Growing Up Courageous

Day 30 - Lion Cub Watercolor Courage - Doodlewash

Today is the final day of this month’s Doodlewash adventure and it’s been a lovely and unexpected journey. I hope you’ll join me for next month’s Holiday Fun adventure as we celebrate all of the lovely icons of the season. This is the time of year when my inner child goes completely nuts and takes over, so I’m excited for the days ahead. And as I thought about this month’s final prompt of courage, my mind went to lions. I’ve sketched a little lion cub, because unlike lions, we humans often start out brave at this tender age. As the years go by, we learn how to fear things, but during those early years we were all rather fearless. Though certainly I always recommend harnessing your inner child for the delight and fun of it all, I have to admit that the courage bit is probably the best side effect of all. Without it, I simply wouldn’t have been able to show up each and every day to illustrate and write something. The very act of doing so is something my adult mind would tell me is ridiculous, bordering on impossible. But that’s only fear talking. The idea that not everything I post will be perfect, so I should only post things as they are fully developed. My child, however, screams with delight and urges me to post whatever happened that day. He’s a full-grown lion, that little kid. Full of bravery I can only hope to remember. But I’m glad he’s with me, cheering me on.

There’s a point in life when our fears take over. Where it becomes a real and tangible thing. This is usually the time when we’ve begun to learn our lessons from all of those “awful” past mistakes. But, it’s extremely difficult to know when something is truly a mistake. Perhaps it was just a bit of bad timing, and not really a bad idea at all. That’s where my inner child is extremely helpful. Rather than abandon every little thing that doesn’t work out as intended, he just shrugs and tries it a slightly different way. That slight shift in thinking turns out to be a rather breakthrough solution. Something my silly adult mind couldn’t possibly have imagined properly. I can barely count the number of times my grown up mind shouts at me, “but that’s the same thing! You’re doing it again! It won’t work! You know that!” And then, very thankfully, my littler version of me pipes in with a giggle and says, “it’s totally different! You changed something!” That little change was seemingly small and insignificant, but to those child’s eyes it was something sparkling, new and magical.

Sure, as kids we are afraid of things. There’s a fear of the dark or monsters waiting in our closets. But, those are all external fears. We’re not afraid to take a crayon and draw and color something. Despite all of the monsters that might be lurking around us, we’re quite confident we can create art. That we can make something pretty that people around us will think is wonderful. That lack of those internal fears makes little kids among the most courageous beings of all. So, that’s why I always tell people to simply “DO!” and not worry so much about the outcome. It’s a way to tap into that feeling we simply grew out of at some point. The good news is that it’s still there, like a dwindling fire that just needs a bit of air to blaze once more. And unlike lions, we don’t grown into our courage, we just spend a lifetime trying to hold onto it. Approaching each new challenge with the eyes of a child is no simple task indeed, but it really is the only way we will ever genuinely find ourselves growing up courageous.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Photo Reference: William WarbyLamy 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!
Day 30 - Lion Cub Watercolor Courage Sketchbook - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!

17 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 1 week ago

    Your lion cub is wonderful – he looks ready to take on the world. I love the mingling colors in his fur.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… I was watching a trailer for the new Lion King movie when I got inspired. And lion cubs are just the cutest!

  2. smzang 1 week ago

    Awww what a precious little lion cub. His stance is so right. It gives him just the perfect vulnerability and bravado. Poised to pounce or beg to be petted, immediately
    on first glance he appears to be alive and interactive. He completely captures the heart.

    I adore all your wisdoms but today’s just might be my favorite of all:

    Charlie says, “…like a dwindling fire that just needs a bit of air to blaze once more. And unlike lions, we don’t grown into our courage, we just spend a lifetime trying to hold onto it.

    A huge two thumbs up.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Aww thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Seriously, you always manage to make me feel like a writer. And for that, I will always be immensely grateful. I know I can sketch a thing or two, but writing is something I always thought I was a bit deficient at doing. It’s wonderful to know you enjoy my words! ❤️

  3. Sandra Strait 1 week ago

    Your lion cub is adorable. This would have been the nostalgic prompt for me as I have fond (and some not so fond) memories of raising lions. On the theme of courage (kind of), once when we had a lion cub that was about six months old, so about the size of a small Labrador, a door-to-door salesman came a’knocking.. Boots jumped up on the screen door, and thinking nothing about it, Mom said “Wait just a minute while I put the lion in the bedroom.” She came back about two minutes later and the salesman was gone, gone, gone. She looked up and down the street and not a sign of him to be seen. Simpler times, when a lion in the house was enough to scare someone into running away.

    • LoriCtoo 1 week ago

      Oh my gosh! What a cute story.

    • Lisa 1 week ago

      I love this story ! And that you raised lions! Reminds me of the time I was hitchhiking across England and was picked up by a retired Barnum and Baley circus lion tamer. What are the odds.😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      I SO adore and envy your childhood, Sandra! 😃💕 How amazing to have a zookeeper parent! No wonder you draw animals with so much love and emotion. It’s definitely a gift! And that line you mother uttered is the BEST line EVER! lol

  4. Lisa 1 week ago

    Courage is a slippery beast. I thought it was courageous of me to fly halfway across the country, then drive from Seattle to a small town in the far south western corner of the state for a job interview. I was 26. Yet when people tell me I’m brave dealing with MS, I brush it off. I have no choice in the matter with MS. The trip and job interview across the country was something I didn’t have to do. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Excellent advice my wise friend! 😃💕 Yeah, those moments when we had a choice are the ones that seem to require courage. When we don’t, it’s just character that makes us shine. 😉

  5. SnehLata Maheshwari 1 week ago

    Adorable cub of lion. U have done nicely. He is enchanting beauty of the jungle.
    Thanks so much lie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Yeah, I adore lion cubs. I think they’re such beautiful creatures!

  6. Anita Sinha 2 days ago

    Cute and nice doodlewash! So true…I have also felt the same doubts before posting my studies of flowers, insects, animals, birds,etc..But then because of drawing daily I have learnt to draw and paint directly with brush..which is so satisfying…Thanks to your doodlewash family! People are so nice here…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 days ago

      That’s so lovely to hear, Anita! Thrilled you’re enjoying it here. 😃💕 Yeah, daily practice is amazing. The results are always worth it!

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