This was the last letter of the alphabet with any real options, and although I was seriously considering a much-suggested wombat, which are incredibly cute, we ended up with this walrus instead. Maybe it’s because I opted for an emu instead of an elephant several letters ago, but I just needed to doodlewash something chubby with tusks. And a walrus definitely fits the chubby description, clocking in at an incredible 4,000 pounds. But unlike humans, their blubber is actually necessary for survival and protects them in icy waters.

The most distinct part of walruses are their long ivory tusks. The tusks are actually modified extra large canine teeth that never stop growing. What’s unusual about these teeth is that they aren’t used for gathering food but to help the walrus pull itself out of the water or make breathing holes in ice floes. The secondary use is as a weapon against other male walruses to display dominance during mating season and get the attention of the waiting females.

Walrus prefer to feast on bottom feeders like shellfish, so they can dive 260 feet (79 meters) to the bottom of the ocean to have a snack. It also pretty handy then that they can hold their breath for up to 30 minutes. Once on the bottom of the ocean, they simply use their very sensitive 450 whiskers, called vibrissae, to help them locate food. Pretty cool, I thought, and then got distracted and ended my quick and dirty research. Next up, we’ve finally made it to the option-free “X” in our little alphabet adventure, and just 3 more letters in total to go now!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black 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!

53 replies on “W Is For Walrus

      1. My son’s class from a couple of years ago had such a funny story about saying Walrus in a test. The teacher who didn’t think it through banned the word making it the thing to say. Then anything at all that looked like walrus tusks was put in their mouths. It was hilarious!

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  1. Ok – don’t you DARE tell us you whipped this up in a hurry. You have been working on this one since the letter A – right?! OMG – the realistic details! If you did this in anything less than 300 hours, I must watch a video! Seriously amazing! And now… I am concerned….. x y z = 3 days. 26, 27, 28. What is Charlie going to doodlewash on February 29th Leap Year!?! Oh the anticipation! And “x”…. must be something x-ray – eh? ❤

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    1. Awww thanks Jodi!! 😊❤️ And Uhmm… I wish I had 300 hours to paint!! But that would be like 10 months for me as I only have an hour a day! And these are cooked up with same day delivery still. I do a quick sketch at the end of my lunch break and then doodlewash it when I get home while dinner is cooking. Hehe And yep…it’s all easy to guess from here! So few options. There’s only 3 pages left in my sketchbook too so that worked out great! The 29th day will be a reveal of a couple ones I’m swapping out and plan to do this weekend, and the reveal of the ABC poster I’m creating! 😉👍🏻

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    1. Thanks Cathe!! 💕😃 Glad you like him! And Jodi told me not to say exactly, so I’ll tell you… Lol… 8 minute sketch at lunch and 50 minutes of painting before dinner. That’s roughly the same amount of time for every one I’ve done (give or take 10 minutes) as it’s all the time I have to paint each day lately. 😊


  2. What Catherine J. said :-D!!! I very much like how you rendered the highlights. He carries his weight in a very handsome way. Maybe it has something to do with those sexy whiskers and mighty tusks? Enjoying the animal series extra much (I stole that from Teresa). So curious about X. More options if you go with scientific names. I’ve been meaning to verify your lion facts but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Their sexual stamina is somewhat astounding!

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    1. Thanks so much, Myr! I💕😃’m so glad you liked him!! Yeah… I think it’s easier to pull of such a chubby stature when you have sexy whiskers and tusks! Lol So glad you’re enjoying the series! And haha! Let me know if you find something different on lion mating. I’m no journalist and have the attention span of a goldfish so I don’t cross check my facts. 😊 hehe

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      1. 😀 . I only crosscheck things when they are really surprising or I want to find out more. Still haven’t checked up on lion mating. I’ll let you know when I do – I wonder why they evolved that way. You may have a short attention span but you’re really good at picking out interesting information and summarizing it in an engaging way. Thanks for the educational and entertaining reads!

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    1. Awww…Thanks so much Carmel! 😃😃Yeah, I’m learning fun facts and learning so much about them visually. The different textures are so interesting and I’ve never looked this closely at these animals. I feel like a kid going to the zoo for the first time! 😊


  3. As good looking as Mr. Walrus is, I must say again that he is not nearly as good looking and dapper as you! ❤ 😀 I think Myriam has a great idea about including scientific names in your search for something that starts with an X to doodlewash!

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    1. Awww …you’re too sweet, Teresa! ❤️😃 Kerfe asked if we were going to see me dressed as a walrus for selfie art day…and I almost said this is me dressed as a walrus. Hehe…but that doesn’t really count. Plus…it would thankfully take 10 of me to fill out a walrus costume properly.

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  4. Beautiful walrus, Charlie! You’ve got the wrinkly skin spot on, and show very well the scale of the creature – he looks like a small mountain range lying there! Still charming, though, in his unique way, just not sure I’d particularly want one in my pond; not sure how the seals would take to a new housemate.

    Definitely looking forward to seeing what comes up tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks Jacob!! I was worried about getting the scale across with no background or anything else for reference. They’re so big!! And yeah…leave this one… The seals are far cuter and would only be horribly jealous. The next three will basically be the standard fare as animal charts go. Everything Z is about a Zebra from a shark to crosses with one like a Zorse. But my favorite is Zonkey! Lol

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