A Lion’s Pride

Day 24 - Lion Pride Watercolor

Last month, when I was visiting the Paris zoo, I walked around the corner and immediately saw a pride of lions sitting in a little tableau right at the main viewing window. I snapped a photo, as there wasn’t any time to sketch that day so I could doodlewash it later. It was devilishly cold that day, so I was actually happy to keep my gloves on. But, as it turns out, it’s really tough to quickly cram three lions into one little page of a sketchbook, so I had to go with a much more simplified style than my usual fare. There are very few lines, but it bring back that memory of seeing them for the first time there as I thought it magical. I later found out the reason they were sitting like that, practically performing in a stage show, was simply because that rock was heated. There was actually a forth one behind the one in the middle, but I omitted that one being I was running out of time. I secretly adore being rushed for time as I’m forced to figure out how to make something without too much fuss. And I love big cats like these, even though they wouldn’t likely be up for a friendly cuddle and I’ve never been close enough to one to see if I’m also allergic to the larger versions.

The lions were all looking in the same direction, and I couldn’t tell whether something had captured their attention or if they just didn’t want to stare directly at us. Occasionally, one would yawn as if bored, but the effect of seeing all those sharp teeth at once looked a bit foreboding. But, once the mouth closed, they went back to looking like cute giant kitties again. A group of lions is called a pride, most likely because they are associated with being rather regal and grand. The same reason a group of wise owls is referred to as a parliament. I rather love the idea of a group of your closest counterparts referred to as a pride. I think good friends are certainly something that should make one feel proud. And these lions did seem to know they were rather lovely and possessed a quiet confidence. Of course, at that large size and with those teeth, they probably have ever reason to feel that way. Yet, I had to wonder about the times that I felt pride. It got me thinking about the moments in my life where I truly felt proud of something that I did.

As it turns out, I don’t often think about pride and I’m usually just happy or glad that I was able to do some crazy thing I tried. I guess, though, in those moments I am rather proud of myself. When it comes to my daily sketches, there are some that feel like hits and others that feel like misses. The same goes for my little rambles that show up here. But, what I’ve found is that no matter what I’ve made each day, I am rather proud that I’ve managed to make it. It’s a tiny victory, to be sure, but one that makes me feel good. It’s wonderful to delight in something you created. It’s that delight that transmits itself to the people who view what you make. Still, I struggle with confidence much of the time and can worry that what I’m making won’t be particularly interesting to anyone but me. That’s actually never once been true as there’s always someone who likes it, but that doesn’t stop me from questioning myself. That’s why I’m so thankful for the Doodlewash community for sketching along with me and inspiring me through those challenging days. And I hope each of you have felt the same on this art journey. It’s wonderful to know that if we just stick together, we can always experience the joy of a lion’s pride.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!
Lion Pride Watercolor - Doodlewash
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    I love your stylized lions and I ain’t lyin’ about that! There are many sayings about showing up -‘half the battle is showing up’, ’80 percent of success is showing up’ – so you know it has to be true!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕Yep… showing up is the biggest part of any challenge to be sure!

  2. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Beautiful faces on your pride of lions. Probably best that you don’t find out if you are allergic..distance from the big cats is probably advisable :-). And, you’re right about some days being better than others for painting…but no matter the outcome of a painting there is always something to be learned.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 hehe… those faces ended up so tiny in my little sketchbook! Glad you liked them. Yep… I’ll keep a safe distance from lions. And it’s true. I learn something new every single day!

  3. Lisa 3 years ago

    You should be proud! You have created a thing bigger than yourself. Not many people can say that. I was quite incensed when Watercolor Magazine did a piece on World Watercolor Month and didn’t mention you, but that’s proof that you have made something big. The daily doodlewash is just icing on the cake.

    I have a small domestic pride of cats living with me. They are actually called a clowder of cats if memory serves. They can also be a glaring. When they all stare off into space at nothing, (As happens when they aren’t napping.) I would call that a haunting of ghosts! lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Actually, Watercolor Magazine did mention Doodlewash in the first year of World Watercolor Month and then included me in last year’s issue, but most importantly the charitable cause as well. yay! And haha! Love that about your casts. Phineas sometimes stares off like he’s heard something in the house and doesn’t move. It’s creepy!! lol

  4. memadtwo 3 years ago

    The WordPress community comes through when I’m feeling a bit down, whether it’s from their own words and images or comments on mine.
    I do wonder what those lions were looking at…(K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      hehe… I wonder what they’re looking at as well! And yes to that, Kerfe! The WordPress community is a wonderful thing indeed! 😃💕

  5. Snehlata Maheshwari. 3 years ago

    Amazing art.

  6. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    I’m glad to hear the lions had a heated rock – what a nice touch from the zookeepers. Your loose sketch is great!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I thought that was a cool touch. Made it lovely or them and for those of us adoring them!

  7. smzang 3 years ago


    I enjoy your writing and always look forward to settling back with a cup of tea and one of your paintings/articles.
    Have every confidence that you have a wide and appreciative audience. (no I’m not that I wide…I was referring
    to the numbers who follow you!)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 hehe… I think I AM getting wide lately… I need to lay off the cookies! lol I hope people still enjoy these articles. I sometimes feel like I’ll become a doddering old man repeating myself. 😊

      • smzang 3 years ago

        I just can not picture you as doddering. : )

      • smzang 3 years ago

        and for sure your work is always fresh and new!

  8. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    Kudos to you for sketching all 3! I would have stopped at one(probably because I would run out of space lol). We love you and all your ramblings and your wonderful simple sketches. It’s my dose of happiness each day. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… okay… a confession… I did an outline sketch with all three and almost erased it and zoomed in on one instead. But… I decided to go ahead and try it anyway. It was fun!

  9. Jodi 3 years ago

    I’m so proud of you and what you have accomplished <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Jodi! 😃💕Back at you my friend… it’s been wonderful to “grow up” together on this blogging journey! hehe… not really grow up of course as that’s no fun! lol

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