Wise Eyes

Owl Eyes Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Owl” today, I was running really far behind on things and had almost no time at all to make a sketch. But owls are rather fascinating and fun creatures to create so I jumped in to give one a try. Some days, this is a really cool thing, because I rather liked the outcome of my fast little 30 minute sketch. It’s a lot looser than the ones I tend to overwork because I have a few extra minutes to fuss over things. Give me those minutes and I’ll take them, but sometimes just quickly doodling and going for it yields something rather interesting as well. And if you also love to splash watercolor paint around, I hope you’re ready for World Watercolor Month in July! It’s super easy, as you just add the hashtag #WorldWatercolorMonth when you post any art featuring watercolors and/or gouache during the entire month of July! This is a chance to bring the entire world together to paint beauty, color, and hope. Let’s make a positive difference in the world with our art and inspire each other along the way!

I have to admit that I’m rather exhausted today. My schedule was a bit too booked for one person to complete, yet I managed to get almost everything done. I was a flurry of motion this afternoon trying to take calls and get all of my day job work done and then even a faster flurry in the evening trying to complete everything else. What made me giggle was that my dog Phineas was just standing nearby and watching me. He seemed to be contemplating me and wondering, “why all the fuss?” Then he’d just yawn as though that level of activity was exhausting him as well. This made my heart smile. He’s got a point. There’s only so much we can do in a day and much of the time we can just hope for the best. Whether it’s working on way too many deadlines at once or trying create a little piece of art in just a few precious minutes. Where I might have felt stress, Phineas helped me remember that life is best lived one step at a time.

Indeed, I’ve mentioned before that Phineas doesn’t really like owls. Tonight, Philippe wasn’t around when I finished, so I showed my doodlewash to Phineas as a first audience. He flinched, but I had to assume it meant that it was just a good likeness. Or, at least that’s what I want to believe. Despite feeling a touch tired, I’m in a really fabulous mood. And for this, I have making art to credit. Taking just a few moments to stop listening to the world and worrying about the world to simply stare at it. To take a moment to contemplate what actually is rather than worry about what might happen next. That’s the most amazingly therapeutic thing indeed. We’re living through very troubled times, but each time I look at the world with an artist’s eye, I can still find the beauty there. There’s hope in every piece of nature and every sparkle of our best human natures. It can be difficult to see if we think too much. But, if we just allow our hearts to guide us, we’ll always see the world with wise eyes.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink  in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click Here!
Owl Eyes Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Karen Fortier 2 years ago

    Your owl is Fantastic Charlie! I love it when quick works come together and there is no time to overwork it! I have a few recent pictures that feel very good to me but are very different from what my audience expects and I’m good with that.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, I think quick works among my personal favorites! Always something lively and cool there!

  2. Sandra Strait 2 years ago

    I don’t know how you do all you do and work a day job as well! To top it off, you stay sane while doing it. You’re an amazing person, Charlie – don’t ever forget it!

  3. Priscilla DeConti 2 years ago

    For a quickie this is wonderful!!! I agree with what Sandra said…you are amazing and also you seem very kind…and generous…thank you! And I am looking forward to Watercolor month and the wonderful prompts from Angela. It will be fun!😁😁

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 I think if you make art everyday, it’s rather impossible to be unkind. And yay for World Watercolor Month!! Angela’s prompts are fantastic… I can’t wait!

  4. Zertab Quaderi 2 years ago

    Awesome owl!

    • Mugdha 2 years ago

      Hello Charlie,

      I completely agree with Ms. Sandra & Ms. Priscilla! Your owl is very beautiful and Im always amazed when you make something so thorough even when its what you call a “quick sketch”. Your post reminded me of something the tribals in Indian jungles say… “Think less, talk less, worry less, see & listen more – that’s what the animals, birds, insects and trees do”.


      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

        Thanks, Mugdha! 😃💕 Oh I love that quote… indeed, I think that’s the true secret. Every time I just doodle and let things happen, I love the result. When I fuss over things and take extra time, I’m never quite as pleased.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕

  5. Lisa 2 years ago

    Owls are such interesting creatures. They live in the woods around us, yet I’ve never seen one here. I hear them once in a while though. Once when I was much younger I went out owling with a few friends. It was January, and the middle of the night. We played a tape of owl calls while standing in three feet of snow in the woods. Obviously the owls had much more sense than us, and never called back.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Oh wow! I love that you went owling in the middle of a snowy night! Yeah, but I guess owls are wise after all… they caught onto you! hehe 😃💕

  6. Paul Ponnion 2 years ago

    Very beautiful. Those eyes are truly alive.

  7. Gary Middleton 2 years ago

    This is fantastic ,Charlie. Much more than a doodle. I went for any early morning walk in the woods once. For some reason, lots of tawny owls were twit twoowing, it was like a scene from a creepy film.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Oh wow… that sounds like a creepy scene indeed, but also really cool!

  8. Sharon Nolfi 2 years ago

    Beautiful owl eyes! I agree that nature is a relief from troubled times. Yesterday we discovered a mourning dove nesting in a crevice formed by some detail on our house. We have an eye level view from an upstairs window, 2 feet from the nest! Really looking forward to the eggs hatching and watching the little ones for the brief period they’ll remain in the nest. This is the second time we’ve had birds nest in that spot.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Oh wow!! So cool you’ll have little ones soon in that nest. That will be so fun to watch!

  9. heila 2 years ago


  10. Loan Anh Pham 2 years ago

    Beautifully done, Charlie 🥰

  11. Fatima Chamkha 2 years ago

    Beautiful portrait of an owl Charlie!

  12. LoriCtoo 2 years ago

    This is ridiculous! Ridiculous wonderful! I can’t believe you just whipped this up. So many colors, so many details! amazing! Just reading about your day go me tired. Lol It’s over, time to move to another and hoping it is a bit quieter for you!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Aww thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one! Yeah, my days get a bit tiring heading into World Watercolor Month, but it’s SO much FUN! hehe And I realized I’ve developed intuition when it comes to plopping around color quickly. But I’m not always confident in using it. 😊

  13. memadtwo 2 years ago

    I love your owl–magnificent, as all of them are. (K)

  14. Mary Roff 2 years ago

    Beautiful owl, Charlie. We used to have a couple of Barred Owls in the neighborhood that seemed to talk to each other every night. I loved falling asleep to the sound of their conversation; such a soothing sound. Love our little Screech Owls and their wonderful voices too. Hope you have a smoother day today!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Aww I love the idea of falling to sleep along with the conversation of owls!

  15. Linda Calverley 2 years ago

    I love your owl and all the beautiful colours you have used.

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