Today, for our prompt of “Black And White,” I opted for this tiny little panda. Well, at least it’s tiny for a panda, but still much larger than my dog Phineas. Pandas are the cutest little creatures, but rather tough to sketch. My “blacks,” as ever, are made up of several colors that qualify as “darks” when mixed, at least, and my “whites” are created mostly from this contrast. I’ve honestly no idea what a baby panda thinks when it looks out onto some new and uncharted territory. Though I’m rather curious as to what might be going on in that little panda’s mind. With the way I approach life, I find myself in new and uncharted territory most of the time. I think I must have the same slightly startled, but not at all scared expression of this little panda. It’s a vista that’s more fascinating than anything else. Sure, whenever you attempt something new, there’s a potential for getting it wrong. But, in the moment of creating it, there’s nothing but the sheer exuberance of possibility. I tend to live in this place all of the time. I peer into the future and see glimpses of what I’d like to happen next, but it’s often a bit vague and unclear. Then, I remember that there’s one moment I can always navigate easily. It’s THIS moment. The very one I’m in right now. This blissful moment where, if nothing else, I can make just one new thing happen.
As I continue to sketch stuff each and every day, I’m always thrilled by the experience. Though I must share that some days, like today, I was so insanely busy that I thought I might not show up at all. This has happened to me every month, if not week, since I started sketching and painting daily. It nearly feels like I’m trying to do the impossible by showing up to sketch and post each day. I’m tired, I don’t feel like I’m in the mood, I’m distracted by a million other things, I can’t even remember why I started doing this in the first place! Having been through this silly ritual now for almost four years, I just laugh it off and giggle at myself during these moments. Or, truer yet, my inner child laughs at the ludicrous idea that anything at all could be more important than creating something new. It’s a gift we all have to create new things and one I constantly encourage. There’s a dual reason for this. When we create something new in our sketchbooks, it makes us thoroughly happy. Or, at least it should at all times. Yet, when we create something and share it with the world, it then has the potential for making others happy as well. Even if one person loves what I make each day, I’m thrilled! I made my own humble difference in that one person’s life.
So, you see, the reason you find me showing up with new posts each and every day is not because I think thousands might want to see it. It’s because I know in my heart that at least one person will feel like it’s the very thing they needed to see that day. And that’s the most I can ever hope for in this art journey. Think about it. If you can make even one person smile, isn’t that worth showing up to sketch and color each day? Whether it’s one “Like” or one comment, you made another person happy and enthusiastic enough to share the happiness with you. That’s the true beauty of our Internet world. It has a lot of quirks, and crazy things to offer that make no sense at all, but in spite of that, it can still manage to connect us to each other. You’ve found me and I’ve found you. And I feel so incredibly lucky knowing that. I’m just a guy who likes sketching stuff, and rambles on about things that come to mind in the very moment he posts them, while continuing to adore watercolor. So, it thrills me that you’ve dropped by to see what I created today. Even though I have absolutely no idea what I might create tomorrow, much like this little panda, I optimistically find myself once again, looking into the future.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre,Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen 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!
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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!