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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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Hansa Yellow Medium, Opus (Vivid Pink), Benzimida Orange, Pthalo Blue, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? 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!
Year Of The Mouse Watching Fireworks Night Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail

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36 thoughts on “Lighting Up The Sky

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 😂😂😂 ” 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.

    1. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

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