Though I’m still simply popping in and out with my posts these days, a prompt of “Penguin” was too fun to pass up! So I made a quick little doodle of a penguin having a bit of fun in the snow. It’s actually been quite cold here, but there hasn’t been much snow this season. Indeed, I was just so happy to see the sun finally make an appearance today after several overcast days that made everything feel a bit dull and drab. I spend most of my time indoors at home these days, but looking outside and seeing a sunny day always makes me smile. When I was a kid, there was often a blue sky that appeared after the snow. The sun would glint across everything making it look like a blanket of diamonds. I remember being so excited for the next day after a snowfall so I could grab my sled and go racing down a hill. These days, I sort of worry I might break something important, but back then, I had no fears at all!
I’ve been diligently working on illustrating a new book that I wrote, and it’s been a bit daunting. Yet, each time I feel like I’m losing ground, my inner child pops up and reminds me that it’s all about the journey. It made me think of those trips to our local sledding hill when I was a child. We would sail down the hill screaming with glee while quite literally trying to reach the bottom. As an adult, the journey always seems to be focused on improvement and trying to better myself. To keep climbing those hills, however steep they may be. But climbing the hill wasn’t the fun part of sledding. It was just what you had to do in order to try again. So, that’s what I’m focusing on now. I’m pleased by each epiphany and bit of improvement that I see, but then I just grab my sled and sail back to the bottom again, laughing all the way. I start over and take another run at things to see if, just maybe, that next way might be a bit more fun.
I’m currently practicing characters that are more abstracted and simplified, and feel like they’re part of a family. Doing so is actually not as simple as it looks, but it really is super fun! This little penguin is in the current style I’m working on, but he’s not part of any of the stories yet. While it was really fun to sketch things in a realistic way previously, creating a little character from scratch has been even more satisfying. It’s fun to imagine all of the adventures they might enjoy, even if those stories are never written. And my inner child is having a blast. He really doesn’t seem to mind when I accidentally make a character look cross-eyed or if the proportions on the next are completely jacked up. In fact, I can just hear him giggling. And then I giggle as well. Sometimes, I’ve laughed out loud when something ends up looking bizarre, if not perfectly unappealing. Yet each time I sail down the hill, I learn something new. Then I slowly climb and claw my way back up and go for another ride. I’m sure I’ll get there one day, but right now, I’m just enjoying that wonderful and whimsical escape that comes from having a bit of winter fun!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Orange, Vermilion, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, 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? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!