Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of tiny baby chameleon green

A Fragile Baby Chameleon

Wandering down the trail this evening on our #NatureDoodlewash hike, we’ve stumbled across this tiny newborn chameleon. I wasn’t sure what to doodlewash today as I kept changing my mind on what to paint. Then I started thinking about changing and how things change in nature. And then those ideas made me think of chameleons and so that’s why we have one here. That’s really pretty much how my mind works in a nutshell and probably why they keep trying to put me on Adderall. But it’s rather intriguing for a lizard, so I figured it was worthy of a stop to have a look.

Special color pigment cells under the skin called chromatophores allow chameleons to change their skin color. I’d always thought that chameleons simply change color for purposes of camouflage and to thwart predators. But they can also change colors simply to express emotions. For example, they can get darker when they’re angry or simply want to scare someone. When male chameleons are feeling sexy, they’ll sport a light multi-colored pattern to woo the ladies who apparently go gaga for rainbows. And the range of colors changes depending on the species. Some can create combined patterns of pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown, yellow and purple.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have the chameleon’s abilities. Rather than simply frown to let someone know of my displeasure, I could turn a deep maroon and remove all doubt. But if human skin color changed and wasn’t consistent, I imagine we wouldn’t have so many issues of race in the world. Everyone would be considered the same, and judged only on their emotions. Then we’d know to simply avoid anyone who turned the color of hate. Though change is always rather difficult for humans. It might take years to get used to this new skin. Truly understanding the world for the first time, like a fragile baby chameleon.

Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month! 

World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Permanent Green Pale, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Neutral Tint. Sennelier: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

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42 thoughts on “A Fragile Baby Chameleon

  1. Love your little green guy – he reminds me of Gollum from Lord of the Rings – another creature who changed though not for the good.
    First chameleon I ever saw was outside a circus tent – someone was selling them. Poor little guys were linked around their necks to tiny leashes that were pinned to one’s shirt. Odd way to keep a pet. I can’t imagine this would be legal nowadays.
    My granddaughter has a mood ring that changes colors according to her emotional state. She has to check it often to figure out what her mood is at the moment. I keep thinking she should just ask me.

    1. Oh my gosh! I totally thought about Gollum when I doodlewashed this! Lol Philippe said he looked like he was starving. 😊 perhaps that wasn’t the best reference to have in my head. lol oh my gosh! That circus version sounds horrible. Poor little guys. But yeah, moods are actually pretty easy to discern as long as they’re not your own! Hehe

  2. Thought provoking post today, Charlie! The world would be an different place if our skin changed color to those of our emotions. I wonder if it would be a more peaceful place? 😮 I didn’t know that chameleons changed so many colors depending on their specie. 🌈 Your doodlewash is awesome too! 💕🎨

  3. Best line ever…. “Then we’d know to simply avoid anyone who turned the color of hate.”
    Lovely message to contemplate tonight with your amazing doodlewash!
    Thank you Charlie!
    I want to be the color of love and joy and happiness and peace. What color(s) do you think that is?

  4. Charlie, you had me….rofl and nodding my head in vigorous agreement, and then slack jawed. This post Was Totally Brilliant!! really well done, in every aspect. good on you!!! I’ll be rereading this one, several times. 🙂
    People, sadly, have some very weird, attitudes… towards Any Thing, that sets another person Apart, as ‘Different.’
    * we all – need to embrace – “Viva la Difference”!!

  5. “But if human skin color changed and wasn’t consistent, I imagine we wouldn’t have so many issues of race in the world. Everyone would be considered the same, and judged only on their emotions. Then we’d know to simply avoid anyone who turned the color of hate.” <– I LOVE this sentiment and I love your sweet chameleon! <3

  6. So we would become something like mood rings…but I’m in your camp, no to the angry orange man.
    Your chameleon is very charming and a world that loved one and other for all their uniqueness sounds lovely.

  7. Yes. The Zen Art Guru God has struck again with a beautiful post. Oh and so with you on angry and orange guy! Oh Charlie. We were separated at birth. ZAGG…..hmm. Wish it had a nicer ring to it but you are so right on today, my friend. Thank you.

      1. Right? Oh, Charlie. We try and make positive energy as artists, but he scares the ever living H out of me, I have to be honest about it. Parallels to the WWII H come to mind! Remember last summer, he was just a joke. No one ever thought he’d be viable at any level. The mind is continually blown. We make art to keep the good vibes alive and well, and you sure do your part over here daily, Charlie. Thank you.

  8. He’s adorable. How awesome that the colours vary on mood aswell… though, I’ve seen plenty of people turn that deep maroon in my direction actually, so maybe we’re almost there? 😉 I think this chap’s trying to tell us he’s in the mood for some Citrus Polos with that lush colour! 😉

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