When it comes to furry creatures, our prompt for today, I love all kinds. There were actually endless options for this one, up to and including a favorite bearded man in your life, but I chose a furry kitten in the end. This one appears a bit startled to have been born as it was made in an extremely short amount of time. Getting the idea of fur across with watercolor is a strangely difficult act, and in the end, I’m not sure I’ve ever quite figured it out. As many of you know who read my posts, I’m allergic to cats, but that doesn’t stop me from fantasizing about having one as I think they’re rather cute. They’ve got that aloof nature mixed with an odd desire to be loved that my own dog Phineas seems to share. So perhaps, I ended up with a cat after all. And if you’ve been painting along with me daily this month for World Watercolor Month, then we just have a week left to go! Let’s keep going and DO this! My secret to daily painting is to simply show up and post whatever happens that day. Yeah, it’s not really more complex than that. I don’t judge, or wait a day in hopes of having something better occur on paper. I just post my little doodlewash and happily move right along. To me, even a startled kitten is a rather wonderful outcome for the day.
When I was a kid, people would often have a sign in their yard displaying, “FREE Kittens.” This was a side effect of having a female cat that wasn’t spayed and a friendly un-neutered male cat who recently dropped by for a visit. I would plead with my mother to let me take one home, as they were free after all, so the decision was basically already made in my mind. What I didn’t realize then, that my mother already knew perfectly well, was that taking care of a kitten is a rather difficult and arduous task. They are, after all, still babies, and despite all the fur, require similar constant attention. I had no idea at the time that my own high-maintenance behavior as a baby was the cause of her hesitation. She’d basically learned that newly born living things, while wonderful in many ways, are best enjoyed in small doses. I, on the other hand, had no such life lesson so I was perfectly distraught that I couldn’t take one of those kittens home with me. I was, of course, placated with hamsters and Sea Monkeys, but it always felt like a bit of a consolation prize.
Whenever I think back to those times when I wanted something and couldn’t have it, it makes me grateful for all of the things I have actually managed to acquire in life. Like good friends and an insatiable desire to make a little doodlewash each day. I always connect with that little child who wanted things simply because they were there for the taking. Life is a wonderful event where opportunities appear around every corner. Not every one is something we should pursue, of course, but sometimes, it’s fun to throw caution to the wind and simply try something new! All of those years of learning about what we should and shouldn’t do, can often stop us from taking that next step. While I certainly think it’s good to learn from past mistakes, I think it’s equally good to stop and assess what we consider an actual mistake is in the first place. Some things we do in life are just practice. Never a mistake, but simply a logical next step in a beautiful process. And so today, you’ll find me happily painting a little kitten that I never had, and knowing that one day, who knows, I might still enjoy the company of one of these wonderful furry creatures.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Turquoise, Opus (Vivid Pink), 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? Click Here!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!