Three French Hens

Three French Hens Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Birds” today, I decided to sketch these three French hens. The song Twelve Days of Christmas was playing at my mother’s house and so the phrase stuck in my head. These are actually a special breed known as a Faverolles chicken, and they don’t actually wear fashion, but I just had to give one a little extra holiday flair. Today, we’re having our annual Thanksmas family dinner, which is a full holiday food extravaganza celebrating both holidays since Philippe and I are never here on the exact day for either. There’s lots of food and tons of fun and it’s always an enjoyable time. My mother has crayons and colored pencils in the centerpiece of the table and made a special cloth tablecloth so we can draw directly on that! No paper required! There are also sheets of paper available as well along with coloring pages and she has a bulletin board in the corner of the room where we’re meant to place our masterpieces. We’ve quite a collection of drawings from holidays past. And, it’s quite clear in these moments that I was destined to be a doodler as it apparently runs in the family.

I have to create posts while I’m here as I can, so they’re written whenever I can sneak in and add a few words. It’s actually morning here at this very moment and Philippe and I are watching a Golden Girls marathon that’s on cable while waiting for the first family members to arrive. I’m deciding if I should pause and take a break to shave or keep rocking the disheveled vacation look I currently have. Philippe’s mother bought us both Christmas sweaters that we decided to wear today. Philippe’s is a touch more demure with little Santa heads and patterns on it. Mine own is a hooded sweater with green and white striped sleeves and a belt so it looks like I’m dressed like an elf. Actually, the elf feet are there as well with a little white pompon sewn on the tip of each shoe. It’s perfectly ridiculous, so I absolutely love it. And it’s actually quite comfortable as well. So we’re both dressed in our holiday best and ready for the festivities to come!

And now the day is winding done and we’ve all eaten way too much. Christmas movies, from classics to new arrivals, have been playing in the background all afternoon. The once pristine tablecloth is now filled with drawings by everyone in the family, each hand-signed with pride. And little gift bags were handed out by my mother and sister which contained tiny memories from the past including miniature versions of Tinker Toys, Rock ’em Sock ’em robots, and Lincoln Logs. I was so excited to receive the latter in my bag, but they were plastic instead of the original wood version and didn’t work correctly at all so I was unable to create a standing log cabin. But, that didn’t matter in the least. It was just fun to be with family and relive memories of holidays past. Tomorrow we leave, as the trip seems to end before it’s even had a moment to really begin. But, I’m thrilled to have had this wonderful time with my family. And though I’ve heard the carol playing in the background hundreds of times, it all just seems a bit sweeter, as once again someone inexplicably receives the oddest gifts at Christmas, including three French hens.

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Three French Hens Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail


Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Delightful French Hens, Charlie! Combining Thanksgiving with Christmas sounds very festive. Enjoy!

  2. JA Wilson 3 years ago


  3. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    The perfect doodle for today’s prompt and the beret is the perfect touch!!! Love it!!! So happy to hear you are having a wonderful trip!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 hehe… just felt there needed to be a bit more color in the mix. 😉

  4. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    Sounds like you’re having a great time with family. I love the idea of crayons in the middle of the table and a paper tablecloth!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 It’s so much fun to color together as a family!!

  5. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    It took me a little while to get through this ramble, but that’s because I had to leave midway and go out to Amazon to order those mini- Rock’em Sock’em robots for hubby’s Christmas stocking. See what you get me into to? I love your hens – I can see them strutting around the barnyard, gossiping “Cotcotcodet”!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 haha!! Yay! The robots are really cool… hehe… glad I could help with the hubby’s stocking!

  6. Lisa 3 years ago

    I love these ladies! I have a thing for chickens. Joe won’t let me have any though. He’s pretty sure that he would end up taking care of them in bad weather when I didn’t want to go outside. He has a point. Lol!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 hehe… yeah… Philippe wants chickens as well some day. I told him they’d be all his responsibility! lol

  7. Zertab Quaderi 3 years ago

    What a fashionista that hen is! Very impressive with the scarf and the beret! Love your Mom’s idea of a tablecloth for doodles! Safe trip back home, Charlie and Philippe!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕 It’s been a fun trip, but I’ll happy to be heading home soon!

  8. Atique Ahmed 3 years ago

    I love the expressions of hens….beautifully done Charlei!

  9. memadtwo 3 years ago

    The perfect December birds…fashion and all. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 hehe… glad you liked this. I figured a bit of fashion was in order for French hens!

  10. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    Alrighty, now I will have dancing chickens in my head, being directed by a rather large elf! (or is it “Elf”) Everything is so sounding so fun! I wonder what my mother in law would think if I started drawing on her table cloth. Bahawahaha!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 haha! Yeah… it’s a special sort of tablecloth. Not sure she’d appreciate you suddenly drawing on a regular one! But the reaction would be fun to see I’m sure! lol

  11. Jacob 3 years ago

    Haha wow, what a crew! They have attitude, which hens most definitely do! My mother used to knit hen jumpers for a rescue centre so I can quite believe the garb, too. Oh, and dishelleveled vacation look all the way – rock a Christmas beard 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      hehe! Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 Oh wow! Cool they your mom made hen jumpers! As for the Christmas beard… it’s a bit too Christmas these days and grows in too white. Not white enough to be Santa, so it’s just a big mess really. lol

  12. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    so cute and fashionable love it!!!! How wonderful that you all got to decorate the table cloth what a most excellent memory!!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕hehe! It was such a great memory! I love that we get to sketch and create as a family!

  13. Gary Middleton 3 years ago

    Great painting Charlie,very comical..

  14. Darlene Campbell 3 years ago

    What a gorgeous trio! Do French hens speak with a lovely French accent! Seems they would. ❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Darlene! 😃💕 hehe… I’ve no idea actually, but I have to imagine they do speak with a French accent. Philippe loses his at times now, but I told him I hope it never goes away entirely! 😉

  15. rkb665 3 years ago

    So jaunty! I know what you mean about Lincoln Logs, not too long ago we passed on the ones I grew up with those my kids played with. The Tinker Toys were long gone but for a couple odds and ends.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks! 😃💕 Yeah, I love those old toys, but only in their original form. Fun times to remember!

  16. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 years ago

    Beginning with a charming portrait of les filles, this post has me smiling. Your mom is amazing. How much fun it must be to sit at the table with markers and doodle all over the tablecloth. To unwrap presents that encourage you to revisit your childhood. And to sit around in a silly sweater feeling cozy and loved. That’s what makes holidays so special, and for the very lucky, that benevolence carries through all year long. Lucky you, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yes, I know she’s my mother so I’m likely to say it, but she IS perfectly amazing! hehe And I always feel so comfortable and happy when I’m with her.

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