Finding A Blue Lobster

Blue Lobster European Homard breton Illustration - Doodlewash

With our prompt of “Lobster” today, this prompted Philippe to once again say that the lobsters in his native land of France are the very best. So, I opted for this blue lobster, or what we refer to as a European lobster. In France it’s called “homard breton.” I should note that by “best” he means in flavor, so I painted this little guy alert and looking out for Philippe’s attempt to cook him. Despite its bluish tint, when lobsters are boiled only the red pigment survives so they all end up looking red in the end. There have been a lucky few lobstermen, yes, that’s actually a word, who have found bright blue lobsters and those are said to be extremely rare. So rare, it’s estimated that the odds of actually finding a true blue lobster are one in a million. Odds like that tend to move something into the category of actually winning the lottery or capturing a unicorn. I’d be happy with either prize, by the way, but I’m equally happy with all of the things that I can find by simply looking at the ordinary world around me. And though the “homard breton” isn’t quite the neon blue of its showy cousin, it’s still quite fascinating. When, I was little and living far from an ocean, I thought all lobsters were the bright red color that only happens after they’re cooked. As I got older, I visited a restaurant called Red Lobster, and they had live ones in tanks, that were more of a reddish brown and not at all like the ones in the commercials, so I was appropriately skeptical.

As I was studying these European lobsters for this sketch, I got lost in various articles about lobsters. I’ve never been keen on the idea of boiling lobsters alive, but have to admit they do taste rather amazing. A couple of times a year, Philippe and I will get a two frozen lobster tails and have them as a treat. According to the articles, the verdict is still out on whether or not these crustaceans can actually feel pain. Since they only have a nervous system and not a brain, most scientists have concluded they are like an insect and can’t feel pain at all. Yet the very thought that this hasn’t been conclusively proven in either direction leaves many doubts. In Switzerland, an animal protection law requires lobsters to be stunned before being cooked. In Maine, one restaurateur gave her lobsters marijuana prior to cooking them as a more humane approach. Indeed the most humane method of killing something would be to avoid do so entirely, making many of these debates rather confusing. What I’ve adored about eating Philippe’s cooking is that it’s mostly always vegetarian in nature. But there’s definitely meat on the menu for special occasions and other family memories. I was actually completely vegetarian for a few years, but today, things in moderation give me a chance to relive a bit of culinary family history.

In truth, I don’t have crazy strong and militant views about anything at all. I think that life is best lived with a healthy dose of moderation and a positive outlook. Sure, there are things in the world in dire need of change and I do my part to make that change happen. One of those things is getting people to create each and every day. I’ve discovered the restorative power of showing up and sketching stuff, and now I DO have a mission to get more people to enjoy this same habit. So, yes, I guess I do have a strong view about something after all! We all have these ideas and ideals that we want to share with the world. In my case, I’ve found the best way is to simply offer up the chance and let people do whatever they want. Some might think what I’m doing is awesome and others will take a hard pass. And, that’s okay. I don’t want to change minds, I just want to touch hearts. My own humble hope is to get people to feel what they did when they first picked up a crayon. That’s literally the extent of my entire mission with all of this. I only hope that I’ll be able to remind people of what they already know. A simplistic and silly goal, to be sure, yet I’ve watched people as they’ve rediscovered this knowledge and it’s always just as miraculously incredible as finding a blue lobster.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Blue Lobster European Watercolor Illustration Detail
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
29 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 6 months ago

    I love your blue lobster. They find them off the coast of Maine now and then.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕Yeah, the blue lobsters are so cool!

  2. Sandra Strait 6 months ago

    I’m one of those strange people who doesn’t care for the taste of lobster so I don’t have that ethical problem. I agonize over bacon though. Pigs are highly intelligent, family-oriented animals and the way they’re raised in mega-farms is a crime. But I do crave bacon at times.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Oh my gosh, I have the same issue with pigs!! 😃💕 Mostly because I got to name the piglets when I was growing up, but they are so smart and wonderful. Though yeah, I’m a Midwestern boy so I do indeed crave bacon still at times. 😊

  3. Susan Killian 6 months ago

    Rich colors is so interesting!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 6 months ago

    Gorgeous colors and a rightfully suspicious lobster! My parents were raised in New England, and we often drove across the country to visit relatives there. One of my aunts lived on Cape Cod and always cooked live lobsters for us. I hated seeing them go into the pot alive, but their meat was delicious.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, Philippe would cook him in a heartbeat! Yeah, not a great process, but they do actually taste really good. 😊

  5. Robert J. Coleman 6 months ago

    That lobster is giving us all the stink-eye, wanting us in the boiling pot instead of him! Not a fan of lobsters, even though I am a New Englander, I’m not a vegan either, but I don’t hold it against anyone who does enjoy lobster. You have made the true point of not forcing anyone to think one way or another. Just give each reader a taste of the fun of doodles and color and he or she just might pick it up and enjoy the relaxation, the zen even, of making one’s own art. Thanks! bob.c

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      hehe! Yes, he’s totally got the stink eye going! 😉 What a wonderful comment! Thanks, Bob! 😃💕 That’s exactly what I hope to impart with my posts. So happy you’re enjoying them!

  6. Lisa 6 months ago

    Doesn’t Philippe have a thing about shrimp too? Maybe I’m just misremembering? Any way, I have not had lobster in years and now I want some. I’m for a headfirst tumble into boiling water. If I was going to worry about creature feelings I’d be more inclined to quit eating chicken, beef, or pork, all of which are cuter than lobsters. Eating based on the cuteness scale means messing with a whole lot of media which shows baby animals. Who’d eat pork after seeing adorable baby pigs? Not me! But I’m making pork tacos this weekend when my bestie comes to visit. Just sayin!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Yeah, the media is great at helping on the cutest of animals. Pandas, for example, on no longer an endangered species because of that very fact! 😉 Proof that we live in a world that elevates looks, on nearly every level. That said, I have to admit to loving pork tacos. 😊

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 months ago

    I had to look up images of blue lobsters – incredibly as blue as cobalt, it turns out. Other rare lobsters are white or yellow with rusty speckles. A friend posted an video of an octopus skittering across the ocean floor looking as blue as the sky. But blue blood is a misunderstanding about how blood appears through the veins in our skin – human blood is red, in varying shades depending on the amount of oxygen it carries on its travels through the body. Now that we’re totally distracted with my little pseudo science lesson, your little blue buddy here is pretty cute – you should let him wend his way back to the sea. But keep on writing and Doodlewashing, Charlie – sparks a lot of ideas.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Thrilled to hear my posts spark ideas! That’s the best compliment ever!! And yeah, I would let this little guy back to sea for sure. Adore your factoid on blue blood… that’s the kind of stuff I adore!!

  8. Snehlata Maheshwari. 6 months ago

    Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeede preeeteeeeey

  9. LoriCtoo 6 months ago

    Wow! He’s cool! Never thought about the color of lobsters. I’m not a fan of the taste. :O I also never like the idea of dropping them into hot water either. I painted my lobster red, but that makes my sketch more acurate. He was sizzling in a beach chair. LOLOLoloLOL! If you haven’t seen him, go look for a good laugh!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 hehe!! Love your lobster!! Yeah, I think that if a lobster choses to tan, that’s his own choice, so it’s just fine then. 😉

  10. Laura Kate 6 months ago

    This post made me laugh. You are funny Charlie.

  11. Mary Roff 6 months ago

    Prettiest lobster ever….this one would never make it to the pot; he would become a pet..which might be a worse fate than the pot. Okay, on second thought he would be released back into the wild. Moderation is a good thing and a good life philosophy…unless you’re talking about a bag of Cheetos…it’s tough to think moderation with a bag of Cheetos in the house. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      hehe… so true, Mary! 😃💕 Being a pet can be glorious or awful, so it’s a bit of a toss up! Phineas doesn’t like “pets” and thinks they’re beneath him. And yeah, when it comes to chips or Cheetos, moderation turns into something mythical to be sure! lol

  12. smzang 6 months ago

    Charlie says, “life is best lived with a healthy dose of moderation and a positive outlook”

    Wisdom that could save civilization from extinction!

    and this…”I don’t want to change minds, I just want to touch hearts.”…oh my, You and your work DO!!

    On another note, that handsome blue lobster has my mouth watering for drawn butter, vinegar, salt and pepper and, of course, Lobster/

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕Big hug to you my friend! You always inspire me and make me feel like what I create matters. That’s such a beautiful gift! ❤️And glad you liked my lobster… I know right? WHY do they have to be so delicious!!?

  13. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 6 months ago

    Oh it’s so cute!!! Ya i said it cute 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Yay! I hoped to make him come across cute!

  14. Jodi 6 months ago

    great attitude and great doodlewash!

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