Lighting Up The Sky

Year Of The Mouse Watching Fireworks Night Watercolor Illustration Painting

For our prompt of “Fireworks” today, I immediately realized I’ve never painted fireworks before so I wasn’t quite sure how to approach things. In truth, it sounded hard so I’d sort of avoided ever doing it. So, I figured it was a good time to play with my masking fluid pens that I purchased recently and still had yet to use. There’s no ink in this one, as I just sketched a mouse silhouette and sparks in the sky with the pens and then grabbed five colors and splashed some wet-in-wet watercolor about before removing the masking fluid. A touch more paint made a mouse happen. It was super quick, other than the long drying time, and super fun and so I will definitely try this again. As for fireworks, I adore them! I love sitting under a canopy of sparks as it always seems so magical. As a kid, I’d beg my parents to get me some each year during the summer months, but they were never quite as grand as the kind I’d see at big celebrations.

Also, for my friends in the United Kingdom, I hope you have a very happy Guy Fawkes Night! I love celebrations in the evening with all of the wonderful lights. And when the sky fills with fireworks my inner child still does backflips. There are normally many firework displays where I live during the summer months, but this year, almost all of them were cancelled due to the pandemic. Sometimes Philippe and I will climb up to our rooftop deck to watch them, but other nights, we just listen to the booms in the distance. There’s one particular show that’s so close to our house that it feels like the fireworks are happening directly over our heads. That’s the one I never want to miss. There’s something mesmerizing about seeing the lights flash and then watching the trailing light fade away. Though by the end, the air is coated in a thick cloud of smoke and everything smells a bit like rotten eggs or as if everyone also celebrated by farting at all once. Well, that’s what my inner child always thinks.

Our dog Phineas doesn’t really care for fireworks very much. He doesn’t mind the lights, but the big booms make him nervous. We assume he must think we’re in the middle of fighting some sort of war or something. He doesn’t quite understand why people would choose to celebrate so loudly. He likes things quiet and demure as he’s quite the little gentleman. Yet, I love the big booms and blasts of color. And, it’s quite intriguing to think that fireworks were invented in China, thousands of years ago, quite by accident. Someone left a few bamboo stalks drying too long over some coal and it exploded with a terribly loud bang. Indeed, many wonderful things in life have come to us via happy accidents. Many of the sketches I make are created in much the same way. I’m sure that planning something is a wonderful approach as well, but I adore simply going for it and seeing what happens next. Today was all a bit rushed, but before I knew it, I suddenly found myself lighting up the sky.

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Year Of The Mouse Watching Fireworks Night Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
36 Comments
  1. writerleenda 3 weeks ago

    Right on Charlie!

  2. Laura Hale 3 weeks ago

    It’s so good to see festive art during stressful times. Thank you Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Aww thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 I hope this brought a smile to your face. We need more smiles.

  3. Karen Fortier 3 weeks ago

    Marvelous Charlie! I had not thought of using masking fluid. I like it! It’s so fun to see how everyone solves the prompts.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, the masking fluid pen was so fun and easy! My two favorite things! hehe

  4. Tess Hamilton 3 weeks ago

    Love it 🙂

  5. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    We have a park close by that does fireworks shows most years, so we can sit in our living room or patio and watch the show. That’s good, because I do like watching them for a while, I hate fighting the traffic to get their and back.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      So true! We would never attend an event to see them… better seen on sidelines or safe at home! 😉

  6. Lisa 3 weeks ago

    Right down the road from our home they do 4th of July fireworks at the campgrounds. We can see them if we go out and get past the big maple in our yard. If the mosquitoes are bad, I’d just as soon skip them! Best I ever saw was in Illinois. They were cancelled because of rain, so when they did set them off a few days later there was a very small crowd and we got to sit right under them. It was so cool!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Yeah, even fireworks aren’t worth risking mosquitos! lol 😉 But glad you got to see a show right underneath. That’s the coolest kind!

  7. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Delightful little mouse, Charlie. Definitely missed seeing all of the fireworks this year. Maybe they will be back next year. Our 3 cats did not miss the fireworks at all…at the first boom they head for cover.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I think the animals were so happy to get a break from all of the fireworks this year!

  8. Fatima Chamkha 3 weeks ago

    Fantastic doodle Charlie

  9. Jacob 3 weeks ago

    The best kind of firework display – pretty, and quiet as the mouse spectator! Not to be a sourpuss, but I’m done with fireworks by 5th November as there have been weeks of them by this point. Organised displays are fine, but random people setting them off in the neighbourhood with an obnoxiously loud boom – and me jumping out of my skin! – wears thin after a while.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Jacob! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s the 4th of July here and I feel the same. We live in the city, and in America, so it’s often difficult to tell which ones are fireworks and which are gunfire. Ugh!

  10. Unique Tales 3 weeks ago

    Another spectacular post. Like the mouse watching the fireworks.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this one!

      • Unique Tales 3 weeks ago

        I like all of them. I love to draw, and paint. Guache is my current favourite media. Like watercolour and Acrylic.

  11. Marisela Delgado 3 weeks ago

    😂😂😂 ” as if everyone celebrated by farting all at once… ” 😂😂😂 Am I the only one with a sick sense of humor? haha haha haha Oh, my goodness, Charlie, I had a great laugh. Thank you!
    I love your painting and I love fireworks! Such a cute mouse 🐁🐁. By the way, isn’t it funny how we think a painted mouse is cute, but real ones upset us and we try to kill? Weird.
    We live just south of downtown, like a 5 minute drive away from The Alamo and The Tower of Americas so we look out of our backdoor at New Year’s Eve and watch the fireworks. The fireworks come out of the Tower so you can see them for miles. They are so beautiful! The neighbors popping fireworks in the street until 4am, not so much.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Hehe! Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 It’s just a child’s humor… things like that make me giggle too! Yeah, people love illustrated mice, but the real ones are not well loved at all. And your fireworks display sounds awesome!

  12. Gary Middleton 3 weeks ago

    That’s brilliant, Charlie. I think from comments on Instagram that a lot of people had never done fireworks. You got it just right.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 For the compliment and the prompt! Yeah… it’s one of those things that seem too difficult to try, so many people avoid it I think. Thanks for getting us all to DO it!

  13. #artistniralimehta 3 weeks ago

    It turned out superb! If I may ask, could you share the name or which masking fluid pens you use. I have tried a local quality and wasn’t very happy with it. Thank you. 😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 The pens I used were Molotow masking fluid pens. A 2mm fine for the fireworks and a 4mm round for the mouse!

  14. Nellie Nellie 3 weeks ago

    Well done Charlie! Out here at the end of the world, we never know what’s going to happen for our big fireworks display on the 4th. Will the skies be ablaze with beauty? Will clouds roll in off the coast? Will they blow up the pier? I grew up in the shadow of the Mouse House and fireworks happened every night at 9pm. Everyone would stand so in front of my house, ooing and awwwing. Unless we were having a block party, fireworks signaled our day was over, and no flying fairy could change the course of events. You could hear bath water running all over the neighborhood!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Nellie! 😃💕 Aww that so cool! What a fun way to end each day! And fun that it brought everyone together!

  15. LoriCtoo 3 weeks ago

    Wow! What a great negetative sketch. I bet it was hard to keep track of where you were doodling with that pen. I know doubt would leave something uncovered. So fun!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Actually the pens are colored masking fluid so it was easier to see where the lines were. Just like drawing… and really fun and easy! They are Molotow masking fluid pens.

  16. Susan Masters 3 weeks ago

    My your little mouse is certainly living the good life! This is a magical image.

  17. Priscilla DeConti 3 weeks ago

    This is spectacular!! your mouse and me would be enthralled by the lovely fireworks exploding before our eyes!! thanks!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 So thrilled you enjoyed this one!

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