Though candles should definitely qualify as a happy thing for a prompt in our challenge this month, they are ridiculously tough to paint. I almost changed this prompt to something else, but then thought, if I’m dreading it, then it should definitely stay there as a true challenge. But you’ll note, I tucked it away at the end thinking I’d come up with something to make ahead of time and prepare a bit. I didn’t, so I quickly sketched this one for my offering today. Nearly everything by candlelight takes on a more appealing character. While a raging fire in the fireplace can sometimes cast spooky and otherworldly shadows on the wall, a candle just makes for a little harmless shadow dance of flickering beauty. A glow that exists only to make us relax and enjoy life. Paired with a dinner, they make a meal taste just a bit better, and in the company of someone you love, that love even a bit stronger.
Although we have regular candles that we’ll burn on special occasions, we’ve opted for an artificial version from day to day. Being a bit absent-minded, we’ll often leave them burning as we go to bed, which is not a very safe thing to do. So we have a set of Luminara votives that we trigger with a remote control. In fairness, our fireplace is gas and also triggered with a remote control. But the Luminara are rather impressive when incased in glass for their ability to evoke the same flickering light and feeling of an actual candle. My mother was equally impressed by them when she visited once so we sent her a set to enjoy. She became hooked and ordered more and ended up with an extra remote control. This was a beautiful twist of fate because we’d soon managed to lose ours due to the earlier disclosed absent-mindedness. During the holidays, it just takes a few clicks to set a perfectly festive mood. It’s not about laziness so much as having a personal lighting ceremony in our house each evening to celebrate any occasion we like.
Another reason for moving to these candles is that Philippe doesn’t like them when they have a scent. This disrupts and competes with the aromas of the dinner he has prepared. Finding unscented candles is actually harder than attempting to paint them. Candles come in an array of scents from subtle to practically terrifying. There are some he doesn’t mind and actually enjoys, but we just opt for the scent-free versions when lighting them during dinner. Candles also serve as a way to make a bath more amazing, but although our row home has 4 bathrooms, not one of them has a bath tub. There’s just an odd Japanese soaking tub in the master that we never really use. It’s between the two vanities, barely holds one person, and you’re meant to sort of squat in it. It’s a perfect mystery really, so we just use it to store our clean towels. No matter what version you prefer, though, life is always guaranteed to be a bit happier when you’re relaxing to candles.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Blue, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. 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!