Tomatoes & Basil – A Match Made in Heaven

Tomatoes & Fresh Basil on a white plate watercolor sketch and food illustration Doodlewash

Thought I’d doodlewash another of my summer favorites to bring to the #DoodlewashDinner, homegrown tomatoes with fresh basil. Since I’m not a fan of the extreme heat that summers here can often bring, this delicious combo makes it all worth it! Just as exciting as the arrival of fresh tomatoes is for me, it’s also bittersweet to see them go again. Hot house tomatoes just don’t taste the same and during the rest of year, tomatoes lose their allure. I assume this is why I find this time so amazing and were tomatoes always available, then I would lose much of my devout appreciation for them. But I really wish they could hang around much longer.

A member of the deadly nightshade family, tomatoes freaked early Europeans out because they assumed they were poisonous. The leaves are actually a touch poisonous, but you’d have to consume about a pound and a half to notice any adverse side effects. Regardless, the shiny fruit is where the party is and it’s loaded with Vitamin C so eat up! Basil isn’t a slouch either as they contain compounds that are know to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. Put the two together and you have a heck of a healthy snack that actually tastes great!

Tonight, I’m heading to a real life Doodlewash Dinner hosted by my friend Aesha. This is only the second time we’ve tried this, but it’s tons of fun! Basically, you just invite people over, eat, drink and break out the paints instead of Pictionary after dinner. There’s always someone new to painting which makes it even more fun, and also proves that anybody can paint, it just takes a brush. Painting really well, of course, takes a lot of practice and painting after a few glasses of wine can have its own challenges, but anything done with friends and laughter is way more fun! That’s why I’m so happy many of you are joining me for dinner this month, and there’s many days ahead if you haven’t yet. I hope you’ll join in! I’ve never liked to eat alone.

You’re all invited to a Doodlewash Dinner Party during the month of May! Just tag your food or drink image #doodlewashdinner and I’ll feature you and your culinary creations in a delicious Doodlewash Gallery at the end of the month! 


About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Azo Orange, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Green Pale, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

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!
74 Comments
  1. Richard Eric Disney 1 year ago

    YUM-a-doodle-doo!!! 🙂

  2. zuzala 1 year ago

    This looks good enough to eat, but it begs the question….. Where’s the fresh mozzerella and olive oil? nice job!

  3. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    Tonight’s actual doodle wash dinner sounds like fun! What a great idea. Tomatoes out of the garden, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh basil??!! I am salivating just thinking about it. Enjoy your party. 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks, Susan!! 💕😃 The party was a blast! Hoping to post a few pics today at some point! Highly recommend doing it! It’s so fun!

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    Absolutely mouth watering, a gorgeous Doodlewash, Charlie. The shine on the tomatoes, the soft shadows, the delicate leaves, all so perfectly delectable. Careful if you decide to hang this one on the wall – you may find guests coming by and trying to lick it!

  5. Arts & Rhymes 1 year ago

    Wonderfully done, Charlie! Looks good enough to eat! YUM! 😄

  6. Catherine Johnson 1 year ago

    That is amazing, Charlie! I did one today. You’ll be lucky if you know what it is lol. I’ll post it Monday.

  7. Jacob 1 year ago

    Those tomatoes are to die for! Who could turn down such a prospect? Hmm, now I find myself desperate for some tomato and basil pasta – perfect (well, until I realise I’ve no dish in front of me!)

    The real Doodlewash Dinner sounds like a lot of fun. I wonder if you could combine two good things and do Doodlewash Pictionary – hmm, perhaps not!

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob! 😃 Yeah…tomato and basil is soooo good!! Hmmm…Doodlewash Pictionary sounds like a fun challenge! Would be funny to watch at least! Lol

  8. YesterdayAfter 1 year ago

    Yum! Charlie fresh homegrown seasonal tomatoes are delicious I love and homegrown them too and I looooove basil I put fresh basil in everything it taste amazing! I also make tea out of it! Your doodlewash is beautiful and vibrant! Wish you a great real doodlewash dinner tonight! How fun would be if we all get out of our virtuality and magically appearing in the same place it would be amazing! <3 😉

    • Author

      Awww thanks Carolina!! 😃💕 So glad you liked this. Basil is amazing, isn’t it? So good in so many things! And the dinner was a blast! Would be amazing to have a Doodlewash meet up one day and all have dinner for real!!

      • YesterdayAfter 1 year ago

        That would be really amazing and fun! 😉 <3

  9. Jessica Seacrest 1 year ago

    Homegrown always taste so much better! Have a great dinner! And if a little wine gets painted with, all the better 😉

    • Author

      Thanks Jessica!! 😃💕The dinner was fantastic…I ended up just urban sketching my wine glass. It’s was getting dark out. Philippe dunked his brush in his coffee at the very end, but that happens even without wine to us! Hehe

  10. Snehal Kank 1 year ago

    Wow real life doodlewash dinner sounds great fun! Love your concept! This tomatoes are so fresh and mouth drawling 🍅 have fun at your dinner party👍🏼

    • Author

      Thanks Snehal!! 💕😃 It was a blast!! Totally fun to do a real doodlewash dinner. Even had a person who had never painted before! Fun!

      • Snehal Kank 1 year ago

        Yeah I could see from your photos and post! You made us jealous 😛 😃Kidding! Love your idea of real life doodlewash dinner 🙂

  11. Curious to the Max 1 year ago

    Eat tomatoes for the C
    with fork and knife
    to live a long & healthy life
    If you’re not garden savvy
    and eat the leaves
    a pound or more
    my advice will be
    stick to the grocery store

  12. TerryKrysak 1 year ago

    Wonderful…..look good enough to eat. I love home grown tomatoes as well

  13. What a great idea if only I had other artists close-by! your sketch looks very yummy and very well done, if I might add! I think I need to learn from you! 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Margaret! 😃💕 And you don’t need other artists for a Doodlewash Dinner…one guest had never painted before in his life! Hehe… Anyone can try and enjoy painting for a little part of an evening, so it works perfectly. Just need people who are willing to play! It’s so fun!! 😉

  14. Rachel Murphree 1 year ago

    nice job, Charlie. I love the highlights. and plate shadows.

  15. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    I just bought some fresh basil to plant outside along with a cherry tomato plant. I agree there is nothing like fresh tomatoes! I like mine drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar! 🍅💕🍴 Hope you are having a fabulous doodlewash dinner – sounds so fun! Cheers! 🍷

    • Author

      Thanks Jill! 💕😃 Yeah…balsamic is a definite requirement!! Yum!! Hehe… And the dinner was super fun!! Always a good time when a group is painting and well…enjoying a little wine of course!! 😊😉🍷🍷

      • Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

        Sounds great !! 💕🍷✨

  16. Carol 1 year ago

    Charlie, last year I was blessed enough to visit Corfu, Greece. We picked basil right off the plant and ate it with fresh tomatoes and local feta unlike any I have ever eaten. Creamy, rich, and not salty at all. Topped with local olive oil, it was a lunch that I will never forget. Amazing! Thanks for helping me to remember the local pleasures of Greece. This year I am growing my own basil and tomatoes, hoping to replicate these simple pleasures 🙂

    • Author

      Oh wow…what an amazing trip, Carol!! 😃😃Your descriptions are making my mouth water!! Yum! I’ve never been to Greece but have always wanted to go someday. Sounds fantastic!

  17. M. L. Kappa 1 year ago

    Yea for Greek tomatoes, the best in the world! I agree – if you taste sun-ripened tomatoes anything else is tasteless

  18. Hi ya, I hope you all had a great time painting, sounds like a lot of fun. I agree fresh home grown toms are the best, not to forget that gorgeous smell they have, which I think hits one of my tops, infact it could equal that smell you get on fresh wet ground after it has been dry.

    • Author

      Thanks Rebecca! 😃💕 All these descriptions of tomatoes are making me want them right away!! Hehe…so good…the smell IS amazing. Ugh…I just ate breakfast and now I’m hungry again! 😊Lol

  19. jmnowak 1 year ago

    I’m lovin’ how well you doodle the greenery in these food posts, Charlie! Over here you can get the wionderful cherry tomatoes — pecarino, solanato — all so sweet and delish. That’s what I usually buy. Your real dinner sounds like great fun!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Janina! 😉💕 Glad ya liked my greenery…hehe…and also that you’re a tomato fan. Yay! The dinner was fantastic…painting, wine and friends? What’s not to love about that! 😉😃

  20. kim881 1 year ago

    Those tomatoes are so vivid!

  21. Jodi 1 year ago

    Gorgeous! Have fun!

  22. Charlie, you just keep getting better and better! Absolutely love this painting! You could give all of us lessons on shading in color. Wonderful work!

    • Author

      Awww thanks, Laura!! 😃💕hehe… I just use a few layers of color when I can stand to wait a bit for drying. In this case I couldn’t so I just swirled the orange and red together. 😊 I did these like I’d done apples before…used Ultramarine blue to add darks and dimension and then went back over the whole thing with Pyrrol Red and Azo Orange because they’re super transparent. But not sure that really a technique or anything, but that’s what I did! 😉

      • It worked beautifully, Charlie! So you did this all in one layer and just swirled them? Holy heck! Amazing work, bro!

      • Author

        I managed to let one layer sort of dry on the tomatoes while I painted the basil. But could have dried more. And the second just got swirly! Lol thanks!!! 💕

  23. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    Wow Charlie, I love your doodlewash. I miss having home grown tomatoes. I agree with Laura!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Sharon! 😃💕 I just told Laura how I shaded. I think I should do a course, “watercolor for people who lack patience”! Lol I’m sure there’s a much more elegant way to get to the finish if I could wait for things to dry properly!😊hehe

      • Sharon Mann 1 year ago

        Haha yes creating dies take patience with ourselves.

      • Sharon Mann 1 year ago

        Oops I meant does take patience.

  24. Teri C 1 year ago

    Another awesome job on this painting. Great light and shadows.
    And love this combination tomatoes and basil.

  25. Awesome Charle! You really captured these ripe tomatoes. You can feel what it would be like to cut into one! Your painting party sounds so fun!

    • Author

      Thanks Eileen!! 😃💕You should totally try a painting party. It’s so fun and doesn’t matter if people can paint or not. It’s just adults being kids again!! Hehe…only with wine.

  26. The Leaf Diary 1 year ago

    Fresh and vivid !Love them 🙂

  27. cedds 1 year ago

    You art makes me feel hungry!! thank you for sharing!

  28. Tom Merriman 1 year ago

    Ah… tomato and basil. I also like the soup!

  29. Rowena 1 year ago

    Homegrown tomatoes or bust! I cannot wait until my vines start producing and meals al fresco will start to feature fresh toms, basil and burrata. Hurry up summer!

  30. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Definitely a taste of summer! (K)

  31. Cathe 1 year ago

    Delicious, the fruits of summer! Beautiful painting, makes me smile and think what lays ahead of us all summer long!

    • Author

      I know… it’s the best time of the year for fresh food. Thanks so much Cathe! Glad ya liked the doodlewash! 😃💕

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