Those Unexpected Moments

Beet Red Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash

We’ve come to the end of another month, which means in some parts of the world the June challenge has already begun. For our final May prompt of “Beet Red” I opted to simply sketch some beets, but the meaning of the phrase is to be red in the face after being thoroughly embarrassed by something. When I was younger, this happened a lot. And, it was mostly because I was shy in large groups. As I got older, I was able to overcome this a bit, but still prefer small groups and one-on-one conversations. It’s why I like to make these posts. Though many of you out there might be reading this right now, in this very moment, it’s just you and me. I like that we get to share this moment each day. Sometimes, you might comment, or perhaps you haven’t left a comment yet. Maybe we’ve yet to be introduced (if that’s the case, please drop me a comment and say hello!). Showing up to reveal myself and my art each day has been quite an interesting journey. It’s one that I doubted I could have had to courage to embark upon when I was younger. So, thank you for encouraging me along the way!

What’s been an absolute joy is seeing others just beginning their own art journey. With the publication of my Sketching Stuff Activity Book and companion Facebook Group, I’ve been getting to see people at all stages. And, I have to say that people who are just starting to draw or explore watercolor for the first time, inspire me so much! They remind me of why I started doing this in the first place and I get to relive that wonderful thrill of feeling absolutely shocked that something I made that day actually looked like that something I was trying to make! Today, instead, I’ll often find myself discouraged at times or yelling at my hand to stop being so darn untalented and get back in the game. Or, as I run into full on writer’s block, telling my brain to turn on again and make something happen for goodness’ sake! Then, as I see the joy emanating from people making those earliest discoveries for the first time, I’m happily reminded that these are new problems I’ve just made up for myself. And I’m equally assured that the fix is extremely easy. These are just worries that come from charging forward, while the real solution always comes from looking backward.

When I find myself trying to be “better” than I was the day before, I instead, find an empty page in my sketchbook and just start scribbling. I challenge myself to make a cartoon of an animal and not something realistic in my normal style, or, gasp, even draw a face! I just make myself try something new, and in the process, remind myself there’s always something new to try. That takes me back to that euphoric feeling I had at the very beginning. Of this most recent art journey to be sure, but even further back than that, to when I was a child, just playing with crayons. This is how I’ve managed to make a doodlewash each and every day and, after June’s art challenge, I’ll have made a sketch each consecutive day for 4 full years! Yep, that’s my 1,460 day project proving anything is possible. And we all know I’ll be there every day for World Watercolor Month in July, so let’s go ahead and make that 1,491. Wait, just 9 away from 1,500 consecutive days? That really sounds like some sort of record. So, why stop now? Why stop ever? If you want to build a daily art habit, I hope you’ll jump in and DO it! The secret is finding your glee and remembering that moment so you can always go back there when you feel like you want to pause or stop.  And, the best part is, there will always be those most singularly amazing things you make along the way. The more we DO, the more we get to enjoy that supreme thrill that only comes with those unexpected moments.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. 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!
Day 31 - Beet Red Watercolor Illustration_IG
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
22 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 6 months ago

    I just bought a cheap set of gouache paints to use on black paper, and I used them for a Fun & Easy tutorial. Of course, I tried to use them like watercolor and they didn’t cooperate, and a couple of the colors weren’t what I expected them to be. I almost decided not to use the painting, and then I thought – why shouldn’t I use it? It isn’t bad – just not up to par, and it does show what I was trying to show. Why shouldn’t I let my readers know that everything I do isn’t exactly what I’m aiming for. I’m always telling them not to worry about it, so I should take my own advice,lol. It’s the DOing and the practice and the joy of creating that matter.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Yes to that, Sandra! 😃💕I find myself in that situation much of the time! hehe… Thankfully, I only have a little slice of time to make something each day so it’s about 99% whatever happens, happens! lol

  2. Karen Fortier 6 months ago

    Looks good enough to eat.

  3. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 months ago

    This is one gorgeous beet, Charlie, whether or not it’s a reflection of your inner mood expressing itself outwardly. Congrats on not letting little things deter you and always moving forward

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕Yeah, I’ve learned shrug off the little things quite well. Still dealing with all the BIG things I put myself in the center of, but that’s all of the fun! 😉

  4. Lisa 6 months ago

    Today I had a young freshman to be student over for a watercolor lesson. We painted a birch woods after studying the birch trees in my front yard. She made her most beautiful painting and was thrilled! When her mom came to pick her up she couldn’t wait to show her what she had made. I was thrilled to see her so satisfied. My painting turned out too and I’m sure someone will love it and give it a good home.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      That’s so awesome to hear, Lisa! 😃💕Yeah, seeing someone make something they love is the coolest experience ever!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 6 months ago

    That’s one beautiful beet! Congrats in advance on 4 years!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I know I’ll make it past four… I’m curious to know if I’ll make it to 5! 😉

  6. LoriCtoo 6 months ago

    What a wonderful beet. It is quite pretty, even if it’s a beet. Yuck. 1500 days!!! You can do that! I am glad you show up each day, it truly inspires me to keep on sketching!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕hehe… yeah beets are an acquired taste indeed! But showing up to sketch is for everyone! I hope in my own small way I can prove that it’s not so impossible! 😉

  7. Sandra Gilbert 6 months ago

    I love the just DO it attitude you have Charlie! It is infectious and I caught the bug 2 years ago (July 1st will be 2 years exactly) and still show up every day!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      YAY!!!! I’m dancing right now!! That’s so awesome, Sandra!! 😃💕 I love it! See? It’s not that difficult at all is it? hehe… because it’s just too much FUN!

  8. Robert J. Coleman 6 months ago

    Beautiful beet, love ’em! And so good when they are fresh out of the ground. Here’s hoping that your inspiration continues; it you only have a scribble or a cartoon, slap some color on it – I’m sure it will work! bob.c

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Bob! 😃💕 Yeah, I love beets…. didn’t as a kid, but adore them as an adult! And slapping color on cartoons is what I do all the time… hehe… I’m just a coloring book artist in the end, so I think I can manage to keep this going! 😉

  9. Mary Roff 6 months ago

    Lovely beet and thanks for always showing up…you are an inspiration!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 And you inspire me all of the time with your daily offerings my friend! Never stop!!

  10. Barefoot Grandma 6 months ago

    Such a happy feeling beetroot, Charlie. 🙂

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