Under The Sea

Day 1 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Sea Life Clownfish Clown Fish In Sea Anemone

Today is the beginning of a brand new Doodlewash Adventure called Natural Beauty, so we have a little glimpse of sea life to kick things off. More specifically, we have a little clown fish, because after a month of posts about childhood memories, Finding Nemo came to mind. Love that movie, though I was far from still being a child when it came out, of course. I’ve apparently mixed cocktails as I’ve titled the post in a way that makes me want to sing songs from The Little Mermaid. Oh well. One of my personal goals this month is to try more full scenes rather than only single objects, so this marks the first attempt. I truly love exploring details, so I’m experimenting in order to find a happy medium between lots of detail and abstraction that can be done in the precious little time I have to paint and post each day. As for clown fish, I think they’re cute, and I’ve always wanted a large aquarium in my home like you see in the movies, homes of the wealthy, and fine seafood restaurants. I’ve wanted one since I was a kid, but as an adult, the maintenance terrifies me now that I know fish actually do poop where they sleep.

Living in the middle of the United States, oceans and sea life like this only existed for me in aquariums. I still remember the first time I visited an island on a vacation as an adult and snorkeled for the first time. It was an incredible experience, like jumping inside one of the aquariums I grew up seeing. I would stay rather close to shore, because the blackness of the water as it got deeper freaked me out. Seriously, what the hell was down there? At any rate, I wasn’t the brave diver who wanted to find out. I was the wimp who stayed closer to shore and my beer. I just liked being able to see everything around me clearly, enhanced by my trusty googles. I visited over six different beaches on that trip and snorkeled in every location, swearing that I would be doing it any time I could from then on. Well, that was over a decade ago, and that was not only the first, but the last time I’ve ever snorkeled.

I’m not sure what happened over the years, but time now seems like it’s always too short. Then, I was craving adventure and excited to plan trips to various exotic places. Now, I still imagine all those trips in my head, but then get immediately sad that I’d have to leave my dog for that many days. I’ve become a creature of routine, but I rather enjoy it. It makes even the most stressful days more relaxing to know there’s something you can always count on in the evenings. But, I’m determined to plan a little trip of some kind this year, beyond the annual family visits to Texas and Paris. It would be nice for Philippe and I to get away on our own little trip again. And perhaps we could even find ourselves next to an ocean with warm and clear blue green waters. Then, I could see if I still remember how to snorkel as I dive in and experience the incredible world of creatures that one only finds under the sea.

Join us for the February Doodlewash Adventure: Natural Beauty,
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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Red Orange, Cobalt Turquoise, Phtholocyanine Blue, Dioxazine Purple, Phthalo. Green Light, Quinacridone Gold, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 1 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Sea Life Clownfish Clown Fish In Sea Anemone
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!
44 Comments
  1. Teri C 4 months ago

    Great combination of colors!

  2. Jenn 4 months ago

    Oh, he’s a cutie!

  3. Jada Kay 4 months ago

    Love the scene!

  4. Margaret Parker Brown 4 months ago

    I think that I might join you as the spirit moves me on your February Adventure! You take such time and care with your posts, I don’t see how you do it and you are such a good writer. I think that the ocean is near and dear to my heart. I just painted a seascape yesterday, perhaps I’ll finish it up and post it tomorrow….so I can take care of #5 on that list! My dream is to retire to the coast and we are seriously thinking about it. Wonderful post Charlie. I miss taking the time to read your posts, my bad! 😉

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Margaret! 😃💕 I really appreciate it! Would be awesome if you’d jump in on these prompts!! Nature drawings aren’t my usual fare, so it’s a nice challenge for me. And thanks for the lovely compliments on my posts… I wish I had more time for them, but they are more often than not stream of consciousness… hehe… glad it doesn’t seem that way though! Yay! 😉 Would be so wonderful to retire to the coast! Heck… I’m just hoping to be able to retire at all! 😊

  5. D-Cosystem 4 months ago

    ‘I’ve always wanted a large aquarium in my home’ I feel you, same here HAHA
    Thank you for sharing such a good writing.

  6. animals435 4 months ago

    I live close to the Gulf of Mexico, The waters are normally pretty blue green. Beautiful white sands.

    • Author

      Sounds absolutely stunning!! 😃💕 It’s been so long since I visited a beach like that. I need to go again soon!

  7. davisbrotherlylove 4 months ago

    The old “It’s a Wonderful Life” syndrome, Charlie… It is nice to have a comfy place to be though!

  8. Jill Kuhn 4 months ago

    I remember the first time I snorkeled in Kaui, Hawaii! The colors of fish were amazing!! Love the colors in your Doodlewash, Charlie! 🐠💕🐡 I hope you get to take that vacation this year!! 🏝

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 Isn’t snorkeling amazing?? It’s such a magical experience. I can’t believe I never managed to do it again. Hawaii sounds lovely. I’ve never been, but would like to one day!

  9. Syna Flores 4 months ago

    Great Post.

  10. iamjirah 4 months ago

    Such a masterpiece, Sir! As a novice blogger and a frustrated painter, I find inspiration in your posts. 🙂 I love the oceans and its creatures too!

    • Author

      What a wonderfully encouraging comment!! Thanks so much for that!😃💕 (and by the way, if our paintings don’t frustate us at times, we’re probably not doing it right! 😉lol)

  11. Gosh this has grabbed me, first the full colour , I think I have only seen one other of yours as a full page, 😀 But mostly it’s the softness of the reef, I can see it gently swishing from side to side, you have captured it superbly charle. And the little fish is adorable, bravo ❤️

    • Author

      awww thanks so much, Rebecca! 😃💕 Yeah, full scenes are super rare for me. Mainly because I don’t have time to create them and still play with recreating my little details I love. So glad you liked this! That’s very encouraging. Going to try to push myself to do more full scenes this month!

  12. GeorgieMoon 4 months ago

    A great clown fish! I love snorkelling, you should definitely try it again soon!

  13. YesterdayAfter 4 months ago

    Beautiful under the sea scene Charlie! And the clown fish is just adorable! <3 Your stories always bring me a smile I love the sea since I was a child and learned to snorklel quite soon, the Mediterranean sea is not as dark as the ocean in some areas the water is very clear that you can see till deep down. In my 20s I got a scuba diving certification, it was an amazing experience going underwater I still love it but I haven't in a long time, never here in US the ocean is different. I tell you that the scenes I have seen underwater near Capri Island were fantastic! <3

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Carolina! 😃💕 Wow… I can only imagine how incredible those scenes under Capri Island were. That’s awesome that you did scuba diving. I think I’m still too timid to try it. But I’ll definitely give snorkeling another go!

      • YesterdayAfter 4 months ago

        Yes indeed beautiful and I have been indeed brave to take scuba diving and pass all the tests to get certified is not a easy thing and it worth it! But I love snorkeling and like you I would love to go in a tropical island! 😉 <3

  14. memadtwo 4 months ago

    The ocean is always calling, but home is pretty nice too. And when is it exactly when we realize most of those dreams will be just dreams? Not such a bad trade-off spending your time with those you love, though, rather than chasing all the dreams. (K)

    • Author

      So true… home is definitely the real gift. It’s funny to look back on all the times I made promises to myself to return to a certain vacation spot. I never made good on any of them! 😊

  15. mylittleworld.ca 4 months ago

    I love your stories that go along with your doodles!

  16. Jacob 4 months ago

    Those colours are perfect! How I wish the sea around here looked like that. and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such expression on a fish’s face! When I saw the title of your post, it put a rather similar song in my head, the one which comes to me whenever anyone says ‘under the sea’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EilnpJtP7Tw Marvellous!

    • Author

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 Lol… oh yeah, Homer Simpson is the other thing that comes to mind. Love how he just eats everything in sight. Awesome clip!

  17. Tom Merriman 4 months ago

    Nice painting, Charlie… once again! 😀 Being underwater freaks me out, I’ll admit… but being there through film or painting is perfectly fine with me!
    I’m trying my hardest to take part again this month, and so far, I’ve painted twice!!! :D:D

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Tom! 😃💕 Yeah, I get totally freaked out when the water is deep!! Yikes!! But yay to playing along… jump in anytime… the water is fine! 😉👍🏻

  18. hmunro 4 months ago

    I always love your work, Charlie — but the translucent quality of this little gem is especially striking! Beautifully done.

    • Author

      Aww thanks so much, H.! 😃💕 I really appreciate that! Trying to do more full scenes this month, but it’s tough in my short amount of time! hehe… so happy you liked it!

  19. Sharon Nolfi 4 months ago

    This little painting is wonderful! Would you mind sharing how you achieved it? I’m wondering if you did the fish or the background first. I grew up and live in Los Angeles, and the beach has always been a special place to me. I’m like you – I only snorkel in relatively shallow water to avoid being eaten by sea monsters. Love your stories.

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 On this one I started a bit with the background and then moved to the little fish. I don’t have much time, so I sort of work in a circle… hoping one bit dries enough to go back and attack it when I return. If I had the time or truly, patience, I would let all layers dry properly. But I lack both! Lol So I just paint in circles as a compromise since I never have more than an hour to complete these. 😊

  20. cjwaterfield 4 months ago

    Looking forward to seeing what you produce next, and as for travelling, take the dog with you 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah… most travel we do involves planes and he’s too big for a lap. hehe But glad you liked this! Just posted another scene today… fun challenge, but something really new for me.

  21. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 months ago

    You really have forgotten how to snorkel because it doesn’t require diving in at all – otherwise I would never have been able to spend the hours I did as a kid snorkeling in Hawaii. I’m a lousy swimmer, gasping for breath as soon as my feet get wet. I have to hang on to the grab bar in the shower. Anyway, snorkeling involves a quiet little lagoon, shallow water, and a funny tube sticking behind your head so you can say hello to Nemo and his pals while still breathing air. And Nemo would love to have you visit since you painted his portrait so well.

    As for your ambivalent feelings about the fish in the tank and the poop, please remember the reason that some seafood restaurants have aquariums is the second part of that compound word – seaFOOD. At least the salty water cleans the tanks – sort of.

    Thanks for a charming painting of an adorable sea creature. (Clown fish do not make good entrees, far as I know.)

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Actually, we were in a shallow part, but the friends I was with wanted to swim out toward a little island… it was just a ways off shore, but the sea shelf plummeted suddenly and I got freaked out! 😊Lol Yeah, I do actually love seafood as well… hehe… feels a bit hypocritical while snorkeling.

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