Waiting For The Bubble To Pop

Day 7 - Waiting For The Bubble To Pop Boy Blowing Bubbles - #doodlewashApril2018 Doodlewash

When I was a kid, bubble gum, our prompt for today, was a ton of fun! Since I’ve already illustrated bubble gum in packages and even in a vending machine, I opted for a very rare attempt at sketching a human being. Though ordinary gum was lovely, back then, a good piece of bubble gum was really the ultimate joy. It had to be a great brand, of course, capable of producing large and sturdy bubbles. My friends and I used to hold contests to see who could blow the largest bubbles. We’d stand in a little circle and shout, “Go!” and the contest would begin. Of course, this was really only the beginning of the fun. As the bubbles grew and grew in size, expressions of joy turned to mild fear mixed with excitement. Though we wanted our bubbles to grow to gigantic proportions and win the game, we knew that at some point, nearly impossible to anticipate, the bubbles would ultimately pop. All over our faces and hair. In this game, the winner was actually the loser as well. But the hysterical laughter amongst friends really made everyone feel like they’d won in the end. And without keeping score, we’d peel off our bubble faces and have another go.

There are many things in life that feel like this sort of game. Certainly painting with watercolor is similar in many ways. Each splash of paint adds more and more to the page, and there’s so much excitement as the image begins to appear. This, yes, is then mixed with just a tiny bit or something a lot of fear that things will go too far and mess the whole thing up. For me, this is not really scary, but actually exhilarating. Just like when I was hanging out with my friends on the playground blowing bubbles. If everything blows up into a sticky mess, then who the heck cares! Just have a good giggle and jump right back in and DO it again! To me, this is what it means to paint like a kid again. I never put pressure on myself to “get it right’ the first time, because it’s only a bit of paper and paint, after all. There’s more where that came from and I can always simply start again. That said, I almost never do. The thought that I “could” try again is enough to remove those silly fears and I end up happily sketching and painting away and then post whatever happened on that first attempt.

I don’t actually take my sketches seriously, I take them gleefully! It’s way more fun that way. And truly, if you’re sketching a Slinky or a boy about to pop a bubble, there’s really no other way approach it. But even if you’re painting a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a stunning landscape, it’s still more fun to lose the stress and just play. The results will always be better in the end when we let ourselves off the hook and just create for the sheer joy of it, no matter what we’re trying to make. Sure, some days, it feels like we made a mess of things, but making messes is part of how we learn. And sometimes, what seems like a mess to us is something other people adore when we show it to them. We’re always our own worst critics, so I’ve learned to just ignore me when I tell myself that something isn’t good enough. It’s always good enough and sometimes rather cool! So I just keep going back for more and more no matter what, just like when I was a kid. Life can be terrifyingly fun while you’re waiting for the bubble to pop.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Opus (Vivid Pink), Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Turqouise, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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 7 - Waiting For The Bubble To Pop Boy Blowing Bubbles - #doodlewashApril2018 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!

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
33 Comments
  1. Pamela Smith 2 weeks ago

    Excellent job….

  2. Jacob 2 weeks ago

    This is another thing I mostly missed out on, though I do like bubblegum, I hasten to add. I was just terrible at blowing bubbles with the stuff, and my expression pretty well matched your doodlewash (he’s great!)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      hehe… yeah, I wasn’t the best bubble blower in the world either, but it was sure fun trying!! lol 😃💕

  3. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    Fabulous Doodlewash!!! Love the look on his face.

  4. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    Great job on the human – the expression is perfect! I remember playing the same game with similar hysterical laughter.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Glad you liked my human! A very rare thing for me!

  5. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    Oh! That expression! Fabulous! You’ve perfectly captured the fear/joy of blowing bubbles and of painting with watercolor.

  6. Dawn Giddings 2 weeks ago

    Great expression!! This is awesome!

  7. Fanna 2 weeks ago

    Happy Saturday, Charlie!

    Just read your Aug 11 post about school supplies and that gorgeous green Lamy pen you purchased in Paris. Have you used it yet?

    I enjoyed today’s post, reminds me of back to school, and my tiny neighborhood grocer who had a huge selection of penny candy, many were bubble gum brands. The one with the comic inside…Bazooka? Anyway, fun thoughts today! Thank you for all you do for everyone on Doodlewash.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Fanna! 😃💕 Bazooka and the comics were the BEST! yay! And as for that pen, well… I used it briefly, but since I have three of the same kind, I opted for my earlier special edition in orange to use the most! hehe

  8. Snehlata Maheshwari 2 weeks ago

    Seems a kid lie. Excellent baby.As i never liked b.g. but which u have painted marvlou es.one thing i can confidently say that i have learnt so many things from you.one of do painting. as not a professional n self tought artist .To day u r bellessings pushed me international platform. That i never imagine. thanks a lot for beautiful 🥀 🌼🌸🌼🌷🎇 . N kid lie. thanks

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Snehalata! 😃💕 Aww… I’m so pleased to hear that! That’s so wonderful!!

  9. Terrific human! You really should paint people more often, Charlie, that’s so expressive!

  10. Jui 2 weeks ago

    Wonderful painting!! I love it 🙂

  11. graham mcquade 2 weeks ago

    Lovely, succinct image, Charlie. You should do more figures.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Aww thanks, Graham! 😃💕 I really appreciate that. Humans are not my go-to subject so I’m a little shy about painting them, lacking any sort of practice! Glad you liked this!

  12. Miss Gentileschi 2 weeks ago

    Amazing work, Charlie! You´ve caught all the mixed up emotions so well in this!
    And yes to painting being a bit like those bubble gum days. 🙂 Just ruined a water color of daffodils yesterday – at least in my view, though my friend said it´s not as bad as I think it is! 😀 LOL! Messing it up definitely is part of the process but I could do without! 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 Yay to messing stuff up! LOL And yep, we’re always horrible critics of ourselves though… we mess up a LOT less than we realize. 😉

  13. weisserwatercolours 2 weeks ago

    What fun! I completely share in your remembrances, and really enjoy the artistic depiction! BTW, Charlie….here is a possible artist for your ‘guest artist’ series: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/4267237. Her site is called ‘Red Harp Arts’ and her name is MK Buike, and she does watercolour sketches in the Seattle area — it is very immediate, fresh, on-location art and ticks alot of the boxes you look for in guest artists.
    https://redharparts.wordpress.com/about-me/ That said, it is a suggestion, is all, Charlie. 🙂 Lance

  14. Shar Kennett 2 weeks ago

    This is wonderful, and you can no longer hide behind the remark that you don’t paint people!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Shar! 😃💕 hehe… it’s true that I don’t paint them very often though! This might be my 7th or 8th person ever! lol Glad you liked this!

  15. smzang 2 weeks ago

    again, the eyes have it…
    they speak volumes.
    How many times did my mother ‘soak’ gum from my hair…
    Let me count the ways…
    (mayonnaise, peanut butter, olive oil, etc.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      hahaha! Yep… hair and bubble gum were not great friends… but SOOOOO much fun, so it’s worth it! 😃💕

  16. TinaSei 2 weeks ago

    This facial expression is just amazing. You so captured the excitement and the mixed emotions. Brilliant.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Aww thanks so much! 😃💕 I really appreciate that as I seldom ever paint people. So thrilled you enjoyed this!

  17. June Hadaway 1 week ago

    This is so very cute. I love the expression, the blue eyes and the hair. You did a fabulous job of painting this doodle and bubble. I could feel my lips trying to blow a bubble as I read your story. It was so much fun being a kid.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Aww thanks, June!! 😃💕 I really appreciate that as I am a little shy about painting people. Not my usual subject matter. So happy you liked this!

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