As we end our “Les Petites Choses” Doodlewash Adventure this month, I thought it fitting to include an Etch A Sketch. Not only is it a fun tool for doodling, but it was also created by a French inventor named André Cassagnes. His toy was first unveiled in 1959 at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany. Cassagnes originally called his invention L’Ecran Magique, which translates to “the Magic Screen.”

This was probably one of my favorite toys as a kid and it really did feel like magic. Using just two little white knobs you could make a stroke appear on the screen and doodle a masterpiece. Well, there are people out there who can make those, but I just settled for anything that resembled the thing I had in my head. One knob moved the line vertically and the other horizontally. If you moved them simultaneously you could get it to make curved lines. When you were ready to start again, shaking it erased everything and gave you a fresh blank screen.

I never mastered this toy and my doodles were not very good at all. But it was so much fun to try to get the line to go where I wanted that I didn’t care. I feel the same about doodlewashing. It’s just about trying to get lines to go in the right direction so they make what I see, or a rough equivalent. Today, instead of white knobs, I use my trusty fountain pen and some watercolor, but the concept is the same. The inability to shake my sketchbook in frustration until the page goes blank is probably a blessing in disguise.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. I wasn’t sure where this one was heading at the beginning, but it’s been fun to explore so many little things from the last century that made me smile. I hope many of them have made you smile as well. And I also hope you’ll join me for another ride in February as we start a new Doodlewash Adventure tomorrow!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Quinacridone Gold, and Neutral Tint. 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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64 thoughts on “Etch A Sketch

  1. My brother had one and I liked to play with it. This was a great theme, Charlie. I enjoyed following along. And learning little tidbits of info along with seeing your delightful illustrations. Now you can write about anything and illustrate your stories – no need for stock photography!

  2. I have a love-hate relationship with this thing because I could never get it to work properly either. But unlike with with pencils or paints, I always felt like I could never get it to work the way I wanted it to. That said, it was really fun…in that wholly frustrating way. LOL!

    I have SO enjoyed this month with you and this theme…but then I enjoy all your themes! <3

    See you tomorrow for the new challenge!

  3. I love how your drawings suddenly bring me flashes of childhood memories! My uncle bought me this and I loved him for it, it was magical. You also compose your images beautifully with interesting perspectives and highlights which i really like.

  4. Yay!! Thank you, Charlie! You’ve made my day. I spent so many hours mesmerized by this clever little toy. Even today, with all the screens and electronics out there, the students in our classroom are amazed with them. They think there is something magical about how the lines appear. Such a simple, yet fun concept! I loved your January theme and I can’t wait to see where February leads you.😊

  5. Etch-a-sketch, that’s it, I was useless at it! Thank you Charlie, and what a great end to a fantastic themed month, I think they should be printed and put into a reminiscent book……in ready ness for when the 1970’s bunch need a bit of cheering up down memory lane. Your doodles are far better than photos……I would buy one, in preparation for dementia! Tools like that are so useful, and we need to think of the future generations needs! I would love a book for patients now with 1920’s/1940’s, even 1950’s toys…..not that there was as many iconic toys then. ………what will February’s theme be?

    1. Awww thanks Rebecca!! I’m thrilled you liked this month!! I love toys and so it was super fun. And yeah…I felt like dementia was already setting in some days and I felt really old! Lol I could probably find enough to do a whole year’s worth, but time to move on. I was going to reveal a new theme today, but opted for a day of rest instead. More time to play with my toys. 😊lol

      1. Not ‘make’ the jewellery, Charlie…draw it! I think it would be a huge challenge to get the detail and colouring of gemstones, and I think to doodlewash diamonds would be, well, interesting, to say the least.
        PS: I can no longer view your website on my Windows Phone…something about trying to phish info from my server, meaning you’re not a safe site!! That doesn’t happen often! What have you changed?

    1. They did! It’s ridiculous actually…hehe…I was looking up information on Etch A Sketch and ran across an art page where people created ridiculously complex and amazing sketches. Wouldn’t want to shake it after those! Hehe.. And too funny…I did the same thing. Since I couldn’t actually make a decent sketch, the mechanism was the coolest part! 😊lol

  6. That is by far one of the most vibrant Etch-a-Sketches I have ever seen! I loved them too Charlie and just the fact that you were challenged with a horizontal and vertical line…how to make a diagonal line! Great way to end the month!

  7. What a marvellous way to close the series! I had something resembling one of these – likely a rip-off product, the name of which I’m sure had the word ‘doodle’ in it somewhere come to think of it (sadly no ‘wash’). It never went as I wanted, but it was a lot of fun to play around with. There are some terrific images on Google of what people have created; they certainly put my efforts to shame!

    As always it’s been great fun – so many memories, some new ones on me, and of course Rex <3. Looking forward to the next voyage!

    1. Thanks Jacob!! I can’t believe some of the things people managed to create with this thing. It always perplexed me! Hehe… There was also something called a Skedoodle, but this one was more popular. Glad you enjoyed the memories… And your birthday Rex! 😉 That was all I got you sadly. Hope you had an amazing birthday yesterday my friend!! ❤️

          1. Oh, that would have been insane! But no worries, for I have it saved on my PC 😉 and am thinking of printing it out, having it made into wallpaper, duvet cover, something like that.

  8. I have so enjoyed your doodlewashes for January, Charlie and the memories you shared were often similar to my own experiences. 😊❤️🎨 Love your etch a sketch here! A perfect ending! 🎉 Can’t wait to see what surprises you will have for February. Hehe! 💙💖💕

  9. What the heck? I know I typed a comment last night…did you eat it for a snack, Charlie?! 😀 Well, I’m not going to repeat myself but I do adore your January challenge and your grand finale “le fin” doodlewash! <3

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