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.
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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.
39 thoughts on “Candle On The Water”
WOW! Fantastic details, and so realistic!
Thanks so much, Deborah! 😃💕 Glad you liked this!
There’s some impressive technical drawing in there as well as lovely painting. I can’t believe you’ve only seen one lighthouse! I guess because I hail from an island nation – and a peninsula at that – for me lighthouses were so commonplace that I can’t imagine not seeing them more. I love American lighthouses so now that I live in the US I have to be careful not to develop an obsession with them. This summer I saw my first ever Great Lakes lighthouses which was pretty cool. Fingers crossed you get to see more lighthouses in your future. Maybe you can fly to them on your pet dragon.
Thanks, Laura! 😃💕 oooooooohhhh yes!! hehe! If I ever get my own dragon, I’ll be visiting more lighthouses all the time! They’re so cool… something magical about them. I think if I saw them all the time I would be obsessed! Lol
HOLY SHMOLY detail Charlie O! Wowza! Absolutely amazing doodlewash!!! But once again – I want to tell you – as beautiful an artist as you are – your words….your stories….. well – you know….. they melt my heart. <3
Awww… thanks, Jodi! 😃💕 Even when I’m rambling on about imaginary dragons? hehe Glad you liked this one… wasn’t sure it was reading as anything people would recognize! But love playing with faked in details! hehe
You gotta write a book, Charlie – Candle of My Mind, Illuminating the Dark One Doodlewash at a Time – complete with illustrations and commentary about all the things that impress you. And us.
The very first lighthouses were probably tall poles with flames at the top and they likely burned down frequently, so we have none left. Had no spiral staircases, anyway.
What? No spiral staircases? I’m out then! Lol They’re my favorite! And that’s so sweet of you to say, Sharon. 😃💕 I would like to write a book of some kind one day. Not entirely sure what it should be yet though.
Wowzers! Charlie, great detail.
Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕
wonderful illustration and great storytelling Charlie…. any book forthcoming? 🙂
Thanks, Debi! 😃💕 hehe… It’s lovely people are asking about a book. I’d love to make one, but not sure when I’ll have the time and still thinking about what it should be!
WOWZA!! Amazing Charlie has done it again!! 🌟😄🎨👍 Your details in your painting are fantastic! I have difficulty believing this was done quickly… 😉 Enjoyed your writing today too, friend! 💕😊
Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 Hehe… don’t look too closely… it’s rather “faked in” on the details. Big shout out and thanks to my Urban Sketching friends for tricks and tips on fast sketching. 😉 The watercolors make it seem more finished. And so glad you liked the post as well! Thanks!
Yikes I’m blown away with fantastic details and just the originality of doing the light instead of the lighthouse. Awesome, Charlie. Just awesome.
Thanks, Teri! 😃💕 I wasn’t even trying to be original as I truly wanted to paint a lighthouse exterior when I wrote this prompt. But I get super easily distracted and well… had to see what was inside! hehe
Great detail Charlie. I have never seen the movie you speak of but I have seen a few lighthouses. FYI…..There is a little red one at the foot of the George Washington bridge on the New York side.
You never know when this bit of trivia will come in handy.
Thanks, Bill! 😃 Awesome! I think I’ve seen pictures, but never visited it. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m in New York.
I need to watch this film…the new one that is, I did see a trailer looks cute. I must say your painting has a slight steampunk feel to it, mechanical detail brilliantly achieved as always ❤️
Thanks so much, Rebecca!😃💕 hehe… yeah… I was thinking the same thing on the steampunk front. Let me know if you see the new movie! Curious to know what you thought about it!
I will do 😀
That looks incredibly complicated! I can’t believe you’ve only ever seen one lighthouse! You must be a long way from the sea………
I am!! Totally landlocked in the middle of the United States. No need for a lighthouse tower… just weather towers to watch for tornadoes. Hehe
most just appreciate the memories means having a good chilhood.
Memories of childhood are definitely one of the best things in life! 😃👍🏻
Thanks so much! 😃
I’m always amazed at how you can render such complexity. Excellent art!
A dragon would definitely be cool. Well a friendly one, anyway…(K)
Thanks so much, Kerfe!! 😃💕 I’m so glad you like it… I keep thinking I’m going to go a looser, but I can’t stop scribbling in all the details! 😊hehe And yes to only friendly dragons…. I couldn’t handle the other kind! lol
You’ve done it again. Your paintings so often bring wonderful thoughts and memories to my mind….. climbing many many steps for the rewards of a close-up at such a lens and the 360 view of beauty for miles….. especially on a Fall day. Charlie, some day I hope you can visit us on the East Coast for such rewards….. and bring extra sketchbooks.
Thanks so much!! 😃💕 I’m so glad you liked this one. I wasn’t sure it it would read as anything at all… it’s such a rather obscure view. And yes!! I would love to visit!! That would be lovely! With a proper stack of sketchbooks, of course! hehe
Beautiful painting :-)! Such a cool subject and you illustrated it so well! Captivating story too – your train of thought made me laugh and so interesting that you associate lighthouses with Pete’s Dragon. I don’t think I watched Pete’s Dragon. But I did enjoy watching How to Train Your Dragon recently.
Thanks so much, Myriam! 😃💕 How to Train Your Dragon is awesome too!! I loved both movies….hehe… being the big kid that I am. You should definitely watch the old Pete’s Dragon some time. It’s a trip! lol
Love it! Lighthouses are a great passion of mine Charlie. I’m lucky enough to live by the sea and I see the outside of lighthouses often, but I love this detail of the lantern light, the important bit!
Thanks so much, Phil! 😃 So happy you liked this one! And so lucky you get to see them every day! Sometimes I wish I didn’t live so landlocked!!
Interesting painting – I didn’t know what was inside the lens, although I’v visited many lighthouses and love them.
yeah, thought I’d try an unusual perspective on this one!
Great detail, love it!
I’ll leave here two magic words in hopes that more searches find their way here: lamp changer.
Thanks so much, Pablo! 😃💕