facebook that involves going to my sister’s house and standing over my sister’s shoulder saying, “click that!”

      • Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 years ago

        OK, I’m laughing. I’m about one limited skill more capable than your mom.

  11. Julia Proulx 5 years ago

    For a short attention span, Charlie you have created a wonderful thing with this site! Also you have painted every day for more than 700 days!!! That’s incredible!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Julia! 😃💕 Oh wow! I have!! Actually I think I marked 1,000 on the calendar which I’ll hit at the end of March!

  12. iqra2095 5 years ago

    Beautiful dragonfly 🙂

  13. smzang 5 years ago


  14. David Suresh Marumudi 5 years ago

    Wow!! That was a cute lil Dragonfly 🙂 It took me back to my childhood for a moment, when there used to be many of those frail but beautiful creatures; some flying, some laying and some even trying to get caught, trying to escape the last sec! But today’s pollution is not seeing any of these any more😟
    Excellent painting and an engrossing story too Charlie

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, David! 😃💕 Yeah, we seem to be missing quite a few of these creatures thanks to human pollution. But so many wonderful memories! Glad you enjoyed this one!

  15. Lisa 5 years ago

    Once in Chicago at a music festival at Grant park, there was a huge influx of dragonflies darning the sky above all of the audience. It was magical, just like your little guy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕Oh wow! That sounds like a perfectly amazing sight to see! Very cool!

    • Delores Azary 5 years ago

      Lisa, That had to be an amazing sight with all of the dragonflies!! Wonder if they came to enjoy the music festival also?

      • Lisa 5 years ago

        Probably! 😁 They were big ones too, and their wings flashed in the light. Very memorable!

  16. Delores Azary 5 years ago

    Dragonflies are so beautiful with their iridescent wings. It is interesting trying to photograph one. Love your painting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks, Delores! 😃💕 I was a photographer back in the day, but never managed to capture one on film!

  17. Susan Cuss 5 years ago

    Gorgeous colours on your wonderful dragonfly Charlie. I remember one day when we lived at the lake house and I was up on the back deck. A red dragonfly that glowed copper flew onto my shirt as I was pottering about and watering my plants. It stayed there for quite a while, until one deerfly flew a little too close, and she pounced onto it. Well, anything that devours those pesky deerflies is my hero! I always liked dragonflies, but after that day I really loved them!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 Oh my gosh, what a fantastic story! I love that! You had a dragonfly protector! hehe That’s awesome!

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