Fish In A Bowl

Goldfish In A Bowl - Doodlewash

Our second little thing is a doodlewash of a goldfish in a bowl. I was always fascinated with these creatures as a kid. They seemed like they were trying to communicate (most likely saying, “get me the hell out of this tiny bowl you jerk”) and always seemed incredibly bored. Lots of my friends had them when I was growing up because they were the go-to low maintenance pet. All of them had asked for a hamster, dog or cat and were instead “surprised” with one of these instead and told not to touch it.

Since I was one of the kids lucky enough to be given a hamster, I wasn’t allowed to also have a goldfish. When my whining grew too great, my mother finally gave in and got me my very own consolation prize: Sea-Monkeys. Instead of being disappointed, I was absolutely thrilled and thought I had really scored something magical. That was until I discovered they were not actual little monkeys who lived in water, but something else entirely.

The packaging showed a disturbingly naked family of human-like creatures with tails who were wearing crowns. Along with this was the exciting proclamation that these were “Live Sea-Monkeys” which was good, as nobody ever wants to receive a dead pet. I vaguely remembered the ads from my comic books and so I was intrigued. After all, they had promised these were “a bowl full of happiness you can grow yourself” and, best of all, they are “so eager to please – they can even be ‘trained’!” The fact that “trained” was in quotes had escaped me during my initial excitement.

Unfortunately, once the “live eggs” hatched, what appeared was something that looked like floating pieces of lint. I used the growth food as instructed, however, they never grew up to become that happy family from the box and remained seemingly lifeless microscopic sea creatures. Refusing to give up, I attempted to “train” them as described and play some music to watch them dance. They just stopped moving entirely. This was when I realized it was a hoax. I mean honestly, who could resist the sultry belting of Tina Turner or not bounce around happily when hearing the theme from Footloose.

Once, as an adult, I almost bought some Sea-Monkeys just to see if maybe things had changed. But I resisted. I didn’t want to live through the disappointment again should the same outcome occur. And if they had grown up to become the happy family on the package, I would have just felt bad that they had to live in a tiny bowl and likely found their nudist lifestyle to be uncomfortably awkward. So, I think I’ll just stick with dogs. Now that I’m old enough to have one without having to ask my parents first.


About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Azo Orange, Quinacridone Gold, Pyrrol Red, Cobalt Blue, Neutral Tint. Winsor & Newton: Permanent White Gouache and Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

 

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!
Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
39 Comments
  1. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Beautiful painting, looks so real. Love what you did with the shadow and translucent reflection. As always, delightful story behind the painting. ✨

    • Author

      Thanks Haunani! 💕😃Caustic shadows are super hard…hehe… I wanted something where I could practice them. Glad you liked it!

  2. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    Such a lovely gold fish and his glass cage is executed beautifully. I have the school memories of winning gold fish at the school fairs. 💕🐟

    • Author

      Thanks Sharon! 💕😃 That’s cool! I never won one like that. Would have been great! And then I wouldn’t have been stuck with Sea-Monkeys! Hehe

  3. Kari 2 years ago

    What a cool doodlewash! You even captured it’s scaly reflection! I’m sorry about the sea monkeys. What a disappointment. I’ve never tried anything like that. And now I’m very curious. I have to investigate.. Maybe instead of a hedgehog that my girls want, I could get them a family of sea monkeys! And we already have a dog! 😊

    • Author

      As long as they at least get a dog, it’s okay to dabble in Sea-Monkeys then! 😉hehe… thanks Kari! 💕😃 Glad you liked this. I wanted to try glass and reflections. It’s so challenging!!

  4. Cathe 2 years ago

    Beautiful gold fish Charlie! Okay, moment of truth, I too wanted sea monkeys and as an adult I bought a package of them. It turns out they are brine shrimp and from what I could tell they ate each other or so it appeared or maybe they were just dying from my lack of required care(?). They had a sad ending and I’ll say no more. So I have learned, sea monkeys really are not the perfect pet. Like you I’ll stick with my four legged friends!

    • Author

      Thanks, Cathe! 💕😃Haha! That’s awesome! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who wanted them as an adult. And yep..they’re brine shrimp and super disappointing! Lol Glad you agree!

  5. Lol, love the story here and you nailed the shiny fish and glass “cage”! Wonderful, Charlie! O’Bro strikes again! 🖌🎨👍🏼💜💛

    • Author

      Thanks Laura!! Glass and reflections are super hard to pull off. Trying to choose subjects that let me practice things I need practice with. Since I’ve only been sketching for 6 months, though, that’s pretty much everything still! Lol Glad you liked this sis!! 💜😃

      • Boy, you and me both. Since high school, I had pretty much done no art (unless you count quilting) all my life! You do make it look easy, Charlie, but I’m quite sure glass is quite beyond me at this point! It’s nice to see you reaching out into difficult arenas though, and you really give the rest of us hope when we see you succeed! Lead on, MacDuff! 💛

      • Author

        Haha…I like that name! 😊 And you all inspire me so much! It’s such a wonderful community we have here. I’m not sure I’d keep this painting every day thing going without all the inspiration and encouragement. Hehe It’s tough some days!! 😊

  6. Teri C 2 years ago

    Gee, I opened this page and your fish just about swam out of my iPad. Great realism! And fun story.

  7. Jacob 2 years ago

    That is an absolutely perfect goldfish, Charlie, and reacting perfectly to the water – love the slightly distorted and rippled end of the tail through the top of the bowl. Perfect!

    I was clearly spoilt as a child, as I had hamsters, goldfish AND Sea-Monkeys all at once. I won my first goldfish, though, at a country fair; I don’t know if they can still do that – I’d presume not. Your talking about Sea-Monkeys amused me though because I was pretty much the same. I think the packaging for ours was similarly curious/disturbing. I just didn’t get what I was supposed to be so engrossed and enamoured with. I’ve just googled them and they look far more interesting than mine ever did. But still, a strange business!

    • Author

      Awww you’re too sweet…don’t think he’s quite perfect, but glad you like him! Hehe That water and glass stuff is hard to pull off my hand. I need more practice!! And you were spoilt as a child!! You had it all! And yeah… now that you’ve seen the American 80’s version via Google you can’t unsee it! Lol It’s totally bizarre!!

  8. Carmel Campbell 2 years ago

    Love the colors of your goldfish and your story! We have had lots of pets but always struggled with goldfish!

  9. thepaperbaker 2 years ago

    Such a neat doodlewash….the fact that you can paint glass astounds me!

    • Author

      Awww thanks, Nicole! 💕😃 I’m still learning to paint glass. It’s still a big challenge for me. Hoping if I do it more it will become more comfortable for me! 😊

  10. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    Oh, yes, I remember the Sea Monkeys! 😜 Lol! My older sis and I came home with chameleons from the circus. They were really cool how they changed colors with their surroundings. Then mom had to buy mealworms for their food and that quickly ended our pet relationship. 😁 I think we had a circus gold fish or two also. They never lived very long. 🤔 You were lucky to have a hamster. I think I told you before that I had a gerbil named Charlie. 😮 Great doodlewash BTW – love how you painted the reflection on the glass bowl. 👍🐠🌟

    • Author

      Thanks Jill!! 💕😃 And too funny!! I had started a contour sketch of a baby chameleon and then changed my mind (perhaps tomorrow unless I get distracted by some other shiny thing😊) Cool that you had one! For a little while at least. Hehe And yes!! Charlie the gerbil. That’s a good name for a gerbil I think!! Hehe

      • Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

        Except my Charlie liked to chew on cardboard toilet paper rolls all night long. Ugh! 😳😳😳

      • Author

        Yeah…I can honestly say this is where I differ from that Charlie. I think I’ve only done that like once when I was drunk in college. 😊 But yeah…he sounds pretty high maintenance! Lol

      • Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

        LOL! Glad to hear you only did this once! 😜

  11. That Aussie Geek 2 years ago

    Nice work on the glass and the “caustics” in the shadow! I remember Sea Monkeys, and I remember the art you describe – talk about false advertising!

    • Author

      Thanks Lindsay!! I chose this subject specifically to practice caustics…super hard! And thank you!! See? It was totally false advertising. But still not sure I’d want to be in charge of raising that freaky naked family, so it as probably for the best! Hehe

  12. Lucy 2 years ago

    Lovely painting!! It looks so real!

  13. agneslise 2 years ago

    Some years ago I painted the 4 goldfishes I had in an aquarium with even the plants that were in it. And to make a joke for my family I stuck the watercolor on the aquarium ! 😄

  14. Jodi 2 years ago

    Awesome as always Charlie O – so amazing what you are able to do every day. I remember sea monkeys – never got to get them – so glad I didn’t – doesn’t sound like they were much better than pet rocks. LOL!

    • Author

      Thanks Jodi!! ❤️😃Haha!! Yeah…pet rocks were MUCH more fun and they were ridiculous!! Lol I think you dodged a bullet there really.

  15. memadtwo 2 years ago

    Great fish, great story. (K)

  16. Owl 2 years ago

    I really love the shadow!

  17. Rachel Murphree 2 years ago

    Really great reflections/shadows! I had two of those that i killed with neglect as a child!

    • Author

      Thanks Rachel! 💕😃 Trying to work on reflections and shadows more. So picking things that help me with that! Hehe… and poor fish! Fish everywhere breathed a sigh of relief when my request was denied. And killing Sea-Monkeys didn’t seem to matter as I was never sure they existed anyway.

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