For our prompt of “Spooky” today, I drew a little mouse heading home and taking a shortcut through the dark forest. I’ve no idea why these shortcuts in storybooks always seem to be directly through a spooky place that characters would never normally go. And, I can never really draw anything that’s outright scary, so spooky is the best I can do. I’m rather sure this tiny mouse is a bit uncertain of the choice he’s just made, but I think if he stays on the path, then everything will turn out just fine in the end. In my art journey, I’ve often ventured into paths unknown and it can be both spooky and often downright scary as well. Lately, I’ve been doing more narrative illustrations that come mostly from my imagination, which is something I’ve always been scared to try previously. I didn’t want to fail. But, like any good journey, when there’s a touch of adventure involved, that’s precisely when I know that I’m headed in an exciting direction.
As a kid, I would sometimes find myself out late at night and have to walk home alone. Granted, there was much less of a culture of fear back then, but that didn’t stop us kids from trying to spook each other out with stories. During this time of year, we’d really try to spook each other out as we thought it was so funny. Whether it was a ghost story we’d all heard before or something that someone just made up in the moment. Of course, if you were the one leaving to head back home, it was not quite as hilarious. I wasn’t really scared of the dark, and I knew my neighborhood like the back of my hand. But, my imagination would often get the best of me and I’d wonder what that sound was that I just heard, or if that glint of light in the shrubs came from the eyes of a cat or something ghostly. In some ways, I think I actually wanted to see a ghost back then, as it would be something cool to tell my friends later.
There were no ghosts to be found though, and I always made it back home safely. Indeed, throughout my life, I’ve always found out there was nothing to be afraid of only after I faced that fear. Truly, there’s only one way to ever find out. So today, I have to constantly urge myself to try things that spook me out a bit. My initial inclination is to skip an idea and try something easier. I have very little time, after all, and only one little chance to make something each day. But, what I’ve discovered is that some of my favorite doodles over the last couple of months came when I through caution to the wind and tried what was in my imagination. Some turned out better than others, but each gave me just a little more courage to keep right on experimenting. Life can be fun when it’s filled with the familiar, but sometimes, it can be even more fun when you take the spooky path.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, Pthalo Blue, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? 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!