Our prompt of “Tiger” today, marks the start of a brand new Doodlewash monthly challenge as well as the beginning of the Lunar New Year and the Chinese New Year! It’s also the Year of the Tiger, which is associated with courage and resilience. I wasn’t born during a year of this particular zodiac animal, but I think those qualities offer a wonderful way to think the year ahead. I love the thought of approaching life more boldly and being able to easily recover from even the most challenging situations. Indeed, when you’re making art or writing, it takes a bit of courage to create and share those ideas. The same courage we had when we were very little kids. And, if you’re like me, results often vary. Some days are amazing and others can feel like a total failure. But, in reality, there’s no way to fail when you’re practicing an art. There’s always something new to learn and discover and that always makes me so excited to turn the next page, and sketch some more!

I’ve actually been trying a lot of different approaches to Sketching Stuff lately. I mentioned a while back that I received a 3D Pen from Philippe this past Christmas. I was excited to try it out, but was honestly intimidated as I thought I would make a complete mess of things. Then, this past weekend, I reminded myself that making a mess is precisely what Little Charlie loves to do most! And so, I grabbed the pen and gave it a go!

While the idea of doodling something tangible in mid-air sounds perfectly thrilling, it’s also incredibly challenging. I decided to start with a tree as that was my first watercolor experiment and began doodling one from my imagination. I added a little swing on one of the branches as I always wanted that as a kid and never had one. It’s a bit of a mess, but does rather look like a tree in the end, so I signed it proudly, just like that first tree in watercolor.

Mynt3D Pen Example Charlie O 3D Tree

If you’re interested in the scale of this messy masterpiece, the tree is 4″ (10cm) high. Essentially, you simply feed a plastic string into the top of the pen, set the proper temperature, and press and hold a button as it streams out a plastic goo from the pen’s tip and you start doodling! There were likely other steps one could take, but Little Charlie doesn’t like to read beyond the Quick Start guide of anything before jumping in to play.

It took quite a long time to build up the tree, and my fingers cramped up on a couple of occasions. It was also a bit tedious at times, but always rather therapeutic as I would fall into a zone and just watch the little streams of plastic form and quickly cool. The end result is a hard plastic doodle tree that is sitting proudly in the middle of my dining room table looking like some oddly mangled toy from a thrift shop. It was so much fun! The one I have is the Mynt3D Pen, and I do recommend it if you’d like to try a fun new way to doodle!

What this little experience taught me is really just something I always talk about, but still constantly have to remind myself. Courage is nothing more than having a fear and being just crazy enough to go ahead and face it anyway. And much of the time when you start facing a fear, the first thing you figure out is that there wasn’t much to be afraid of in the first place. And, when I let my Inner Child simply play and have fun, the most extraordinary things happen. Philippe played with me for awhile, but quickly realized it was going to take ages to make something that resembled anything in particular. That’s where the resilience part comes into play. I was just about to quit myself, when I decided to stick around and try to make this tree. While nothing particularly amazing, the fact that it exists is a reminder to always keep moving forward with courage. And so, that’s exactly how I’m going to be spending the months ahead as I celebrate and embody the Year of the Tiger!

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Vermilion, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka 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!
Baby Tiger Year Of The Tiger Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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20 thoughts on “Year Of The Tiger

  1. I’m married to a potter and 3-D is much more his gig than mine😆 I sent you a post from #oldforgecreations because he deserves credit for this quote, “hoping your New Year of the Tiger is more Hobbes than Shere Kahn!” 😆 Charlie you are definitely more Hobbes or T-I-double-ger! Go forth bouncily and have fun!🤗

    1. Thanks so much! 😃💕 Aww that’s a great quote! Yeah, Philippe does 3D computer graphics so he initially took to the pen much more easily. But, in the end, I was the only one crazy enough to actually keep trying to DO it! hehe

  2. Mi amigo, Charlie! Well said and how funny that we have spoken about and admired tigers recently, thanks to Mugdha’s gorgeous photos. (Hi, Mugdha! 💜) Even more so since we have both talked about how this new year just feels so different, so special. Courage and resilience….. sigh. I’ve had many people along this journey, who have called me strong for enduring, for still standing, for still fighting. I don’t always see it that way. As you just said, somedays you feel awesome, but the next day you feel like a failure. Somedays, I feel like a bad ass who could climb Mt. Everest, but, the next day, I feel like the biggest loser, which I know that I am not. BUT, I feel in my heart, that this year is a turning point. It’s the year to leap out of the dumps and background to the main stage and reclaim what is rightfully mine. It’s time to be the star of my own life again. Like a tiger, it’s time to own my own space again. 💜
    Your tree is awesome, Charlie! Fabulous chouce of colors! I am impressed with your swing! Well done, my friend! 😀 Now it’s our turn to get cold. Stay warm, mi amigo!

    1. Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 And yes, this is the year to take those leaps and jump out of the dumps! I have to admit to lacking courage to try things I’ve only dreamed of doing, but this year I hope to make at least some of those things actually happen. And, truly… our Inner Child really is a bad ass! lol When we ignore our adult critic, we’re always ready to climb Everest!

  3. I have one of these pens somewhere. I just found it too painful to use I did discover that if you start with a layer done flat on paper and then build from that it was a little easier to get started. I’ve seen some truly amazing things done with these, so I know you’ll be creating incredible 3D works.

    1. Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Well see… it was pretty painful and just made me want to draw and color something the usual way! lol But yes! I almost included that bit about the flat start… I did create the initial tops of the tree shapes on a flat surface and connected them and built it up from there. Sort of like LEGOs. I doubt I’ll ever have the patience to perfect good technique, but it was super fun to play with!

  4. Hello hello Charlie,

    That tiger cub is super cute but I like your tree more! I don’t know if this will make you feel any better about your tree but your tree looks EXACTLY like a version of creeper-covered trees in Indian jungles. The creepers, called ‘Amarvel’ are sadly parasitic, and when they cover a tree it looks kind of like graceful cascades of spaghetti. Yours is a lovely green & purple version of the same. And the swing gives it such a real feel. I hope you plan to create many more pieces like this in the future. 🙂 Please do!


    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 ooooo that’s so cool that you saw that in the trees! After seeing your awesome tiger photos, I had a jungle mindset, even if I wasn’t looking at one when I made this! Let’s hope this one is free of parasites!! lol It was fun to do this… and I hope to try it again soon. For best results, I think it takes planning, which is NOT my thing at all! hehe… I just like to play!! Much love to you!

    1. Thanks so much! 😃💕 hehe… actually, I wish I had a proper workspace. I’m still at the edge of my kitchen counter until Philippe kicks me out to make dinner! lol But one day, I’ll have a proper desk and I’ll make sure Little Charlie is there to remind me to always be courageous!

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