I was debating between an octopus and a seahorse as my favorite ocean creature and couldn’t decide. So, I made a doodlewash of both of them chatting and figured they could simply debate about it and just tell me who wins. As a kid, the only seahorses I saw in person were all sadly expired and came in the form of those sunbaked corpses people collect on the beach. Later, I would finally get to see a living one in an aquarium and I was immediately fascinated with them. My most memorable encounter with an octopus was my freshman year in high school on a visit to New York. At one restaurant, there was a buffet and a bin was filled with an inglorious pile of whole little octopuses waiting to be eaten. I was mortified, mostly because seeing an entire creature served as food has always creeped me out. I didn’t partake, of course, but seeing so many of them at once was still fascinating.

Once, when I was in Atlanta visiting a friend of mine, we went to the aquarium there. It was amazing to see creatures you could only see if you were scuba diving. Which is not something I’d be very good at, as along with a fear of heights I also have a fear of depths. It was nearing closing time and I was so anxious to visit all the exhibits in time that, in my rush, I tripped and sprained my toe. This level of clumsiness is another reason why I would have no business donning scuba gear. It was worth it though. I really enjoyed the visit. Jellyfish are another type of creature that entrances me and I stood watching them for quite some time as well while I waited for the pain in my toe to subside.

The coolest part about the ocean, though, is its sheer vastness. An estimated two thirds of all marine life remain unidentified and around 95% of it still hasn’t been explored by humans. It’s like there are aliens from another planet living on our very own planet we’ve yet to make contact with. For example, while there’s no proof that mermaids exist, there’s no proof they don’t actually exist. I like to imagine that there’s some wonderfully wild and amazing new creature that will be discovered in my lifetime. So, with that in mind, I’ll just let these two creatures finish their debate and hold my real vote for my new favorite creature that’s still out there, waiting to be discovered.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Gamboge, Burnt Sienna, Pyrrol Red, Azo Orange, Cobalt Teal and Ultramarine Blue. 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!

43 replies on “My Favorite Ocean Creature

  1. As soon as I saw your title, My Favorite Sea Creature, I thought seahorse. Because adorable horse face and curly tail connected by a row of tiny spikes. And your octopus is also a charmer, red and lounging like a toddler in a scallop shell. But as beautifully as you’ve painted this Doodlewash, it continues to be your stories that make me think. Thanks, Charlie, another great one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think both of your selected creatures are incredible. I love how delicate and elegantly bizarre seahorse are and I love how smart and squashy octopi are. My youngest brother is nicknamed octopus and as a result the rest of us siblings all like to spot octopus things when we are out and about and then take a photo and tag him as it on Facebook. The consequence of many years of octopus spotting, however, is that we’ve all ended up being a tad octopus obsessed. I, therefore, smiled when I saw your lovely painting for today.

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    1. Thanks, Georgie! 😃💕 Yeah… squid is less chewy, if it’s prepared just right. In general the texture is just too weird to me so I switched to admiring them instead. And I love starfish too!! But realized I just doodlewashed one the day prior! 😊hehe So went with these guys instead.

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  3. What a nice doodlewash, I love how you do the shadows. And in this one, I especially love the colours too! I could never eat creatures like that. In some Sushi Restaurants they serve those tiny flame red octopusses, also the complete animal. They are so cute and to me it´s so gross to eat them… But it´s probably a cultural thing… Have a wonderful Sunday, Charlie! 🌞

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    1. Thanks so much, Ann!! 😃💕 Glad you liked this one! Yeah…I don’t like the whole octopus thing. While looking for references, I ran across videos of people in China eating a whole octopus while it was still alive. I guess it’s a delicacy…but ewwww… that’s even worse! 😳 I had to watch a cute cat video just to erase the image! Hehe 😊 Hope you have a wonderful Sunday as well!

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  4. I have always wanted to see a sea horse – I hope they look as colourful and charming as this character! Not to take anything away from the ocotpus, he’s cool too – they look a harmonic pair, so I shan’t create tension by playing favourites. 😉 I love the stats about the undiscovered seas, too. Fingers crossed for mermaids and sea zonkeys!

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