Today’s doodlewash was destined to be an Australian animal as there seems to be a penchant for “K” names there. Beating out the kangaroo and kookaburra by a hair is this fluffy little koala, which I doodlewashed with a very limited palette since I was primarily focused on recreating all the fluff. I’ve always thought these little guys were cute and when I was a kid I wanted one. I was assured this wasn’t an option and had to settle for a plush version instead.

The Koala is one of only a few mammals who can survive solely on eucalyptus leaves. This diet, though fibrous, is actually a toxic, low-nutrition diet, much like eating at McDonald’s. Unlike humans, however, koalas have the ability to limit their energy by sleeping 20 hours a day in order to cope with such a crappy menu. Though their eyesight is rather poor, they have an excellent sense of smell, so they can always choose the tastiest toxic leaves to eat.

While super cute, koalas have one of the tiniest brains for their size making them well, rather special. Apparently though, when early European settlers first encountered koalas in Australia, they thought the tree-climbing animals were bears or monkeys, as these are such similar creatures. So koalas can rest easy knowing that brain size is not always a strong predictor of cognitive skill. Later, they would continue to be inaccurately described as “koala bears,” which, I guess is somewhat better than being called koala monkeys. Next up is “L” so if you have a suggestion, please shout it out in the comments!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal


Posted by: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!

51 replies on “K Is For Koala

  1. Hahahaha! You know what just occurred to me? You are like a gentler, less neurotic David Sedaris! OMG, you have to write books…you could be the next Sedaris!

    Also, I want to adopt your doodlewash koala! It is cuter than cute! I never had a plus one as a kid but I lusted after the one that my dad’s friend’s wife had.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha!! You’re too funny! Thanks Teresa! 💕😃Gentler and less neurotic? Not sure if that’s the case, but glad that’s how it comes across in my writing! Lol But what a compliment as I love Sedaris! 😊 And they should have a koala adoption agency! They’re so cute and pretty low maintenance when you consider the 4 waking hours you’d have to actually deal with them! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They would make pretty good pets that way, wouldn’t they? The problem would be finding eucalyptus leaves for them. That stuff is nasty. Did you know that smoke from burning eucalyptus can really damage your lungs, more than regular smoke?

        And I’m serious! You need to write books! I would love them as much as I love his books.❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Lion in profile; Madagascan Lemur, the kind that has those black and white striped tails, so cute — they look like John Cleese (he won’t mind this apt description…he’d revel in the similarities of looks).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for sharing! I have always ALWAYS wanted to be an artist. I just don’t have it in me. I can’t draw stick figures! So, I enjoy the artistry and skill of others, like yourself. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for L!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks Angie!! That’s sweet of you to say! But I doubt you actually don’t have it in you. I believe it’s in all of us! Just takes a bit of practice and whole lot of fearlessness to actually go for it! You should try it!! You’ll surprise yourself! 😉💕😃


  3. IF you take away their ears, they look exactly like a hairy-nosed Wombat! (getting in real early…lol).🙂
    They are very soft to touch, in person, and I too had a stuffed koala which I cherished until it disappeared (my mother always removed anything that I truly loved…monster extraordinaire!).
    As to their exclusive diet, I like the McDonald’s link to extinction…so clever and so apt! hahaha
    Great doodle, Charlie; you’ve got the details and facial expression so well!❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh yeah, great job on this one, Charlie! L is for Lepidoptera! Hehe. I also thought of llama, lion, lizard, even locust (but I really don’t wanna see that lol). This one is one of my favorites so far. He is really beautiful! Wonderful underdrawing as well! Happy Valentine’s, Charlie! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am going senile because I thought I had already commented! Charlie, I just love the way you doodlewash the fur! Not just on this cutie, but so many of the furry friends! Sometimes I feel like that koala as my lunch is the same almost every day.. A spinach salad! 😊 hehe..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol….I’m pretty sure I’m already going senile. I can’t seem to remember anything lately. Doodlewashing fur is fun! I know it’s not very abstract and watercolor-y the way I do it, but it’s fun to get the bits of detail in. Hehe…and you ARE just like a koala! That’s so cute!! ❤️😃 Just stick to spinach and don’t switch to eucalyptus, it’s poisonous!! Lol


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