500 Days of Doodlewashing!

Day 15 - #WorldWatercolorGroup National Bundt Cake Day watercolor How to Make a Daily Painting Habit

So it seems fitting that today is Bundt Cake Day as, personally, it’s the perfect day to celebrate with cake. I’ve just hit a major milestone here on Doodlewash. Since I started last year, I’ve been painting, sketching, and blogging stories for 500 consecutive days! I didn’t really set out to do this, even considered taking breaks along the way, but then changed my mind. But, my doodlewashing addiction kept pulling me back in. And I really couldn’t have done it without all of you out there, showing up to comment, like and generally acknowledge my work as I’ve gone along. The community of artists we’ve created together is my favorite part, and continues to inspire me to keep right on painting each and every day. I thought a good way to observe this day might be to share with you some of the things I’ve learned along the way for anyone else who wants to form a daily painting habit. So I’ve shared what I’ve learned in the rest of this post.

How To Form A Daily Painting Habit

Find A Little Time Each Day – I set aside an hour a day for my painting, and when I’m super lucky, another 15-20 minutes to write a blog post. Most of the time, however, it all has to be done in just one little hour. But, even if you only have 30 minutes a day, set it aside and make something! The point is finding a little time that you can regularly commit to painting.

Protect Your Painting Time – This one is toughest. I am fierce about having my time to paint and will turn down social plans in order to make sure it happens. For example, I paint after work each day, so I strictly turn down happy hour requests and convert these to lunches instead. Painting actually is my “happy hour” so that time is precious and I protect it!

Choose A Format That Works For You – Since I’m a hobbyist and only have a little hour each day to paint and write a blog post, I usually stay inside my sketchbook. And my sketchbook is rather small. So, this allows me to make something new each and every day. If you have an urge to paint really large, just be sure you also have the urge to work on the same painting for many days in a row. I don’t have the attention span, so I keep things super small and quick! If you’re like me, then this trick works really well!

Share What You Make – Whether it’s a blog or a social media feed, sharing what you make helps create an audience with which to share your work. This helped me to establish a sort of accountability for my painting and made me post more. I chose to post every little thing I made, good and bad, but posting anything as often as you feel comfortable makes a big difference. Art loves an audience and when you find them, it makes your painting habit more meaningful.

Make “DO” Your Only Goal – I’ve always had the same motto at Doodlewash from the beginning – DO! That’s really it. Don’t worry about the outcome or demand certain results from yourself. Just keep on doing it and improvements will come over time automatically. Your personal style will eventually reveal itself. I’m actually not sure that I’ve found mine yet. It just takes time. There will be some days that feel like you’re moving backward. Ignore them. Just DO more!

Quickly writing all of this now, it seems rather simple and not particularly earth-shattering or potentially even useful. But these are the main reasons why I’ve been able to create a lasting daily painting habit. And the best part is that it brings me so much joy! Since I actually created more than one painting in my enthusiasm at the start of this journey, I’ve made well over 500 paintings so far. Sure, there’s that awkward tree that started this whole thing as well as many little hits and misses along the way. Yet, each of these paintings is a step in my journey and so they’re equally special to me. Little lovely steps that have created a lifelong passion for painting. And that’s definitely cause for celebration!

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle:  Perylene Maroon, Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Torquoise and Ultramarine Deep. 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 15 - #WorldWatercolorGroup National Bundt Cake Day watercolor How to Make a Daily Painting Habit
Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Curious to the Max 5 years ago

    500!!!!!!!! Wowza!’ In reality it is NOT a simple thing for most people to actually carry through . . . this would be a different world if it were simple. You done did it! Kudos Charlie ‘O.

    P.S. The only thing missing from the cake are 500 candles.

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Judy!! 😃💕 Hehe… I was actually going to put a set of 500 numbered candles on top, but couldn’t quite get the composition right so I omitted them! 😊

  2. Susan Feniak 5 years ago

    All this food is making my pre holiday diet plans fall apart. Now I want cake. God thing it’s back to veggies tomorrow. Lol

  3. Susan Feniak 5 years ago

    And Congratulations on the 500 days of Doodlewashing Charlie!!

  4. Lisa Bancroft 5 years ago

    Congratulations, Charlie, on this milestone and on creating this great community of artists. Your tips are motivating for me and your blog posts are always full of joy and optimism — something we need more of these days!

  5. circadianreflections 5 years ago

    What an accomplishment! Congratulations Charlie!!

    Your bundt cake is fantastic.I love the dripped icing.

  6. Arvind 5 years ago

    Congratulations! Thanks for inspiring fellow bloggers! The cake looks delicious too

  7. creatingincolors 5 years ago

    Congratulations on your achievement of 500 days! I tremendously enjoy your posts, both your paintings and your writings. Thank you for sharing it all. I’ve learned a lot from you!

  8. Congrats again! 🎉 And thank you for sharing your tips. They really make sense. I’m on a role and this advice will help me keep going.

  9. Dinata Misovec 5 years ago

    500!!!! I may have missed a few. I’m going back to look again. I love them, for their color, bold lines, and simplicity. The subject matter is fun too. I’m looking forward to number 1,000 so keep doodling.

    • Author

      Awww thanks, Dinata! 😃💕 What a wonderful and encouraging comment!! Yes!! I totally hope to make it to 1,000!! Thanks for the motivation!

  10. Patti Willey 5 years ago

    Congratulations on this Memorable Mikestone! No lets all eat cake!

  11. Lisa Cihlar 5 years ago

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. S. Beckett

  12. Laura (PA Pict) 5 years ago

    500! That’s a massive accomplishment. Congratulations! This is the first of me seeing your tree, the one that kick started it all. How apt that it’s a tree since your painting bug has taken root and you’ve spread your branches with your experience. Look how far your abilities have come in 500 paintings! You are an inspiration.

  13. Cathy 5 years ago

    Congrats on the 500 painting/blog posts! I love the casualness of this blog and the accepting way of “whatever you are creating, is enough” feeling that I get from reading your blog. Please keep going!

  14. Jada Kay 5 years ago

    Your paintings and blog posts are the highlights of my inbox. Thank you for all you do!

  15. Sarah 5 years ago

    Happy 500th Day!! Looking forward to the next 500.. that’s a rather scary aspect isn’t it!

    • Author

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 LOL …. yeah…. I’m trying not to think too much about the “next 500” … hehe… but I don’t think I could quit now if I tried so should be a piece of… well… cake! 😉

      • Sarah 5 years ago

        Ha! I see what you did there 😀

  16. davisbrotherlylove 5 years ago

    Congratulations, Charlie!! You certainly have made an impact. Keep up the good work.

    best regards,


  17. Art-Chap-Enjoin 5 years ago

    Congratulations Charlie. Your passion to create everyday has inspired me to do the same!

    • Author

      Thanks, Jonathan! 😃💕 Yay!! I love knowing that… you definitely need to create everyday… your work is awesome!

  18. Snehal Kank 5 years ago

    Congratulations 🍾 Charlie 😀 Respect to your consistency of making daily artwork 🎨 Thanks you for inspiring us on WP!
    This bundt cake is so yummy 😋

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Snehal!! 😃💕 I wish I could have a party with actual cake, but this will have to do! hehe

      • Snehal Kank 5 years ago

        Hehhe That’s awesome idea, having actual party and cake 😉 😀

  19. YesterdayAfter 5 years ago

    Cheers Charlie! And Congratulations for your amazing 500!!! So beautiful, sure you deserve a celebration! 😉 <3
    Your doodlewash days have been greatly inspiring for all of us here nonetheless you created a great community of artists which I am so proud to be part of, and don't forget that this year you accomplished to get "The World Watercolor Month" up running, this year, and for many years to come! 😉 <3 keep up with the happy doodlewashes!

  20. Congratulations Charlie, that really is some achievement. I really don’t know how you do it, being someone who also tries to beat the tiredness to do some drawing each day after the office. And you take the time to answer many of the comments. I raise my hat to you and hope that your stamina sustains you for at least another 500. They’re a wonderful start to my day!

    • Author

      That’s so wonderful to hear! Thanks for that, Michael! 😃💕 Yeah… It’s been a little intense and sometimes tough to keep up, but I keep on trying. And painting each day is such a wonderful thing… I can’t imagine not doing it at this point!

  21. Margriet Bierens 5 years ago

    Gongratulations Charlie and all the Artist who are joining here.
    I have enjoined to watch your Doodlewashes and your stories plus the comments and shall continue this in the future if I can make the time.
    Wish you a happy celebration today!💕

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Margriet! 😃💕 I so appreciate your comments!! They really keep me motivated to keep on painting!!

  22. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 years ago

    What an amazing milestone, Charlie. Shows off your work ethic as well as your talent. I’ve been following you for several months and always look forward to seeing your daily posts. Though I love your art, (and am so impressed by your steady improvement) what impresses me even more are the thoughtful posts that accompany each Doodlewash. It’s been a pleasure not only to see a bit of your world, but also to follow Jessica Seacrest’s reviews and all the guest artists who have been featured on your site.

    Here’s to the next 500! May your paint be worthy of the next part of your journey.

    • Author

      Thanks, Sharon!! 😃💕You’re consistent comments are the highlight of my day! It’s wonderful and motivating to have such enthusiastic support! And so happy you like my posts… some days the writing part is the toughest bit. Thanks for reading what I write!

  23. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 years ago

    And bundt cake – a great excuse for a pound of buttercream frosting – yum!

  24. Laurence 5 years ago

    Congrates Charlie, I admire your tenacity and do think you have your style. Have you a photo reference for each painting ? I know sometimes you have the real thing in front of you, but when you have not, do you paint with your imagination or with a picture? I wish you many more “painting a day” and thank you to share them and for the clear advices you give in your post.

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Laurence! 😃💕 So happy you found your way here and enjoy my little posts! I often use a photo reference, as much of this subject matter for prompts isn’t readily available. I use copyright-free images from searches and sites like Pixabay as well as some of my own reference photos.

  25. Olivia 5 years ago

    Congratulations, Charlie! It’s not that simple at all, and all the little accomplishments on the way are great encouragements. Bravo for all your good work, and thank you for your enthusiasm and your generosity.

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Olivia! 😃💕 Kind words like yours make me want to keep on painting more and more! Thanks for that!

  26. 500!!! I wonder if there is a record for the number of paintings in consecutive days? To many more days, ❤️

    • Author

      hehe… if there is, I’m sure it’s far more than this! But it’s a fun milestone anyway. Thanks so much for your support, Rebecca! 😃💕

  27. John 5 years ago

    Congratulations Charlie – amazing achievement but moreso than the 500 consecutive days (impressive enough!), but for discovering and fueling your passion for painting. Thanks too for being such an inspiration to those of us who follow in your wake!

  28. ejmordasky 5 years ago

    Charlie, just to let you know your work brings much joy to so many….

  29. Dottie Aiken 5 years ago

    Thank you for the motivations you have given me. Each day I look forward to your posts. I love seeing how you present your “little” paintings. Keep going!

  30. Jay Vance 5 years ago

    Congratulations on 500 posts, Charlie!

    “Doing” and then “reflecting” are so important to me, also. When I finish a piece, I always display it (leave it on my desk or some other place where I will see it throughout the day), and I critique myself and find mistakes and make mental notes of possible improvements. Helps me grow.

    Thanks again for having included me as a guest Doodlewasher.

    Love your posts.


    • Author

      Thanks, Jay!! 😃💕 And I’m thrilled that you were a guest. Your work is fantastic! I’ve found that my blog has become a bit of diary and I’m learning so much being able to see what I’ve done over time in one place.

  31. beverlydyer 5 years ago

    I protect my “happy” hour and also turn down social invitations. At first I felt silly about this. But along the way I’ve learned that my daily dose of art is most important to my delicate balance!!

    • Author

      Thanks, Beverly! 😃💕 Glad you agree… art is so important and there are other times available to be social. hehe… I don’t advocate being a shut-in, of course, but it is good to protect your time to create!

  32. Dodie 5 years ago

    Hi Charlie

    You’ve completed 500 paintings.

    You’ve touched hundreds of thousands with your art and that, my friend, is the most important aspect of your work.

    Thank you for your commitment to lead and inspire through this site.

  33. snigdhadotcom 5 years ago

    Congratulations charlie…On completing 500 paintings:)

  34. Lisa Roberge 5 years ago

    Congratulations Charlie!!! Amazing work!

  35. Jacob 5 years ago

    A naughtier cake you will not find! Marvellous. And well done on 500 – that’s an amazing achievement! Just look at what that ‘awkward’ little tree grew into, and the ever-growing forest that has sprung up around it. Look at what you have done!!! Long may the Doodlewash Express chug on.

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Jacob! 😃💕 And I can’t thank you enough for being there from the start and sticking with me on this crazy journey! hehe… it’s been so much fun, and much of it thanks to Citrus Polos and zonkeys!!

      • Jacob 5 years ago

        Didn’t you land yourself in it well and truly by doodlewashing a windmill! 😉

        Ha ha ha, and all the others – dik diks, the legendary Cliche Day (!!), and Rex!!! Such love for Doodlewash Rex. I’ve no doubt there’ll be lots more fun throughout the next five hundred editions! Here’s to ’em! <3

  36. anniedrawsthings 5 years ago

    Aah, congratulations! I am so glad that Doodlewash is here and thriving with so many awesome people. And these tips are great for the daily painting time! Here’s to the next 500 days! Long live DO-ing and DO-odlewash. 🙂

  37. debiriley 5 years ago

    congratulations Charlie! well done! and 500 is so Amazing 🙂 keep on inspiring us

  38. Debra 5 years ago

    Wow! Congratulations! I can’t imagine how excited you must feel! I’m working on my 1st monthly challenge- on day 16 and can’t believe I’m doing it- and all because of YOU!!! Thank you!
    Shine on Charlie O’Shields- shine on!!!!!!

    • Author

      awww that makes me happiest of all, Debra! 😃💕 YAY to day 16… just keep right on DOing it and you’ll be to 500 before you even notice!

  39. Teri C 5 years ago

    Congratulations on this anniversary. Good way to celebrate with this yummy cake.
    And great advice!

  40. jpeters6248 5 years ago

    Wow! Congrats to you! That is an amazing feat. I love all your doodle washes. I look forward to seeing a new one everyday. I am so glad I found your blog. Thank you for bringing a little bit of art into my life each day.

  41. Congrats on your 500 days. Thanks for sharing your story, I need get organised and set an hour aside each day. I think about painting more than I actually sit and do it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 Then you’ll be happy to know I just passed 820 days of daily painting! Proof that it’s totally possible… just set a tiny bit of time aside, and DO!!

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