Candy Canes

Since I don’t have much time to steal for painting while visiting my family, I decided to kick off the month with a quick experiment on toned paper. A doodle with black and white pens and a wash of red and Payne’s Gray watercolor. It was super fun to try something a little different and it’s been a super fun and relaxing time so far here in Texas. Right now, Philippe is trying to put together the insidious puzzle my mother had in the garage. It’s a waterfall, which sounds lovely as a photo, but when split into tiny pieces, it all just looks the same with a diabolical pure white center. A descent into madness that I had to take a break from for a moment. I’ve already made a mental note to head to Walmart tomorrow in search of a more colorful holiday puzzle.

Each year, it seems like the Christmas tree in the corner at my mom’s house gets a bit smaller. This is not a side effect of things seeming larger when you’re younger, but a side effect of not wanting to mess with a large tree as she gets older. This year’s tree is the smallest one yet. While, it’s every bit as tall as the previous trees, it’s lacks any girth. I kind of miss the festive feel of the larger tree. But, instead of thinking of it as the world’s skinniest Christmas tree, I instead imagine it as the world’s largest scrub brush, cleverly repurposed for the holidays. Adorned with lights and ornaments, it’s still a lovely sight.

There’s one of those tapestries on the wall, the kind with little lights that appear when you remember what precise area to press. Well, at least, it’s what we all thought it was. Five of us were clamoring around it for 15 minutes, pressing every inch in hopes to find the button when my mother finally walked in and said, “I couldn’t find the one that lights up.” But even with a little less lights and a lot less tree, it’s still a festive time. There will still be wine to pour when we head over to my sister’s house shortly, with great food, and if we’re lucky, even a few candy canes.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Da Vinci Red and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in a Stillman & Birn Nova Series Sketchbook.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 1 - Candy Canes - Doodlewash
Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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, contact me!

  1. a.filmer 12 months ago

    I like the toned paper. it’s a nice contrast to the white of the candy cane. It’s especially nice that the candy is still wrapped in cellophane — you are the King of Shiny — a skill I’d like to learn. Have a great weekend with your mother.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Ann! 😃💕 yeah shiny is even more fun on toned paper! Hehe

  2. June Hadaway 12 months ago

    Oh that shine again. The cellophane wrapper is perfect. Glad you and Philippe are having fun. Enjoy your family to the fullest. Liife is short.

  3. Deissy Kussoy-MacDonald 12 months ago

    I really enjoyed your story, especially 2nd line on 2nd paragraph about the tree getting smaller. It made me giggle! It feels somehow dry but funny at the same time, hope you know what I mean.
    Anyway enjoy your time with family! 🎄😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Hehe! So happy you liked that bit! Thanks so much, Deissy! 😃💕

  4. Sandra Strait 12 months ago

    You should try doing one of the 3D puzzles – you’d appreciate your waterfall more. I can just see all of you standing around that tapestry trying to light it up. How long do you think you would have tried? Love your candy cane. The beige-toned paper is awesome.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Lol.. we probably would have tried another 15 minutes… it’s cool! Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕

  5. Pamela Smith 12 months ago

    Love the wrapping

  6. Sharon Nolfi 12 months ago

    Yay! When i see candy canes, I know Christmas is coming. I can relate to your reaction to your mom’s shrinking Christmas tree. It was the same for my mom as she aged. All the more reason to hug her close while you can!

  7. Vicki Rowley 12 months ago

    Super! Made me want a candy cane!

  8. Amit Paul 12 months ago

    Shine wrapping and 3d effect, it’s all amazing! 😃

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 12 months ago

    What a hilarious story about the tapestry that doesn’t light up – made me laugh out loud. Your candy cane is authentic, I can see the transparent cellophane around it – well done!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Hehe! Glad you enjoyed that… it was so funny when my mother walked in to rescue us! Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕

  10. Cellophane wrapping that you painted is excellent, Charlie! You have a very good sense for painting glass, cellophane, transparent materials. How about painting silver in watercolor? Perhaps one of the next painting challenges could be about various materials: stone, silver, gold, water, air, plastic, etc. It’s just an idea 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Violeta! 😃💕Oh wow! Cool idea! That would be so fun!!

  11. memadtwo 12 months ago

    My family always does puzzles too. And I love your candy cane! (K)

  12. Jacob 12 months ago

    How great and suitably fresh it looks on the new paper! Now we know that Father Christmas is on his way 😉 How is the waterfall puzzle coming along? Have you hurled it across the room yet? 😛 That does sounds beyond cruel!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jacob! 😃💕 Actually managed to finish it, but irritated the whole time! Lol

  13. Mary McDonough 12 months ago

    Loved your post, Charlie. The skinny tree made me smile and brought back many good memories. The toned paper for your Doodlewash makes me want to go and get some and try that out. Have a wonderful visit with your mom. I don’t think she needs the lights in the tapestry, my guess is her children are the lights in her life. Enjoy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Awww thanks so much, Mary!! 😃💕 What a sweet thing to say!

  14. Jill Gustavis 12 months ago

    It’s lovely, looks like it’s just sitting there on the paper. 🙂

  15. Jennifer McLean 12 months ago

    YAY, you tried the toned paper. Love your candy cane. I haven’t even thought of trying, it looks HARD to get the stripes right. Looks YUMMY.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      I thought I commented, but it didn’t show up! hehe… YES! Toned paper is SO fun and seriously addictive!! I want to try more! Thanks, Jennifer! 😃💕

  16. Laura Hale 12 months ago

    Wow, you even nailed the wrapper! Awesome candy cane and I had to chuckle picturing a small group poking at the tapestry. Have a great time with your family.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      hehe… thanks so much, Laura!! It was a wonderful time! 😃💕

  17. Rebecca Tromel 12 months ago

    Charles Wysocki has the greatest puzzles. I usually buy from Amazon.

  18. Thomas Blanchard 12 months ago

    Good to hear you are enjoying your visit. Love the toned book with your candy cane! 🎄

  19. Susan Cuss 12 months ago

    Great shine on your candy cane. Sweet!

  20. Kati Brooke 12 months ago

    I love the candy cane being on toned paper! It looks so shiny.

  21. Delores Azary 12 months ago

    The candy cane really pops on the tonal paper!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks, Delores! 😃💕 Yeah, toned paper was so much fun! Love it!

  22. Sandra Gilbert 12 months ago

    That is so funny that you all were trying to get the tapestry to light up. Sounds like something that would happen at my mom’s house.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      hehe… it was hilarious… my mom just told us very casually as well. I don’t think she realized we’d spent 15 minutes trying to find how to activate it! LOL 😃

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