A Happy Dolphin

Dolphin Swimming Underwater Coral Reef Fish Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Underwater” today, I decided to sketch a dolphin happily enjoying the scenery under the sea. I love dolphins, and think they’re lovely creatures. I also adore them because they always seem to be smiling and happy with life. It’s inspiring to watch them, which of course I did today, getting lost in another rabbit hole of videos showing cute dolphins in the wild. I’m not sure captive dolphins are quite as happy. Indeed, freedom is something most all animals prefer, including humans. And, along with chimpanzees dolphins top the charts as the smartest animals on earth. So perhaps that smile is also a bit of a smirk, a sense of knowing that they’re just a touch superior. But, I like thinking they’re simply happy in their own skin. Content with the world, in harmony with nature, and excited to see what each new day brings. And though I can’t hold my breath that long underwater, I can still choose to live a life that’s very similar in approach.

I’ve had very busy weeks lately and that’s made me a bit mentally exhausted by the end of the day. And no matter how much I think I’m getting done, I suddenly think of something I’ve forgotten to do and feel like I’m behind all of the time. Instead of worrying too much about all of that, of course, I do what any smart dolphin would do and take a break. I don’t go for a swim, but I do play in the water! Today, I had a blast on my sketching break, as my mind really needed to focus on something else for a moment. And the power of a drawing and painting break is incredible. No matter what, I’m happier after I’ve made a little something and even a bit enthusiastic to go and tackle all of those looming projects that I still have to complete. This includes things for work, but also less fun things like laundry. That’s another area where dolphins are superior since they don’t have to do laundry or wash the dishes. So yeah, they really might be smirking after all.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about where I’d like to swim next. Thinking about what next thing I’d love to try most. I’m not completely certain so I just keep right on the path I’m on and thinking about things along the way. For example, I love sketching stuff and all sorts of stuff so I just keep doing that. I’d love to make a storybook with animals, but like a little kid, I can’t choose just a few animals to include so my story will simply have to include them all somehow. I’m sure I can come up with a way to do it. Phineas, no doubt, wants to be the star of the story, but this one will be fiction and he’s not a fan of that. But, my inner child has decided that animals are his favorite lately so there will be more creatures to come. I actually love that an animal can relay a story in a way that’s totally universal. And, I’m just enjoying making these little stories appear. Even if I’m not sure what comes next, I’m grateful to be living my life each day, like a happy dolphin.

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Dolphin Swimming Underwater Coral Reef Fish Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
36 Comments
  1. Edith 1 month ago

    Oohhh! That could be a smirk..!! Couldn’t it..!? I love dolphins too, as I love your sketches, and it’s wonderful how with just a sketch you can convey a short story. A very short story, but that’s the fun of it! that you can leave a bit to our imagination ..!! In these rare times, thanks for “showing up” Charlie, and making us smile too!! ✨🤗🤗🤗

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Edith! 😃💕What a beautiful note to receive! I’m so happy you enjoy my short stories! hehe And thrilled I made you smile!

  2. Fatima Chamkha 1 month ago

    So cool Charlie!

  3. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    That is one happy dolphin not to mention a beautiful playground surrounded by all of those little fish friends. Good one, Charlie!! Dolphins should definitely swim free!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this! And yes to dolphins swimming free!

  4. heila 1 month ago

    Hi Charlie. It is 2:28 a.m. in Israel. I woke up an hour ago because I went to bed early after an intense day at work. The first thing I did was check my phone to see if you had already posted your sketch for today! I love your sketches and your whole blog, with all the wonderful guest artists. Thanks so much for being so consistent.
    And today’s dolphin is adorable!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Heila! 😃💕 Aww I’m so thrilled Doodlewash can give you a lovely break from the work week. That’s my hope… creating a fun place to escape to!

  5. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    Sure a delightful scene Charlie! Here’s to clean happy oceans!

  6. Jeena George 1 month ago

    Beautiful 😊

  7. Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

    So beautiful! I love dolphins and, yes, I think they know that they are way smarter than everyone. They outsmart sharks. I heard a story of a scuba diver, who got disoriented from his party and they left without him. Geez, imagine that panic and terror? Then, it got worse: a shark popped up and started swimming around him. He figured it was over. It was getting dark and now the shark. He said that out of nowhere, a big friendly face popped out of the water and was almost nose-to-nose with him. He said that it was like the dolphin was trying to reassure him that he would be okay. He said that all of a sudden, a whole pod of dolphins came up and surrounded him, chattering. He said that for an hour the dolphins fought off the shark (bumping him) meanwhile the dolphins took turns chattering with the man like trying to get him to not focus on the shark. The shark finally gave up and the dolphins stayed another 30 minutes with him. All they wanted to do was play. The man said that as his party came back for him, they swam away, but one came back as if telling him bye. The man hugged and kissed the dolphin on the head and said thank you as he chattered and swam away. Is that not the sweetest story ever? Made me cry and sealed my love for dolphins. 😊 Wonderful painting, Charlie. I would love to see you paint a Panda 🐼🐼🐼🐼 bear! So cute!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Aww I adore that story about dolphins! How very cool! And I’ve painted a few pandas, but none in my current approach… I might have to do just that!

  8. Lisa 1 month ago

    I’ve always wanted to see whales in the wild. And a moose! I was backpacking on Isle Royale years ago and missed seeing a moose by just a few minutes😡! All the time I lived up north and the only thing I was lucky enough to see was a black bear. You never know though, someday a moose might come strolling through our yard!

    • Nellie Nellie 1 month ago

      Just be very quiet and stand behind something sturdy😆 my friend from Idaho showed me babies and mama moose in her neighbors yard-they are such mooses! Gigantic. And yes so lovely in their moosiness!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      hehe! That would be most awesome!! Sending you a wish that you get to see that moose! 😃💕

  9. Laura Kate 1 month ago

    Again, your background is wonderful. I have been looking at photos of seascapes lately, because of my quilt project, so I know a good-looking coral reef when I see one.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 I almost skipped the coral reef as it’s seemed complex, but anything can be made with a few scribbles and colors! hehe Glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Fascinante, Charlie, me gusto, mas aun el tema que pinto ya que son muy inteligentes estos mamíferos.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Muchas gracias, Eduardo! 😃💕 Yeah, I adore dolphins… they are so smart!

  11. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    I hope you get your storybook done! It is difficult to decide which animals to choose, but then any that don’t make the cut this time will be waiting in line for the sequel!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 And good point! hehe… There’s always room for more in the sequel!

  12. LoriCtoo 1 month ago

    So cute! It’s Flipper! I was always amazed how that dolphin could do stuff. Every once in awhile I stumble across that show.

  13. Mugdha 1 month ago

    Hello Charlie,

    Today’s Doodlewash reminded me of Disney’s Little Mermaid! I half-expected to see Ariel or Flounder peeking out from behind the happy dolphin. I like dolphins a lot too because they really look like they’re smiling. When India went under lockdown and all activity stopped, dolphins were spotted at the Mumbai harbor after over a century! I havent yet seen them but the news itself brought on a great feeling. 🙂 And I know EXACTLY how you feel about wanting to write that story but not knowing where to start. But I also know that when you’re least expecting it, your inner child will tell you the perfect story in one go! All you probably need to do is keep listening…

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 When I was painting this one, Philippe started humming “Under the Sea” from Little Mermaid! hehe So cool dolphins appeared there! And so true on the story… my inner child already knows it well. It’s just a matter of listening closely.

  14. Gary Middleton 1 month ago

    Great doodle Charlie.

  15. Priscilla DeConti 1 month ago

    I love your stories as well as your paintings.I can’t wait for you to write that whimsical fun story for kids of all ages. 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 Yeah, I want to write that story… I just have to choose which one to write first! hehe

  16. shawnthompsonart 4 weeks ago

    Nice Dolphin, I really like how you added the tropical trees in the background.

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