Although I nearly did a doodlewash of Lovebirds in honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided instead on a lion. It occurred to me that not everyone who wants to be is actually in a relationship, so this day can often be a unwelcome reminder of what’s missing. I figured the king of the jungle was something everyone can appreciate regardless of their current romantic situation. For those of you still longing for Valentine’s Day imagery, I invite you to simply focus on the pink nose as it does rather resemble a heart.

This is a rather young lion with a lighter mane. The darker the mane, the older the lion, which is sadly, exactly the opposite in humans. African lions are the most social of all the big cats and live in prides. Though the females do most of the hunting, the male still gets to eat first, which is hardly shocking but still terribly unfair. The heaviest lion on record weighed in at an incredible 825 pounds (375 kg) which still pales in comparison to the heaviest human who squashed the scales at a grotesquely bloated 1400 pounds (635 kg).

A lion’s mating ritual is rather grueling and takes place over 5 days during which they mate every 15 minutes. This basically means that if the lion has the stamina to last the entire time, they can mate over 250 times in less than a week. An exhausting thought, I’m sure, to human couples who are feeling lucky to simply have their ritual Valentine’s Day mating. Odd mating habits aside, the lion has always been a symbol of strength and courage, so however you spend this Valentine’s Day, I hope you’re doing what you love most, and most of all, doing it with the heart of lion.

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Azo Orange, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Pyrrol Red, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal


Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (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!

66 replies on “L is for Lion

  1. Very precious, Charlie! You know how to entice us to go from the wonderful painting until the last word of your great text. And you have empathy, and passion, in between. Thanks so much! Hope you are having a great evening! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We love your doodles 🙂 for themselves and it’s great that you started inserting the coulours you used , for the benefit of other doodlers ❤
        You really don't need to write anything to go with them – they are IT – I think any words that you have the time/and or inspiration to add are a Bonus – the stories , the humour , the trivia are the cherry on a perfectly scrumptious cake 🙂 🙂
        Turtle Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Eeek! You’re spoiling us, Charles – your lion has all the majesty and commands all the awe and respect that a real one would (and should!) I’m digging his hairstyle, too… oh they’re so wonderful. I can’t stop thinking of the Lion King now; I need to see that film again. (yes, *again*! There’s a shocker!)

    You didn’t ask as you were too busy talking about mating, but I presume you’re still open to suggestions for the next one. 😉 M is for Mongoose. Millipede. Magpie. Muntjac. Mockingbird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks Jacob!! Glad you like the hair. A lions mane always reminds me of Fabio Lanzoni (who reminds me of a lion). And I was thinking of the The Lion King when I was doodlewashing this one! Hehe… It’s a great movie… And one that I would be horribly depressed to discover you hadn’t seen! Lol And yeah, I totally forgot to ask for suggestions! So thanks!! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha, wow, now I’ve looked up this chap of which you speak, I can see the similarity! The Lion King is beautiful. I’ve also seen the West End play which was great, but the film is the magic for me. I must make my niece watch it sometime, and try not to cry. I think I did the last time I saw it! 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We went as part of a school trip (we also went to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and We Will Rock You). It was really impressive! And ha, you’re so right! I was most nervous going into watching Frozen with my niece, with all that I’d been told about it; I felt quite proud of myself when I got through the whole thing without a blub.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well Charlie O this might be my new fave! Absolutely breathtaking! And speaking of taking your breath away … WowA on those mating rituals. Thanks for the beautiful art, the opportunity to learn something new everyday, your humor, your kindness, and your charm. YOU Charlie O are checking of the Doodlewash!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww really? Your new fave eh? Cool! Thanks Jodi! 💕😃 Yeah, there’s a reason why “heart of a lion” became a thing and “mate like a lion” never quite took off. And I think autocorrect made me “checking of the Doodlewash”? Hehe you’re too sweet!! 😊❤️❤️😃


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