For our Doodlewash prompt of “Forest,” combined with the Inktober prompt of “Overgrown,” we have this fairytale mushroom forest. I felt like doodling mushrooms, so I just made them gigantic as you can see by the Little Charlie whom I added for scale. And though it’s Halloween month and ripe for something spooky, I opted for an impossibly happy forest that welcomes everyone who enters. Of course, most of the mushrooms shown are actually poisonous or psychedelic, since those are the prettiest, and the ones most often found in storybooks. Many people thought Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was on drugs when he wrote that incredible story. Yet, there’s no evidence whatsoever that Carroll was under the influence of mind-altering drugs, unless one counts creativity as one. In truth, when artists and writers simply let their minds wander, they can take us to fantastically unexpected places. Letting my own mind wander today, led me to a completely different style and approach along with a childlike enthusiasm that led to using all 12 colors in my current palette (carefully curated to work well together). I’ve always wanted to travel through a place like this, and luckily, thanks to my own imagination, I can. Whenever I like. I’m not holding back this month as I travel down this road of creativity, and I hope you’re enjoying the ride!
For the sketch on this one, I used bolder lines for a more graphic, coloring book look. I also tried using far less lines than I usually do and simplify things a bit. The scene is entirely made up, composed from my previous practice in sketching mushrooms and a hodgepodge of mushroom references. And I’m rather excited to have created my own unique little world in the process.
As much as I’ve talked about wanting to illustrate a children’s book, I’ve not really tried anything that would qualify for that until this month. The truth is, I was standing at the edge, worried that I wouldn’t be able to DO it properly. Now, I’m deep in the woods of my own imagination and I’ve no clue if I’m doing it properly, but I’m having so much fun that I’m not worried about it at all. That’s the beauty of a journey built on whimsy, there is no right or wrong. It’s just an exploration of thoughts and ideas and traveling down that next road that has the shiniest appeal. So, yes, creativity alone is indeed a mind-altering drug and the only one that I happily endorse.
I’ve been a happy cheerleader when it comes to encouraging others to DO things and try new things, because I know that it’s the best way to excel on this crazy art journey. But, on my own path, I’ve been a bit less experimental. I’ve told you to go for it and DO it, but then I haven’t always done the same myself. This month, I decided to throw caution to the wind and create whatever came to mind, instead of what I thought I could actually do well. And the effect has been transformative for me. I won’t say that I have no fear, as that’s not entirely possible, but I will say that fear no longer stops me from taking that next step. I’m more excited than I’ve ever been to show up and sketch stuff! I never knew what would appear before, but these days, I’ve absolutely no clue whatsoever. Truly, I started with a reference of a fall forest today and then a little voice, no doubt that pesky Little Charlie, demanded overgrown fungus. So, I just followed that voice and for once, I didn’t even pause to question it at all. I’ve no idea now where this journey will take me next, but I can truly and joyfully say that I’m beyond thrilled to be entering the mushroom forest.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Yellow Ochre, Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Vermilion, Terra Cotta, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Cobalt Turquoise, Indigo, Benzimida Orange, Opus (Vivid Pink), and Leaf Green. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) 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!