Although I nearly did a doodlewash of Lovebirds in honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided instead on a lion. It occurred to me that not everyone who wants to be is actually in a relationship, so this day can often be a unwelcome reminder of what’s missing. I figured the king of the jungle was something everyone can appreciate regardless of their current romantic situation. For those of you still longing for Valentine’s Day imagery, I invite you to simply focus on the pink nose as it does rather resemble a heart.
This is a rather young lion with a lighter mane. The darker the mane, the older the lion, which is sadly, exactly the opposite in humans. African lions are the most social of all the big cats and live in prides. Though the females do most of the hunting, the male still gets to eat first, which is hardly shocking but still terribly unfair. The heaviest lion on record weighed in at an incredible 825 pounds (375 kg) which still pales in comparison to the heaviest human who squashed the scales at a grotesquely bloated 1400 pounds (635 kg).
A lion’s mating ritual is rather grueling and takes place over 5 days during which they mate every 15 minutes. This basically means that if the lion has the stamina to last the entire time, they can mate over 250 times in less than a week. An exhausting thought, I’m sure, to human couples who are feeling lucky to simply have their ritual Valentine’s Day mating. Odd mating habits aside, the lion has always been a symbol of strength and courage, so however you spend this Valentine’s Day, I hope you’re doing what you love most, and most of all, doing it with the heart of lion.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Azo Orange, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Pyrrol Red, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal