So I had every intention of painting a quintessential view of a lighthouse and as I was looking through various images of lighthouses my mind kept drifting, as it’s prone to do. All I could think of was Pete’s Dragon. The original, not the remake, as I’ve not seen it. Philippe saw the trailer and said, “hmmm… looks like they kept all of the story, but forgot to add any of the fun.” Then that Helen Reddy song, Candle On The Water, kept running through my head, amazing ear worm that it is, and I couldn’t get it out. All of this lead me to thinking about the “candle” itself inside the lighthouse, so I decided to travel deep inside the Fresnel lens and this doodlewash happened. It’s weirdly complex, sketched quickly, and I’m not sure many could name what it is without a description, but this is apparently what the rather extreme interior of a lighthouse looks like.
The original Pete’s Dragon movie was one of my favorites when I was little. Watching it as an adult, it’s campy and admittedly bizarre, but I still love it. From what I can tell in the current movie they used their advanced CGI skills to make a very furry and realistic looking dragon, but what made the first one so magical was that the dragon was actually a cartoon. The idea that a cartoon character could be your secret best friend is incredibly cool! I’ve often wondered what it would be like to hang out with Bugs Bunny, for instance, who’s another one of my childhood idols. But one thing is true. The very fact that there are so many remakes made of stories I enjoyed in my childhood means I must have had a pretty good childhood.
But since I live in the middle of the United States and have only seen one lighthouse in person, I’ll always think of Pete’s Dragon. Having an imaginary friend as a child is a relatively normal thing, so to see that friend burst colorfully to life is a pretty extraordinary thing. It’s true, I wanted my own dragon to visit me. As a kid, I didn’t even understand what Helen Reddy was babbling on about. I just wanted a dragon. And maybe a lighthouse, as I’ve always fancied spiral staircases. But as I grew older and life started becoming more complex and tiresome, I tended to appreciate that song. She sings, “Don’t give up, you have somewhere to turn” and I could now realize the lighthouse is a metaphor. And we’re all simply on our personal search for our very own Candle On The Water.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Cobalt Teal, Gamboge, Perylene Maroon, Azo Orange, Sap Green, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.
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!