Randy the Reindeer

Randy the Reindeer - Doodlewash by Charlie O'Shields

Today we have a doodlewash of the only reindeer I’ve ever met in person. This is Randy the reindeer from a Hallmark movie I worked on called Northpole. I took some liberties with his antlers just to get them to fit inside my sketchbook, but this is generally what he looked like. It seemed rather magical to see a reindeer up close and my inner child was completely thrilled and starstruck.

I remember while we were working on the set of the movie, we thought the reindeer they chose looked just a tiny bit old and sad. I’ll never forget the conversation between my colleague Amy and the Canadian reindeer handler which went something like this:

Amy: “He looks a little tired. How old is he?”
Reindeer Handler: “Aboot thirteen years.”
Amy: “Wow, what’s a reindeer’s expected lifespan?”
Reindeer Handler: “Aboot thirteen years.”

Needless to say, this was to be dear Randy’s last film, so I guess this is also a bit of a tribute doodlewash.

In 1823, Clement Clarke Moore wrote “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” (better known as “The Night Before Christmas”) and until then, nobody had thought about reindeer in connection with Santa Claus. Moore introduced us all to Santa’s team which he named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem (the last two of which were later changed from Dutch to German, becoming Donner and Blitzen). The last two names are my favorite because they actually mean “thunder” and “lightning” which I think are pretty cool names for reindeer.

When I was a kid, the thought of reindeer landing on the roof was the most magical part of the season and I would try to stay up and listen for the sound of hooves. I convinced myself I heard them once, but now I’m pretty sure it was just the fact that we lived in an old house that was settling. Also, had eight 300-pound reindeer actually landed on the roof they would have gone straight through and into my bedroom which would have removed all doubt.

The best part of the holiday season is taking little moments to indulge your inner child. I hope in the midst of all the stress of shopping and closing out the work year, you get a chance to stop and do something fun. Something silly that adults would never do. Something that can only be done by someone young at heart who still believes in flying reindeer.

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)
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 Doodlewash.com, contact me!
48 Comments
  1. kirkistan 1 year ago

    Charlie, that is a magnificent drawing. Iove the way you showed the roundness of the antlers. And the colors on Randy’s nose are wonderful. Really great job. But the snipped of conversation set me to laughing. There was more than a bit of magic in that interchange between Amy and the Reindeer Handler.

    • Author

      Thanks Kirk!! Glad you liked the doodlewash and super glad the convo made you laugh. I had to text her to make sure I got it just right! Lol We still tell that story anytime we see each other.

  2. Catherine Johnson 1 year ago

    Oh I’d love to take up that challenge, Charlie. Great story and doodlewash.

  3. Nancy 1 year ago

    You have truely out done yourself, Charlie! Randy is wonderful. I never knew that Clement Moore was the person who came up with the whole reindeer thing. I wonder why he settled on eight and why he chose reindeer to begin with? I used to listen for the hooves on Christmas Eve too. I bet all kids do!😊

    • Author

      Awww thanks Nancy!! 😃💕Glad you liked Randy, may he rest in peace. And good questions…I have no idea where he came up with reindeer, but super glad he did because it’s been fun all these years! Hehe

  4. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    Randy is a handsome reindeer. Beautiful doodlewash. I could have sworn I heard the reindeer on our roof when I was a kid, lol. Thanks for the fun memories Charlie.

    • Author

      Thanks Sharon! 💕😃Randy wasn’t a great actor, a bit too tired, but thought he should be doodlewashed. And glad this brought back good memories! 😃

  5. Sand Salt Moon 1 year ago

    “Aboot” – that’s the Canadian way to say it alright! Great doodlewash, great story – as always!

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks Cynthia! 💕😃That’s just what this guy sounded like. Too bad about Randy though…hope he’s enjoying himself wherever he flew off to next!

  6. cindy knoke 1 year ago

    He is gorgeous!

  7. Dear old Randy – I raise my metaphorical hat in tribute.

  8. You’re a magic man, Charlie O’Shields! Love!! ⛄️❄️⛄️ We used to listen for the hooves too and I swore one year I saw the flow from Rudolph’s nose. We even named our cat Prancer! :))) Love the artwork and story, as usual, bro. Keep the faith. Santa will visit your house, just like he always did, because you believe ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

    • Author

      Awww thanks sis!! ❤️😃 So glad to hear you listening as well…and I’m sure you DID see Rudolph!! It had to be him! Hehe… Pranced is actually a great name for a cat, so that was just inspired. And yeah, Santa will come again this year…even with the ridiculous warm weather! Hehe 😊

  9. *haha, glow! Rudolph didn’t have a runny nose LOL

    • Author

      Hahaha!! I figured that, but it’s just awesome to think about the other way. Did his flow also glow? Like a comet?! 😃

  10. Love this – what a great image of a reindeer!

  11. Teri C 1 year ago

    Love, love, love, not only the great rendition of Randy but your words of wisdom concerning our inner child (mine is 6). I love letting that child out to have fun.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Teri!! 😃😃And I love that you have an age for your inner child. I’d say mine ranges from 3-7 depending on the situation. 😊

      • Teri C 1 year ago

        Yes, I always say ‘my 6 year old’ is coming out to play.
        3-7 are great ages for having fun too.

      • Author

        Hehe…I never give people a warning! Perhaps I should! 😉lol

  12. Jodi 1 year ago

    Absolutely amazing reindeer Charlie O! Randy – eh? I was wondering where you were going to go with that name…. but maybe that just shows where my mind goes – LOL! I have been busy making stuff this evening that I can’t share on my blog as my friends and family read my blog, but I have been having a lot of fun making a lot of gifts this year. trying to make christmas more about thought and time than money spent makes it so much more special (just takes more time!) LOL! Will share lots of fun projects after Christmas. trying to enjoy the childlike magic that comes with the season. And by the way – sitting here at 9pm with the door wide open as it is still so warm here. I’ll bet I’ll be eating my words in a few days, but I walked to the mailbox in flip flops and a t-shirt – and my mailbox is not a short walk 🙂

    • Author

      Haha!! I can see where your mind goes!! ❤️😃 Actually that was also something we joked about during the production! Lol And excited to see all the cool gifts you’re creating! Those are some lucky family and friends! They’re going to love them I’m sure!! And flip flops?! This weather is insane. Philippe keeps walking around singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like…October” which doesn’t fit well and sounds as ridiculous as the balmy weather is. 😉

  13. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    I like how you painted Christmas magic in Randy’s eye, Charlie! 🌟😄 💜 What a handsome reindeer and I learned something too! 😉 I like the bit about how the last 2 names of the reindeer were changed. You always bring such wonderful memories to me with your posts. Thank you. 💖💕🎁

    • Author

      That’s so cool you saw magic in Randy! Yay! ❤️😃 And happy you enjoyed the post. It’s been a few posts since I’ve had time to write properly. Hehe😊

  14. Kari 1 year ago

    What a fantastic doodlewash! How fun that you got to work with a movie production!

    • Author

      Thanks Kari!! 💕😃It was an awesome experience! And the sequel Northpole: Open for Christmas just came out this year! I haven’t seen it yet though. 😊Hehe

  15. Snehal Kank 1 year ago

    Great story Charlie and wonderful illustration of Randy👍🏼👍🏼😍😍

  16. thepaperbaker 1 year ago

    You capture so much vibrancy in your doodlewashes! Fabulous reindeer!

  17. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Randy has a very kind and patient face. I’m sure his spirit will send the reindeer with Santa to your roof…(K)

    • Author

      Thanks Kerfe!! 💕😃I think the real Randy was a bit more surly, but it was probably just his age or perhaps he never really wanted to be an actor. But Santa will come! I can feel it!!

      • memadtwo 1 year ago

        I’m sure he will.

  18. Cathe 1 year ago

    Charlie, thank you for this daily Christmas cheer. Randy is a very handsome fellow and clearly retired and enjoying the good life! Love this doodlewash!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Cathe! 💕😃 Yes, Randy has definitely gone on to bigger and better things. Whenever he ended up, I hope he’s happy!

  19. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    I very much enjoyed gazing at Randy, well done. Oh to be Randy and the stories he could tell. Flying around the world and all. I do hope he is truly happily retired. 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much Susan!! 💕😃Yeah…he’s definitely retired! Poor Randy, I don’t think he ever got to see the movie and see himself fly!

  20. Helen 1 year ago

    Thanks Charlie. You delighted my inner child! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  21. […] for today’s doodlewash, we have the sleigh that belonged to Randy the Reindeer as this is the only sleigh reference I have. And this one went quick as I’m still preparing […]

Leave a Reply

CONTACT US

Want to say hi and connect? Do you make lovely things with watercolor and want to be featured in the next Guest Artist post?! Great! Not sure, just feel the need to say something? Awesome! Just fill out the form below!

Sending

©2015-2017 Doodlewash® | Privacy & Cookie Policy | Disclosure

or

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

or

Create Account

%d bloggers like this: