Making Spirits Bright!

For our prompt of “Star” today, I sketched a little bear putting a star on a Christmas tree. Philippe and I put up all of our decorations the day after Thanksgiving. It’s always a bit more work than we remember it being, but it’s entirely worth the effort. This is also our pup Elliott’s first Christmas, and so we had to improvise a bit with creative barriers, so he doesn’t disrupt things. To him, it’s just a wonderful stack of sticks, inside the house, so cool! Though, in the evening when he’s finally settled down, he does seem to enjoy the twinkling glow of lights, which have the fabulous side effect of putting him right to sleep. I adore this time of year the most, and have to admit that I can also get a little droopy-eyed when immersed in the sparkling, quiet calm of the season. It’s a beautiful time of year to relax and connect with friends and family. My Inner Child gets super excited, and I’m always filled with a renewed sense of happiness and hope!

I’ve had a very enjoyable year to date, with lots of exciting things happening along the way. By the way, one of those exciting things was a collaboration with Da Vinci Paint Co. and the launch of my Sketching Stuff™ Coloring Set, which includes my special new-to-world color called Charlie O’Blue. I mention it because I used all 12 colors in the set to create this little sketch! As a kid, I would often end up using all of the colors in my box of crayons as playing with color is so much fun. Mostly, I only use a selection of my 12 available colors for my paintings, but it’s extra fun to use them all as they work wonderfully together. And, doing so really does make me feel like a kid again. This time of year gives me even a bit more permission to let my Inner Child play and invent wondrous things from my imagination. For example, I’m imagining gifts under a Christmas tree since Philippe doesn’t let me place them until right before they are opened. I think having them there is part of the exciting anticipation, but he claims that it’s simply spoiling the surprise.

After we finished putting up our decorations and were sitting in our sea of twinkling lights, Philippe and I looked at me and said, “We’re really good at Christmas!” I didn’t have the heart to remind him that it’s the only holiday where we actually put up decorations. Since we have all year to rest up and prepare, it really should be rather stunning. We sometimes take photos and send them to family, but they don’t really capture the true feeling. In many ways, I think that’s what makes this season so extraordinary. There’s never a brighter or more sparkling light than the warm feeling that we carry in our hearts. It’s a feeling that I find difficult to describe. For a singular moment, I feel like I’ve traveled inside a snow globe to some magical place, devoid of stress or looming deadlines. In that space, I’m able to recharge in a way that often eludes me during the rest of the year. So, I’m definitely ready to enjoy each and every glittering night as my favorite season returns, always making spirits bright!

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About the Doodlewash

Sketching Stuff Coloring Set – Da Vinci Watercolors: Charlie O’Blue, Yellow Ochre, Gold Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, Opus Vivid Pink, Quinacridone Red, Vermilion, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Indigo. ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note and I’ll add it to my shop!
Bear Wearing Sweater Putting Star On Christmas Tree Watercolor illustration Sketchbook Detail

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20 Comments
  1. Irene Tose 2 months ago

    Love your sketch

  2. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    I’m excited this year since I’ll get to spend it with family that I haven’t spent it with for ages. I’ve had Christmas songs in my head for quite a while now. All the better to get tired of them sooner, lol!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      So happy you’ll get to spend Christmas with family! 😃💕And Hehe! Yeah, Philippe was throttling me back this year with the Christmas sounds and movies. But I never get tired of them! lol

  3. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Perfect start to the Christmas season, Charlie!!

  4. scrittoralinda 2 months ago

    Awww Charlie you are such a sweetie!

    I have my tree up too, for a week however today I think I finally finished editing it. It is true that writing and art inform each other — and affect our lives. The editor wants to edit and the artist wants to touch up. Take care and enjoy the Holy Season!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 That’s wonderful on your tree… and yeah, Philippe and I take forever to “get the lights right” before we can even start putting up ornaments!

  5. Zoie McIntyre 2 months ago

    I love it Charlie ;).
    I am exactly the same way about the feeling you can’t describe. I was asked the other day, what is it about Christmas that makes me so happy. She was asking, I think, because she really doesn’t like Christmas. But you know I could not describe what happens to me in the Christmas season – I could only explain it in visuals of fireplaces, big fluffy flakes of snow falling, the warm cuddly feeling inside – the glow inside and out. The happiness there can be. I think everyone feels the anticipation. Anyway, she had no idea what I was talking about so I went to her work (which is also my dance studio) and I painted a string of happy little baubles across the top of her acrylic shield, a little string of lights around the hole at the bottom where things are slid through, a happy snowman on one side and a Christmas tree with lights on the other. They made her happy so I hope that little glow stays with her all season. I will be putting our Christmas tree up on the 1st. I love the glow of the lights and can’t wait. All the decorations are memories from as far back as my childhood, our travels, the gifts we have received. I love that trip down memory lane as I populate the tree and my husband even likes it now too 😉 . There’s something about it isn’t there Charlie – that glow just immediately calms me and takes all my cares away as I wander in a magical place where anything is possible. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      I adore that you helped someone see and feel the spirit of Christmas, Zoie! 😃💕 That sounds so beautiful and fun! Hang on to that magic and share it as often as you can. I try to bottle it in my soul so it lasts me all year long! Much love to you! ❤️

  6. Gary Middleton 2 months ago

    Great doodle, Charlie.

  7. Varsha Koli 2 months ago

    That’s a lovely little sketch!!

  8. Mugdha 2 months ago

    Hello Charlie,

    I love, love, LOVE today’s sketch! You made me wish I was right there helping Mr. Bear decorate the tree. And if there was ever a quotable Christmas quote, “We’re really good at Christmas!” would be it. Your joy at this time of the year freely spills into your art and your words Charlie and I end up reading and re-reading them several times. It takes me back in time. Thank you!

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 I’m so happy you enjoy my writing as well as my doodles. I AM totally beside myself with joy this time of year. It’s hard to stay focused on anything at all, which is why I also take a bit of a break from projects (well… DOing them… I’m still dreaming up the next ones in my head all of the time! lol). Much love to you, my friend! ❤️

  9. Brenda Sommerville 2 months ago

    Wonderful article Charlie, I can tell you Doodlewash has helped me become a better artist. Merry Christmas Charlie & Philippe. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Brenda! 😃💕 And that makes me so happy to know that Doodlewash helped you become a better artist. That has always been my goal with this site… it’s helped me do the same. It’s great to have such a wonderful community of support and encouragement!

  10. Marisela Delgado 2 months ago

    I love Christmas, too. We don’t get typical snowy Christmas, but it’s a time so full of promise. 💜 You are right: the bear is the cutest thing ever! 🐻🐻🐻 I love you, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, mi amiga! Much love to you and a very Merry Christmas!! ❤️

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