Urban Nature

Urban Nature

And so begins a brand new journey. Today is the first official day of a new tour! I’ve left France in exchange for a little exploration of the Paris of the Plains, my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. I’m starting with a little doodlewash of KC’s urban nature inspired by a photograph taken by my good friend and original KC Chronicler, Jeromey Bell (follow him on Instagram @the_kansascity_chronicles). His photos of Kansas City are brilliant!

I’m also taking a big flying leap outside my comfort zone by not starting with architecture (though I did consider a portrait to really push the envelope, but that will have to wait a bit as I’m terrified). This is only my second attempt at nature and my first real flower drawing (the previous one was hiding in a Baby Banana Tree). But, as summer comes to a close soon, I wanted to capture something sunny.

I also wanted to move back to light pencil and mostly watercolor for this doodlewash. This time I grabbed only my Quinacridone Gold, Sap Green, French Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, and Neutral Tint (the last is my new M. Graham color, and I’m determined to collect more! Really great paint! I wanted the M. Graham Cobalt Teal, but they were out when I went to the store). The sky would have used Cobalt Teal, but in this one I used Winsor & Newton Cobalt Turquoise with a hit of French Ultramarine Blue to calm it down.

Summers in Kansas City can get really hot and humid, but this year has proven to be much more tolerable. I’m honestly ready for fall, but Philippe and the dog love the sun so I’m not wishing too hard for it yet. I’m hoping to get outside and sketch plein air soon, as there are several places I’d like to show you. Hope you’ll join me for another trip! It’s so much more enjoyable with friends along for the ride!

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in By Charlie
  1. ann christina 7 years ago

    Awww, the flower of the Sunflower State… So nice! I know that this is Kansas and not Missouri – isn´t it strange that Kansas City is located in Missouri and not in KS? Or am I wrong? Anyway, your sunflower is really beautiful!!! There´s so much light in this picture!!! 🌻🌞

    • Author

      Thanks Ann! You’re right…Kansas City’s main urban core is on the Missouri side, although there is a Kansas City, Kansas. But these little flowers cross the line. Nobody told them they couldn’t! Hehe Glad you like it!! Thanks!! 😃

  2. kirkistan 7 years ago

    Very nice. I’m really attracted to the edges of that leaf: white, green and deep green. The sunflower is really good. Good job with the clouds

    • Author

      Thanks!! I wasn’t sure on these clouds as first, even they’re different from what I’ve done. Glad you like the leaves…I just used Sap Green but watered it down to make it really transparent for light green. Wasn’t sure how to simulate the light shining through so tried that. Hehe

  3. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    I love that perspective of looking up at the sunflower which is reaching for the sky!

  4. Damita M-S 7 years ago

    I love your sunflower. It is my favorite flower it represents my businesses brand as well.

    • Author

      Glad you like it Damita!! That’s a great image for a brand!! This sunflower is thereby dedicated to Ujima Magazine! (And it was inspired by a local African American street photographer…not in Austin though)

      • Damita M-S 7 years ago

        Thanks so much!! That makes me happy. Looking forward to more of your work. I’m learning to use watercolor it’s the easiest for me to learn. Thanks again!!

        • Author

          Awesome! And that makes me happy!! So glad to know you’re learning watercolors. When you want to be a guest doodlewash post here, just let me know! 😃👍🏻

  5. Jill Kuhn 7 years ago

    I love sunflowers! I did one in paper collage last year and used a wood burning tool for the seeds in the center. Yours is awesome! May have to try painting one too! 🌻🌻🌻

    • Author

      Thanks Jill! Oh my gosh…that sounds incredibly awesome and super hard! I can only handle a pen or pencil, and a few watercolors! Lol And you should definitely try!!! Would love to see it!

  6. memadtwo 7 years ago

    Really different feel without the ink. I think the clean look complements the subject. Reaching for the sky! (K.)

  7. Jodi 7 years ago


  8. Charlie, you have a wonderful appreciation and affinity for the soft lines subjects. Really love this without the starkness of the pen. Love the sky too and your beautiful color choices. Rock on with your awesome self. 👍👏😊🎨

  9. jmnowak 7 years ago

    Lovely! Lookin’ forward to seeing the wide open spaces and the urban as well. 🙂

  10. Lemon 7 years ago

    Nice blues, and viewpoint here. It’s as if you are a little bug, looking up the sunflower. Nice!

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks!! And everyone gets to be little bugs for a moment?! Awesome!! That’s sooo fun!!!

      • Lemon 7 years ago

        Yes, I’m pretending to be a tiny spider, spinning my web amongst the leaves below. What a view! 😄

        • Author

          Hehe! You make me smile Nancy!! You’d be fun to sketch with! 😃👍🏻

          • Lemon 7 years ago

            Aww, thanks, Charlie! If you’re ever in Charleston…😉

          • Author

            Never been actually! But who knows one day! And if you’re ever in Kansas City… 😉

          • Lemon 7 years ago

            Maybe Hallmark will finally recognize my artistic genius…😅

          • Author

            They definitely should! You’re amazing!

          • Lemon 7 years ago

            Shucks. 🙂

  11. amaryllislog 7 years ago

    This sunflower is so light and airy, I love it! I keep seeing sunflowers on the roadside as I rush to and from work. I keep thinking I should stop and spend more time observing them and ultimately painting them.

    Thank you for sharing this delightful flower, a perfect start to a new visual journey!

    • Author

      Thanks Cathe!! You’re so sweet! And yes…pull off that road and sketch one! Hehe…you should definitely paint one. I’d love to see it!! 😃👍🏻

  12. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Beautiful welcome to the start of a new journey. The lack of ink seems to give it a lighter feel, very upbeat. Love the perspective, gives it a positive feel. Nicely done!

  13. […] was inspired by Charlie O’Sheilds at Doodlewash. He paints everyday (as well as posts everyday) and painted a beautiful sunflower earlier in the […]

  14. Awesome painting! Such bright colors, I love the angle you painted it at!

  15. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    Ah, your sunflower is a welcome bit of spring on a cold winter’s day!

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