The Spooky Path

Spooky Forest Path Mouse Storybook Halloween Watercolor Illustration Painting

For our prompt of “Spooky” today, I drew a little mouse heading home and taking a shortcut through the dark forest. I’ve no idea why these shortcuts in storybooks always seem to be directly through a spooky place that characters would never normally go. And, I can never really draw anything that’s outright scary, so spooky is the best I can do. I’m rather sure this tiny mouse is a bit uncertain of the choice he’s just made, but I think if he stays on the path, then everything will turn out just fine in the end. In my art journey, I’ve often ventured into paths unknown and it can be both spooky and often downright scary as well. Lately, I’ve been doing more narrative illustrations that come mostly from my imagination, which is something I’ve always been scared to try previously. I didn’t want to fail. But, like any good journey, when there’s a touch of adventure involved, that’s precisely when I know that I’m headed in an exciting direction.

As a kid, I would sometimes find myself out late at night and have to walk home alone. Granted, there was much less of a culture of fear back then, but that didn’t stop us kids from trying to spook each other out with stories. During this time of year, we’d really try to spook each other out as we thought it was so funny. Whether it was a ghost story we’d all heard before or something that someone just made up in the moment. Of course, if you were the one leaving to head back home, it was not quite as hilarious. I wasn’t really scared of the dark, and I knew my neighborhood like the back of my hand. But, my imagination would often get the best of me and I’d wonder what that sound was that I just heard, or if that glint of light in the shrubs came from the eyes of a cat or something ghostly. In some ways, I think I actually wanted to see a ghost back then, as it would be something cool to tell my friends later.

There were no ghosts to be found though, and I always made it back home safely. Indeed, throughout my life, I’ve always found out there was nothing to be afraid of only after I faced that fear. Truly, there’s only one way to ever find out. So today, I have to constantly urge myself to try things that spook me out a bit. My initial inclination is to skip an idea and try something easier. I have very little time, after all, and only one little chance to make something each day. But, what I’ve discovered is that some of my favorite doodles over the last couple of months came when I through caution to the wind and tried what was in my imagination. Some turned out better than others, but each gave me just a little more courage to keep right on experimenting. Life can be fun when it’s filled with the familiar, but sometimes, it can be even more fun when you take the spooky path.

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Spooky Forest Path Mouse Storybook Halloween Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail
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37 Comments
  1. isaiah46ministries 1 month ago

    You are very good.

  2. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    You mouse does looked spooked Charlie. I like scary books if they are well written. I’m not fond of spooky movies although I love a good mystery that keeps me engaged until the end.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕 Was hoping to get a little spooked look on the mouse. Yeah, a good mystery is a wonderful thing indeed!

  3. writerleenda 1 month ago

    Boo! Charlie I love your spooky sketch. I just spent a couple hours alternately napping in my Reading Chair and reading ghost stories (those always put me to sleep) instead of painting. My mother would have grounded us if we didn’t come home when it starts to get dark. The only time we got away with it is Hallowe’en but then it is dark by 6 PM or so. I love your drawing. I won’t show you my scary sketches. I did make one that scared the blazes out of me when I put it on desktop and that evil face glared back at me. I had drawn a mischievous self portrait complete with horns and a wicked grin. Somehow I got light in the eyes and it looked real. I did that twice actually. Stupidity reigns.

    • Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

      Hi, WRITERLEENDA! Thanks for the invitation. I would love to see and visit BC. I have a friend in Burnaby. I do rubber stamping. I make cards. Or I try to. It’s a billion dollar industry and I am an addict. haha Sometimes, watercolors are used so I try to learn what I can. That’s how I found Charlie. Of course, Charlie is a rock star. (I am whispering because I know he’s listening. haha haha) ANYWAY, I would LOVE to visit.one day. 💜
      My doctor did give me pain meds (RX narcotics). He gave me plenty and even tried injections. They just don’t work on me. wonk, wonk The pain is gone now, thank the Lord. I may have some aches and pains sometimes, but I am great now. Sometimes I can’t believe what all I went through. So many people have told me that they are amazed at how strong I am, but I didn’t feel strong. It was the Lord who got me through. 💜
      Anyway, your painting sounds scary. I mean, if it scared you. haha haha Thanks for chatting with me. Your comments to Charlie are always so funny. 😂😂

      • writerleenda 1 month ago

        Hi Marisela, Feel free to msg me on my FB page so we don’t take over Charlie’s page here. Sorry I got busy and forgot to reply this morning. Ya scaring myself was not cool and I was not impressed. Imagine. Glad your pain went away, that is horrible. Take care and watch for me riding my broom over the moon on Hallowe’en. You gonna sketch me, Charlie?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Oh wow that sketch sounds scary indeed! It’s fun to think we can create something by hand that even creeps us out sometimes! hehe

  4. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    I remember walking home from a friend’s house when I was a kid and feeling just like the look on your mouse’s face. Good spooky doodle, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, those evening walks were always a bit spooky!

  5. JA Wilson 1 month ago

    Looks scared, give it a Cookie!

  6. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    It’s amazing how the slightest sound or movement can seem so menacing once our nerves are set on high! I’ll often wake at night thinking I’ve heard something and then be unable to get to sleep because I’m aware of every pattern of light and shade and keep waiting for it to suddenly change – ’cause that’s were the evil critturs like to appear!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      So true!! It’s also the less awesome side of a fabulous imagination. hehe… I’ve often been awake for an hour or more wondering about what I just heard and get fixated on it! 😉

  7. Lisa 1 month ago

    Face the fear and do it anyway! That was my motto for my teens and twenties. Now I’m not afraid of much at all. Except centipedes. I hate them. So never doodle one okay? Or I might have to disown you😂😂!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      haha! Uhmm… trying to think if I’ve ever doodled a centipede…. I don’t think I have as I haven’t figured out a way to make them cute yet! lol 😉

  8. Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

    As most Mexican kids living in South Central Texas, we grew up hearing about El Cucuy. He’s the Mexican boogeyman, who appears to and comes for disobedient children. It’s a threat used to scare you into obedience and IT WORKS. haha haha Kids don’t really seem to be scared/afraid of much now, but all Mexican kids know about Cucuy. Even big kids. haha haha I would be out riding my bike and my parents would call me in as it got dark. I would ignore them so I could stay out longer until I heard, “Okay, it’s getting dark. Cucuy is going to be out soon.” I would burn rubber into the shed to put away my bike and my flip-flops would be going, “click,click,click” super fast as I walk/run into the house. It worked.
    I don’t celebrate Halloween anymore, but, when I was a kid, it meant scary stories Mexican-style. We had La Llorona, the crying lady, out searching for her children that she drowned in order to be free to go with her new lover man. He abandons her and she spends eternity lamenting her deed and crying for her children. Here in San Antonio, urban legend was that at a dance a very handsome man showed up. He danced with all of the ladies and they swooned. That is until one of them looked down and noticed that this handsome stranger had a chicken foot and a hoof on the other. She began to scream and he just vanished, leaving a stench of sulfur behind. It was the devil.
    A very popular thing to do here for the locals is The Tracks. Now, this was a true event that got turned into an urban legend. As you know, SA has Missions. This actually did happen many years ago. South of SA is a very isolated area in and around one of our Missions. Few people lived out that way, but their kids got bussed to school and back. Apparently, the bus crossed the railroad tracks and got stuck. The bus was hit by the train and everyone died. So, the urban legend part, is that if you drive out there, at night, of course, you stop on the tracks, put your car in neutral, and wait. The car is pushed across the tracks by the ghosts of the kids. People put baby powder on the trunk of their car to see the kids’s handprints. Every Halloween, people line up for miles to try it. Silly kid stories. Cute painting, Charlie. 💜

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      I love those stories parents tell to get us to mind better! Cucuy sounds like the perfect solution indeed! And that urban legend is awesome…. also have to be super impressed by those who but baby powder on the car to check. Clever! Silly kid stories are so interesting! 😃💕

  9. Nellie Nellie 1 month ago

    OMGOSH! The Doodlewash community has the best stories! I grew up in the burbs, I can’t remember being scared if I ever got out at night. My friends and I were so excited to be out after the Mouse House shot off the fireworks. Although, I can say we were a little scared checking out our (get this, not one but two) neighborhood “haunted haciendas”! Early in our neighborhood history we were surrounded by strawberry fields but eventually they were abandoned till the fields sold, so we sneaked, and sluethed and squeeled and mostly scared the bajeebits out of each other! My scariest nights ever were vacationing in the Maine woods and the only book to read was by Stephen King! (That was the last one I read in 1979!)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Oh wow, a Stephen King book is always really awesome, but always equally unsettling!! hehe 😉 It’s so cool that you had two haunted haciendas… I’d love that! 😃💕

  10. Gary Middleton 1 month ago

    Great doodle. I love his expression. When was a young teenager, a group of us were sitting on the playing fields telling creepy stories. All of a sudden an old man came from behind a wall singing and playing a ukulele which frightened us all. You’ve brought another memory back.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Oh wow… that would be terrifying in the middle of a ghost story indeed! Fun memory!

  11. Unique Tales 1 month ago

    This is very nice.

  12. Unique Tales 1 month ago

    Like the art work cute little mouse. 🐁

  13. LoriCtoo 1 month ago

    Ahhh, poor little guy, he definitely looks scared. So good! I had to chuckle, for two guys who don’t like scary things, why do live next to a cemetary? Tee hee. I know, most cemetaries are beautiful…..in the day. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I had the house by cemetery first and then Philippe moved in… I’m curious to know if he ever would have selected it now actually!

  14. Fatima Chamkha 1 month ago

    How cute Charlie!!

  15. Mugdha 1 month ago

    Hello Charlie,

    The poor little mouse looks so lonely. Am sending him a hug. The trees look really spooky. Just before covid came about, I worked on a project in the jungles and every night as I walked back to my room from the dining hall, the trees would seem to be reaching out for me. What looked magical in the day looked so spooky at night. Thankfully I always reached my room before my imagination took over in full swing. Your Doodlewash made me think of those nights again. So yes, your sketch may not be outright scary but it can definitely spook someone.

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Mugdha! 😃💕 I thought this might still bring spooky memories. And oh wow, that’s a spooky story indeed. I felt the same thing sometimes walking home in the dark. Sometimes outright scary is less memorable than those spooky moments when our imaginations go wild.

  16. Samriddha Gaire 1 month ago

    🥰

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Samriddha! 😃💕

      • Samriddha Gaire 1 month ago

        You wrote such a wonderful post wow! Can you follow my site. I upload a quality Tech Content but no one sees it 😭

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