Our prompt of “Tiger” today, marks the start of a brand new Doodlewash monthly challenge as well as the beginning of the Lunar New Year and the Chinese New Year! It’s also the Year of the Tiger, which is associated with courage and resilience. I wasn’t born during a year of this particular zodiac animal, but I think those qualities offer a wonderful way to think the year ahead. I love the thought of approaching life more boldly and being able to easily recover from even the most challenging situations. Indeed, when you’re making art or writing, it takes a bit of courage to create and share those ideas. The same courage we had when we were very little kids. And, if you’re like me, results often vary. Some days are amazing and others can feel like a total failure. But, in reality, there’s no way to fail when you’re practicing an art. There’s always something new to learn and discover and that always makes me so excited to turn the next page, and sketch some more!
I’ve actually been trying a lot of different approaches to Sketching Stuff lately. I mentioned a while back that I received a 3D Pen from Philippe this past Christmas. I was excited to try it out, but was honestly intimidated as I thought I would make a complete mess of things. Then, this past weekend, I reminded myself that making a mess is precisely what Little Charlie loves to do most! And so, I grabbed the pen and gave it a go!
While the idea of doodling something tangible in mid-air sounds perfectly thrilling, it’s also incredibly challenging. I decided to start with a tree as that was my first watercolor experiment and began doodling one from my imagination. I added a little swing on one of the branches as I always wanted that as a kid and never had one. It’s a bit of a mess, but does rather look like a tree in the end, so I signed it proudly, just like that first tree in watercolor.
If you’re interested in the scale of this messy masterpiece, the tree is 4″ (10cm) high. Essentially, you simply feed a plastic string into the top of the pen, set the proper temperature, and press and hold a button as it streams out a plastic goo from the pen’s tip and you start doodling! There were likely other steps one could take, but Little Charlie doesn’t like to read beyond the Quick Start guide of anything before jumping in to play.
It took quite a long time to build up the tree, and my fingers cramped up on a couple of occasions. It was also a bit tedious at times, but always rather therapeutic as I would fall into a zone and just watch the little streams of plastic form and quickly cool. The end result is a hard plastic doodle tree that is sitting proudly in the middle of my dining room table looking like some oddly mangled toy from a thrift shop. It was so much fun! The one I have is the Mynt3D Pen, and I do recommend it if you’d like to try a fun new way to doodle!
What this little experience taught me is really just something I always talk about, but still constantly have to remind myself. Courage is nothing more than having a fear and being just crazy enough to go ahead and face it anyway. And much of the time when you start facing a fear, the first thing you figure out is that there wasn’t much to be afraid of in the first place. And, when I let my Inner Child simply play and have fun, the most extraordinary things happen. Philippe played with me for awhile, but quickly realized it was going to take ages to make something that resembled anything in particular. That’s where the resilience part comes into play. I was just about to quit myself, when I decided to stick around and try to make this tree. While nothing particularly amazing, the fact that it exists is a reminder to always keep moving forward with courage. And so, that’s exactly how I’m going to be spending the months ahead as I celebrate and embody the Year of the Tiger!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Vermilion, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with black 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!