Two Minutes in KC

The sketch and doodlewash above were each created in two minutes for a total of four minutes. It’s a closeup view of Webster House (which I previously sketched in full here), so not something new for our tour, but something new that I just had to try as I practice my loose sketching. I didn’t have much time today and was at first worried that I would miss my daily doodlewash for the first time ever.

I was brushing my teeth this morning, which hopefully doesn’t come as a shock to anyone, and suddenly became aware of something. Philippe had bought me an electric toothbrush because the dentist told us it was better and he’s better at listening to authority figures than I am (that’s not what I suddenly became aware of… just some background first).

It came with a little digital timer that you set for 2 minutes, and every 30 seconds it notifies you to switch to a different quadrant of your mouth. I wanted a brightly colored brush that played a song for two minutes, but Philippe said no. Not because they were meant for children, but because he knew I would only get bored with the song and stop using it properly.

Anyway, I noticed that during the brushing and waiting for the two minutes to end (so the little smiley face icon would appear which actually is kind of cool! Thanks Philippe!), I still got bored. It felt like an eternity. Like a 30-minute commercial or an extended trailer where you feel liked you’ve just watched the whole movie, so why bother going now?

Two minutes of doing something I’m not particularly found of felt endless, yet I often feel like I don’t have any time to sketch, which is something I absolutely love! So I wondered what would happen if I started my little dental timer and tried a sketch. After all, everyone has 2 minutes in the day to spare, and I just experienced an excruciatingly long 2 minutes making myself presentable. So I pocketed the timer and headed off to work to give it a go on my lunch break.

Two Minute SketchSo was 2 minutes enough time? Not quite (for me anyway). I didn’t have enough time to create a doodlewash, although I did manage to complete a sketch while looking out my office window and attempt a couple hurried brush strokes. But it was more than enough time to get me started. Once you start something, you always find more time than you thought you had. So this becomes more of a 2-minute trick to make you DO what you think you don’t have time to do. So it works!

Two Minute DoodlewashAfter the 2-minute sketch I set the timer again to attempt a 2-minute doodlewash, and realized that it was possible. Maybe not my best work, but I was able to make something in under 5 minutes! Don’t get me wrong… the pressure was intense and each time the timer went off I not only jumped, but I am quite sure I peed a little. But I proved to myself that no matter what’s happening in the day, there’s always time to make a doodlewash!

I’d recommend trying this little Doodlewash Dash any time you want to discover those “extra minutes” in your day. They are always there… and those 2 minutes will magically give you two more… and two more after that! Always just two minutes away from your next doodlewash and a smiley face (and a really scary alarm… I also recommend you pee first).

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)
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!
35 Comments
  1. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    I could listen to you tell your funny stories all day long! The timer thing is something the teacher made us do in the one and only high school art class I took. It was great…really pushed you to get to the heart of the piece or a reasonable gestalt. 🙂 I love your explanation of how to do it way more though! And look what a little masterpiece you created!

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks Teresa! 😃❤️Not sure if it’s a little masterpiece but it’s definitely a success! I didn’t think I could do it yet! But this was fun to try…not sure I’ll be doing it regularly though.😳

      • Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

        It’s a good exercise, especially when you’re short on time, but yeah, wouldn’t want to do it all the time. It’s good to intersperse timed sketches with ones you can take your time with. 🙂

      • Author

        I like taking my time….hehe…definitely my preference. But this showed me just how easy it is to steal some time whenever I want!

  2. Damita M-S 2 years ago

    I’m glad you mentioned the word “loose” sketching. My sketches are too literal if that makes sense. I need to be more loose and just get the figure I try to make it exact which makes my sketches too large and the perspective is always off.

    Thanks.

    • Author

      Try the timer! It surprised me how much I just let go and started to sketch! There’s also single line sketching, which this isn’t, but is another great exercise to loosen up! 😃

  3. Jodi 2 years ago

    Such a great little story teller. 📖 Love how you tied in into that awesome little 2 min sketch and wash. Bravo !!!👏

    • Author

      Thanks Jodi!! 😃When the sketch gets less interesting, the stories come out! Lol 😉

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        haha! Then seems like a win/win for all of us – either great art – or great stories – or both! 🙂

  4. Jacob 2 years ago

    Hilarious!

    While in sixth form college, we did a whole unit on expressive sketching, from circa 20 minutes down to 10 seconds (!), blind, non-dominant hand, and goodness knows what else – there were loads. I offended many, many classmates with my ‘expressive’ portraits. One great one though was where you paired up and had to describe a photograph to the other for them to create, without them seeing it… interesting results cropped up! Perhaps you could try something like that somewhere along the line.

    I was wailing and peeing with two hours the other day Charlie, so I think you did a good job with two minutes!

    • Author

      Whoa…one moment… I’m now picturing you in your hipster beard and man bun having a two hour pee. 😳 Impressive and disconcerting all at once! Well done friend!! And yes!! Someone else mentioned that exercise recently (the drawing from a described portrait, no the wailing and peeling), and I really want to try that! It sounds fun!! And frightening as I’ve never drawn without some sort of visual reference yet. 😳Might be scary, and we’ve established what happens next.

      • Jacob 2 years ago

        Quite a harrowing image you have of me there, Charlie – I hope it doesn’t damage you too much…

        …could you imagine, though? It’d be most disconcerting to be on the loo for two hours.

        So yeah, I actually looked into this. Google claims the world record for longest urination is 508 seconds.

        Ah, yes, you definitely should – it’s not too scary! It did take a bit of getting used to, but it was so entertaining and some really interesting interpretations came of it. I’d love to see what you do with it!

      • Author

        I might try that one day! The drawing from a photo description that is. I’m not going to be attempting to beat any world records soon. (Yikes! 8.5 minutes is impressive!)

  5. kirkistan 2 years ago

    I remember brushing my teeth once. I enjoyed it! Great sketch and, again, excellent commentary. Write more! Sketch more!

  6. Kari 2 years ago

    I love reading your stories! My electric brush has a feature so that every thirty seconds, it hesitates so I know when to change quadrants..

    Love your 4-minute doodlewash! It’s amazing what you can do in such a short time!

    • Author

      Thanks Kari!! I never thought I would use an electric brush, the first time I tried it just tickled and felt weird. Then Philippe threw away all my regular brushes and made me use it, so I didn’t have a choice. Well to be fair, I had a choice, but the alternative would have made me rather lonely. Glad you liked the quick sketch!! ❤️😃

  7. memadtwo 2 years ago

    Amazing the elasticity of time. Your funny stories always contain gems of wisdom. (K.)

    • Author

      Thanks Kerfe!! 😊Glad you see something smart in them…I’m never sure. I tend to ramble. But I do think that time has a way of creating itself when we are lost in our passions! ❤️😃

  8. Snehal Kank 2 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiration Charlie! I liked the background description and the quick sketch 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks Snehal! Definitely no something to do all the time, but fun when you want to try something different. I felt like I needed to mix things up a bit. Hehe 😉

  9. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    You have the greatest ideas…and such amusing stories. Am still giggling. ;D

  10. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    Thanks for making me laugh out loud Charlie! I want the electric toothbrush that plays a song! Mine is really boring – no music or timer. 🎶 Great idea to start with 2 minutes! It helps me when my time is somewhat limited to create art because I can’t procrastinate. 😊🎨💜

    • Author

      Nope! No excuses now! Hehe 💜😃 And you should really try the toothbrush that plays music!! Then tell Philippe how awesome it is!! Lol

  11. ann christina 2 years ago

    This is funny, loved reading it! 😊 And great work, can´t believe you made it in 4 minutes…

    • Author

      Thanks Ann! I can’t believe I did either!! Lol… won’t be doing it often, but it’s a great way to get started! 😉

  12. amaryllislog 2 years ago

    Yikes, I’m feeling stressed, I only have two minutes! I don’t think I can do it…yes I can brush my teeth but come up with an image that looks like something recognizable…?!

  13. LOVE LOVE LOVE oh Charlie. You are a gem. Hilarious and talented. What a combo. Lucky Philippe! Woo I think I may have got it right that time! Wonderful. And this is so key. Everyone has a few minutes. Well done, friend!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Laura!! 😃❤️❤️You’ve got me blushing again. You’re really sweet my friend. And yes! That was right on the name, but it’s cute when you call him P so feel free to still use that. Glad you liked the post! It was super fun to do…you should try it! 😉

      • I’d like to! But not with buildings though, since they are a big challenge for me. Maybe with a leaf! 😀

      • Author

        Hehe…a leave it is then! Try it! 😃(See how I nice I’m becoming in that I didn’t challenge you to a building then?! Lol)

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