The Luxury Of Time

Rolex Watch Watercolor Illustration

For Day 28 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Metallic,” I opted for this luxury watch. I like the look of metal watch bands like this, and my dad used to wear these types of bands. I tried on his watch as a kid, since this is something kids are often prone to do, and it seemed gigantic. Not surprisingly, it didn’t fit me at all. Today, I still can’t wear these types of watches as though I grew taller, my wrists stayed too small, making the watch hang there like a pretty bracelet. Beyond the alarming price, this is also why I’ve never owned a luxury watch like this. Though you can have links removed to get to a proper fit, I would end up paying for lots of metal I simply couldn’t display properly. But this all got me thinking about time itself and how it often feels like quite a luxury. To have a bit of time to do what we enjoy most in this busy and often chaotic life seems like an amazing, if not often impossible, task. I’m no exception, as in truth, I don’t have time to sketch each and every day. I make time, because I love it so much. And, it’s not a lot of time at all. Today, it was only 45 minutes. But, one can accomplish quite a bit in that amount of time. Or, at the very least, make a little sketch like this watch. My scribble, doodle, color approach was initially just a way to create something in the time I had, but I have to admit that it also makes it all a lot more fun!

I love that I can get a rather convincingly metallic look now, in a very short period time. This is entirely because I make an ink sketch first that I simply color it. If I were to attempt this as a true watercolor painting, I’ve no idea how to do that in such a short time. The ink lines provide much of the needed contrast for a true metallic look and provide me the guidelines of where to splash in some color to bring it to life. Since I used a reference photo on this one, I also used the grid method, which I feature in my Sketching Stuff Activity Book, because concentric circles are a bit tough to get right quickly without a touch of guidance. In my book, I provide a very proper grid that’s evenly measured, but in real life, I just quickly sketch a grid freehand, and view the reference in Photoshop with the grid turned on. It’s wildly unscientific but quickly gives me the basic idea of where to plot things in my pencil scribble. Once that looks roughly good to my eye, I doodle over it with ink, correcting lines as I go, and erase the pencil marks. This quickly gives me a bit of coloring book art, that I simply color with watercolor!

My process is not at all difficult, but isn’t exactly what we’ve been taught when it comes to watercolor painting. The traditional approach often involves many layers and lots of time that I simply don’t have. So my own method, involves reversing things by painting dark to light and using less water to speed up the entire process. While it was a process created out of sheer necessity, I DO rather like the look that can be achieved this way! It still has bits of that splashy watercolor feel with bolder lines and more contrast and detail. Yet, it’s all a bit of an illusion as it’s not hyperrealism by any stretch, but it’s a satisfying proxy when time just isn’t available. Yet, I don’t really want anyone to bother with attempting my style, I want them to find their own hacks and use them in their own way. I just hope to give people some more ideas to try and, most of all, the permission to try them, even if they don’t fit with the current trends. The way you personally want to use a medium you love is entirely up to YOU! If something feels right, it is, and I invite you to explore that further. When you make your method fit your life and not the other way round, like me, you’ll soon discover you have finally found the luxury of time.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. 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!
Rolex Watch Watercolor Illustration - Sketchbook Detail

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 years ago

    Aha – Doodle dribble secrets revealed! Excellent!

    And BTW – what exactly is wrong with a pretty bracelet? A lovely bracelet outlasts trends and you can even wear one next to a luxury watch – if you own one. To count on the luxury of time, of course.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Hehe! Yes! secrets revealed! 😉 And a pretty bracelet is wonderful, of course! The thing is, I couldn’t even wear those for fear they’d slip off! lol

  2. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Great watch Charlie! Time is such a luxury. I spend many mornings at our local YMCA as the younger member of our exercise class and am reminded of how fleeting life can be. So I make sure that I spend time DOing what I love and that is creating art.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕Yay to spending time DOing what you love! And yay to being the youngest in your class… there’s definitely much insight to be found there! 😉

  3. hootiebirdsartjournal 3 years ago

    Hi Charlie! I was wondering, since you only have a short amount of time to spend on drawing and painting each day, how big is your average picture?

  4. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    Your method is fantastic for metal and glass! It’s fantastic for everything, but metal and glass is where you really see it. So far I haven’t tried painting metal but I need to DO it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕Yes, you totally need to paint metal! DO it! It’s so much fun!

  5. Lisa 3 years ago

    When Joe and I were first dating, I bought him a fancy watch. I think he’s worn it less than a dozen times. I bought him a suit one year and it has been to a lot of weddings and funerals, but not much else. I bought him a wedding band, and he lost it, so I got him a second, much cheaper, one and that one is in my jewelry box. Oh, I almost forgot, I got him a gorgeous leather jacket that he doesn’t wear because he’s afraid someone might steal it if he takes it off. Just saying, that it I wanted to paint a watch, I know where to get one. 😂😂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Oh wow! Love that! 😃💕 Sounds like Joe doesn’t need those expensive things… hehe… I think I feel the same way!

  6. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    You are the master of painting metallic surfaces – that watch is beautiful!

  7. Susie M 3 years ago

    Love the watch! And thanks for the metal-painting tips!!

  8. creatingincolors 3 years ago

    I enjoyed reading the details of your process, which seems so appealing. I have always admired how you complete a project each and every day, and you’re results, and the stories behind them, are always wonderful! You are an inspiration!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Aww thanks so much! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you enjoy my doodlewashes and stories! That makes me very happy to know!

  9. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    Wow! You must have been in my head yesterday! I watched a wc video yesterday and painted along. It was how to build layers in your wc’s. Towards my stopping point, I kept thinking, “this is taking too long!” Then I had to wait for my layers upon layers to completely dry. My boys came home and my painting time was over. I put it in the other room thinking what a wet mess, it does not look like hers. When I passed by it late last night, it actually didn’t look too bad. I will continue with the video to finish it. Will I paint like this again? Probably not, but I did learn a few tricks from it all and will apply them to my splash and go’s! By the way, another way to paint metallics….use metallic paint. Lol, bahawaha! ;P Beautiful watch!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… I’ve never actually used metallic paint. I like creating an illusion instead! And yeah… I learned the many layers approach and realized I would literally never keep doing this if it too that long every time! LOL So I made up my own way that’s just as satisfying, but takes a mere fraction of the time! 😉

      • LoriCtoo 3 years ago

        Amen friend…!

  10. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Your scribble, doodle, color approach makes painting fun! Great tip about the grid in Photoshop..thanks, never thought of using that before. I have my dad’s wristwatch and it is so big on me the face alone just about covers my wrist and i am not a small person. Those watches are just darn big.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕I actually only use the grid approach every so often, but it works wonders for circles and strange perspectives! lol Actually using a grid helped me learn how to not use a grid. 😉 And yes! Those watches are huge! They actually extend beyond my wrist! lol

  11. June Hadaway 3 years ago

    Goodness, Gracious, that watch looks like you just took it off your wrist. That is a picture for a watch company add for sure.
    The grid is a good tool. Thank you for sharing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Glad you liked this! Yeah, I encourage people to try a grid because it helps to learn proportions better. Then you can ditch it most of the time. 😉

  12. Fanna 3 years ago

    Charlie, what a fantastic painting! Probably the most attractive wc watch I’ve seen thus far. Well done!

  13. smzang 3 years ago

    Charlie says, “… in truth, I don’t have time to sketch each and every day. I make time, because I love it so much.”

    sometimes I miss a few days of doodlewash, but the above is a statement of truth for all of us who visit this magical realm and the reason I always come back and play catch up. And now I’m probably going to be late for work, but it is well worth it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Oh no! Hope I didn’t make you late for work, but SO appreciative of your visit as always! 😃💕 Thanks, my friend… I’m so happy to know you enjoy and truly understand this space I’ve created!

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