The next stop on our travel art challenge brings us to a prompt of “Safari,” which means an expedition of some sort to view animals in their natural habitat. So, technically, this includes a walk out my front door to enjoy the little rabbits that I’ve seen hopping around. But, since I painted those recently, I opted for a virtual trip to Africa instead in the form of this doodlewash of a leopard. This is the first time I’ve attempted to sketch one of these animals, as the spots seemed unusually challenging. Thankfully, when you’re a scribbler, like me, spots are really not difficult at all and rather fun to make. And though the page of a sketchbook doesn’t really qualify as a natural habitat for a leopard, it was a fun adventure to see one appear there. It’s such a joy to just sit for a moment and make a little sketch of something. With no grand notion of how it should turn out and knowing it’s just a little illustration for my ramble today, it’s always stress-free and relaxing. That said, I do have a secret hope that I’m improving little by little as I discover new things along the way. It’s a joyous journey, and I hope everyone who’s decided to go on the trip with me this month is already having a lovely time indeed!
I’ve actually cited “go on an African safari,” in my little three item bucket list I created last year during the launch of my first Da Vinci Watercolor Trio. The other two items included “publish an illustrated memoir,” which I did already, so yay! And the last one was “learn how to speak French,” which continues to be the most challenging, and will likely be the last item I cross off the list. In truth, I didn’t specify what learning to speak French really meant, but in my heart I know it should read, “learn how to speak French properly so I’m understood and no longer get those sad and confused looks when we visit our family in Paris.” Philippe and I had a video call from Paris today with my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and niece, Alice, who just turned five years old. Alice counted to ten for me in perfect English, with barely any noticeable accent at all, that adorable little showoff. Philippe sang “Joyeux Anniversaire” to her and then I sang “Happy Birthday” in English, which brought huge smiles as it was somehow more exotic. This would be the only circumstance in which this silly little song would ever be viewed in this way, of course.
But, thinking about my little bucket list made me realize I should probably put a bit more effort into those final items waiting there. We never know how much time we have left in this world, so it’s always best to try and DO everything we can, sooner rather than waiting until later. Sure, I tend to attempt more things at once that are truly humanly possible, but even if not everything gets done, many more things DO get done than would have, if I’d not tried at all. Though successes are certainly something to celebrate, I have a very strong fondness for all of my little attempts. Those many times when I rush into something just to see if I can DO it! Sometimes I can, and other times I simply can’t, but that doesn’t stop the thrill that I feel each and every time I try. So, I always encourage others to try as well. Whatever little idea or trip you have burning in your heart, now is definitely the time to make that a reality. There’s really no better time at all. When something inspires us, we should always listen, and though success may or may not be the outcome, we’ll still always find ourselves in that delightfully adventurous state of taking a safari.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy 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!
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in
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!