Town Topic

Town Topic

Today I did some super fast sketches, but wasn’t feeling it when it came to any of them. This is one I managed to doodlewash, but it’s super loose and looks a bit insane. It’s actually of one of two diners called Town Topic in the city. The second one on the next block is a popular late night destinations for after bar eating.

My loose sketching has gotten a bit out of control I fear, so I only posted this one as the establishment is known to attract drunks in the evening so perhaps it’s fitting. There also appear to be birds in the distance that magically appeared, but I swear I wasn’t drunk for this one.

Town Topic opened its doors in 1937, but its hamburger heritage is even older than that—the turrets on the corners of the little shack in the second location (not pictured) show that in fact it was once a White Castle. The colorful crowd late at night is a sight to behold, and the food tastes extremely good, though not on any rational diet menu.

It’s been years since I was there late at night, but I remember seeing things that would make even the most lascivious people blush. And so perhaps this crazy loose version is fitting, somehow, since many people have never eaten there when they were sober.

The truth is, I had to rush through this one so Philippe and I could watch our new show on Netflix – Sing it On, the real world of a cappella singers. Wow… I probably should have just falsely admitted to drunk doodlewashing because that reveal was almost more embarrassing.

But one thing about this show I’ve noticed that I love is the passion. These singers are super passionate about what they do, and because of that, they’re really endearing. Philippe keeps asking me, “but what do they DO after this?” and I honestly have no response for him. But who cares, that level of passion and commitment is amazing!

Even though I felt like skipping a day because I lacked the time, I didn’t. And this seemingly drunken doodlewash is proof that I’m hooked. Even when the day seems to be falling away from me, I can’t help but doodlewash! And to me, that counts as passion. So cheers!

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
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!
Published in By Charlie
32 Comments
  1. memadtwo 2 years ago

    My first reaction was “charming” and the description of the diner makes it even more so. I love a cappella singers too. Enjoy! (K.)

    • Author

      Yay, Kerfe! I knew I liked you!! Hehe…it’s our guilty pleasure. Well..at least for the next few nights until the next show. It’s always pretty random, but that’s the beauty of Netflix 😊

  2. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    It is truly amazing how you managed to tie the way the picture looks to you to the story behind the establishment (and throw in the funny thing about watching a movie about a cappella singing in addition)! 😀 Glad I caught this before I went to bed…you’ll keep me chuckling until I fall asleep! Good night!

    • Author

      Awww…thanks so sweet Jessica! Thanks..I didn’t feel this one was my best work, but it was fast and fun to try at least. Sleep well friend! ❤️😃

  3. kirkistan 2 years ago

    Oh the things we reveal as we write. Great image! I also like hearing the stories. I would not call that a drunk doodlewash–looks great to me.

    • Author

      Hehe… Thanks Kirk! 😃I like loose sketching from others but mine sometimes just look crazy to me.lol And yeah…one of these days my rambling without editing are going to reveal something really embarrassing I fear! Lol

      • kirkistan 2 years ago

        They hold up as art, friend. At least to me they do. I really like that loose style.

      • Author

        Thanks my friend! I truly appreciate that!! 😉

  4. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    I have to agree with Kirk, this looks FABULOUS! I understand about pushing through that feeling of I don’t have time to do any art… I think it does bring out the passion in what you LOVE creating. If it was easy, everyone would be doing art EVERY DAY! Thanks for another AWESOME Doodlewash and interesting story Charlie! ❤️🎨😊

    • Author

      Thanks Jill! I really appreciate that!! ❤️😃 Today had a lot of false starts. I actually did two doodlewashes because when I showed the first one to Philippe he just paused, squinted and said, “What is it?” so I quickly did this one. Since I’m not an abstract painter, “what is it?” isn’t a particularly positive reaction. 😳lol

      • Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

        LOL! Charlie! I’ve had a few of those responses on my own art! 😊

  5. Snehal Kank 2 years ago

    Cheers to your super fast sketch!!! I like it 🙂

  6. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Fantastic watercolor sketch. Super-fast, loose sketching…is this a thing now? I feel bad for not knowing if it is a thing, but If it is, you are amazingly good at it. You have a great eye for detail, and this diner looks delightful, (even if it has a colorful history ;D). You are a wonderful story teller and a magician at creating laughter and lifting the spirit. Your passion shows in everything you do, thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Author

      Huanani you are pure awesomeness! ❤️😃Your lovely words mean so much to me and are so encouraging!! Thank you friend!! I have no idea if loose sketching is a thing…lol…just been pressed for time with the new job and so I’m trying it! 😊😊

  7. You know what? What Art and moon dreams said! Charlie, this is a wonderful painting. You have a style and a color sense that will make every painting you do interesting to view! (Haha no rhyme intended). But seriously. I’m so glad you posted this and I’m glad you are keeping up your creating, even with a more pressure-packed schedule. A day with art is always better than a day without it! Roll on, my friend, and as always, love your commentary!

    • Author

      Thanks Laura!! ❤️😃Yeah, still trying to get a handle on my busier schedule. Just have to find my new flow. In the meantime I’ll still be drunken doodlewashing at the speed of light at a bare minimum. 😊😉 Thanks as always for the encouragement friend!!

      • It doesn’t look drunken to me, just more immediate! I love your work! Roll on, my brother!

  8. Jodi 2 years ago

    I love everything about the painting and the story 🙂 But then we are all growing so endeared to you our dear Charlie O! What a charming, artist and man you are! Love the loose – and nothing wrong with drunk doodlewashing or listening to a cappella! :0

    • Author

      You just like to make me blush Jodi!! 😊you’re so sweet! ❤️And thanks for the permission to do both! Hehe…yay!! Cheers! 🍷😉

  9. amaryllislog 2 years ago

    Good for you for pushing through and keeping your commitment to daily drawing. Your painting is charming and in the moment. I too try to paint daily and I usually make it but occasionally I miss and it feels like I’m wearing my shirt backwards…not good! I figure a bad painting day with false starts is a day I’m learning a lot! You did great Charlie and you didn’t miss your show!

    • Author

      Thanks Cathe! ❤️😃It’s super hard to both doodlewash and blog each day, but I love it so it would be a huge issue to skip! Hehe so no worries, I’ll keep doodlewashing and saying whatever weird thing comes to mind each day! 😉

  10. Kari 2 years ago

    I love the depth in this. Wonderful, Charlie! I have to tell my girls about the show as they are big fans of Pitch Perfect!

    • Author

      If they liked that movie, they’ll love this Kari!! And thank you!! ❤️😃The depth was kind of funny because I didn’t like what was happening so I just started dark flinging paint around. Lol Some it sort of worked! 😃

  11. Jacob 2 years ago

    Insane looks rather good to me – I especially like how appropriate the looseness is to the setting. Clearly another place to check out should I ever set foot in Kansas. Or perhaps not…

    Nothing wrong with that televisual admission! Seems a bit of a trend right now; there’s a show that’s just started here about a capella singers, a talent competition type I believe, called The Naked Choir. I’ve not watched it, as I was a little disappointed to hear what it was really about, after touting such a promising title.

    I’ve too been trying to push through a bit of an ‘off day’ (or rather several days) but you appear to have had more luck in countering it than I! Keep on washin’! 😉

    • Author

      Thanks so much Jacob! We’ll have to check out that show! Always said when the one we’re watching ends. And good news! I’m not in Kansas! I’m in Missouri! So you can still visit and never set foot in Kansas! 😉

      • Jacob 2 years ago

        Hahaha, oh dear! The important thing is that I had the right place in my head.

      • Author

        Lol! No worries! But it’s good because there’s not much to sketch there.

  12. Damita M-S 2 years ago

    Charlie I think with the story your doodle wash is spot on! Cheers!

  13. ann christina 2 years ago

    Love the light in this one, it´s wonderful!!!

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