K Is For Koala

Koala Doodlewash

Today’s doodlewash was destined to be an Australian animal as there seems to be a penchant for “K” names there. Beating out the kangaroo and kookaburra by a hair is this fluffy little koala, which I doodlewashed with a very limited palette since I was primarily focused on recreating all the fluff. I’ve always thought these little guys were cute and when I was a kid I wanted one. I was assured this wasn’t an option and had to settle for a plush version instead.

The Koala is one of only a few mammals who can survive solely on eucalyptus leaves. This diet, though fibrous, is actually a toxic, low-nutrition diet, much like eating at McDonald’s. Unlike humans, however, koalas have the ability to limit their energy by sleeping 20 hours a day in order to cope with such a crappy menu. Though their eyesight is rather poor, they have an excellent sense of smell, so they can always choose the tastiest toxic leaves to eat.

While super cute, koalas have one of the tiniest brains for their size making them well, rather special. Apparently though, when early European settlers first encountered koalas in Australia, they thought the tree-climbing animals were bears or monkeys, as these are such similar creatures. So koalas can rest easy knowing that brain size is not always a strong predictor of cognitive skill. Later, they would continue to be inaccurately described as “koala bears,” which, I guess is somewhat better than being called koala monkeys. Next up is “L” so if you have a suggestion, please shout it out in the comments!


About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

 

Profile photo of 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! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
51 Comments
  1. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    Hahahaha! You know what just occurred to me? You are like a gentler, less neurotic David Sedaris! OMG, you have to write books…you could be the next Sedaris!

    Also, I want to adopt your doodlewash koala! It is cuter than cute! I never had a plus one as a kid but I lusted after the one that my dad’s friend’s wife had. 🙂

    • Author

      Haha!! You’re too funny! Thanks Teresa! 💕😃Gentler and less neurotic? Not sure if that’s the case, but glad that’s how it comes across in my writing! Lol But what a compliment as I love Sedaris! 😊 And they should have a koala adoption agency! They’re so cute and pretty low maintenance when you consider the 4 waking hours you’d have to actually deal with them! Lol

      • Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

        They would make pretty good pets that way, wouldn’t they? The problem would be finding eucalyptus leaves for them. That stuff is nasty. Did you know that smoke from burning eucalyptus can really damage your lungs, more than regular smoke?

        And I’m serious! You need to write books! I would love them as much as I love his books. <3

      • Author

        Yeah it sounded like eucalyptus was crazy toxic from what I’ve read. I wouldn’t want to ever breathe it in if it wasn’t burning! 😳 And thanks!! I’ve always wanted to write books, but never seem to find the time to devote myself properly. 😊hehe

  2. Teri C 1 year ago

    You totally captured the fluffiness! So cute too

  3. Jacob 1 year ago

    Hahaha, oh, such a mischievous-looking character you’ve doodlewashed Charlie. I love it! And excellent job on the fluff too!

    L is for Leopard. Lion. Lynx. Lemming. Lemur. Lovebird? 😉

    • jmnowak 1 year ago

      Lion in profile; Madagascan Lemur, the kind that has those black and white striped tails, so cute — they look like John Cleese (he won’t mind this apt description…he’d revel in the similarities of looks).

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob!! I can’t help but inject a bit of how I’m feeling into these creatures. 😊lol And the fluff was fun to try, though a bit challenging. Excellent L list! I can definitely confirm that it will be one of those! 😉hehe

  4. Fabio 1 year ago

    Charlie, this is a 4G blog – Great illustrations; Great writing; Great comments; and Great energy! Bravo, my friend!

  5. debiriley 1 year ago

    so lovely Charlie! great fur and texture ! with an almost wave to his hand, looking charming indeed 🙂

    • Author

      Aren’t they cute?! I couldn’t resist trying one even though kangaroos are pretty cool as well. Glad you liked him Debi!! 💕😃

  6. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    Another adorable creature and great information. One never does hear much about sleepy Koala Bears. Bet they are never congested!! 🙂

    • Author

      Haha! I don’t think they’re ever awake long enough to be too bothered by anything! Lol Thanks so much Susan!! 💕😃

  7. theturtle 1 year ago

    So cute and adorable 🙂
    Turtle Hugs

  8. Tom Merriman 1 year ago

    Love it! You’ve captured my favourite animal of all time perfectly, Charlie… fluff and all!

  9. Jodi 1 year ago

    Kute!!! 👍👍❤️💜

  10. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    Kuddly! Hehe! 😃 Super doodlewash Charlie! Looking forward to seeing a pair of Lovebirds tomorrow! 💖💕😜

    • Author

      Thanks so much Jill!! 💕😃 And I was starting to sketch lovebirds, but as ever, ended up getting distracted so we’ll have plan B instead. 😊lol

  11. angieabk 1 year ago

    Thanks so much for sharing! I have always ALWAYS wanted to be an artist. I just don’t have it in me. I can’t draw stick figures! So, I enjoy the artistry and skill of others, like yourself. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for L!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Angie!! That’s sweet of you to say! But I doubt you actually don’t have it in you. I believe it’s in all of us! Just takes a bit of practice and whole lot of fearlessness to actually go for it! You should try it!! You’ll surprise yourself! 😉💕😃

  12. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    Superbly Doodlewashed, Charlie. I love it! ❤️💕

  13. Deb Breton 1 year ago

    This is especially cute Charlie, your work is amazing❤ Maybe L for Llama?

    • Author

      Thank you Deb! I’m thrilled you like my work! 💕😃 And yeah…I looked at llamas but ended up moving to something else. Hehe

  14. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Somehow I knew the cuteness of koala would win out.
    Are lovebirds too corny for Valentines Day? But great colors! (K)

    • Author

      Yeah…I was staying through references of kangaroos and this little fluffball kept popping up and stealing attention. lol And I don’t think lovebirds are too corny…hehe…but I ultimately went another direction.

  15. Carmel Campbell 1 year ago

    Beautiful sketch. They truly are a beautiful in real life. So sleepy. So for ‘L’ leopard!

  16. artmeanderings 1 year ago

    Nice! Love the texture.

  17. jmnowak 1 year ago

    IF you take away their ears, they look exactly like a hairy-nosed Wombat! (getting in real early…lol). 🙂
    They are very soft to touch, in person, and I too had a stuffed koala which I cherished until it disappeared (my mother always removed anything that I truly loved…monster extraordinaire!).
    As to their exclusive diet, I like the McDonald’s link to extinction…so clever and so apt! hahaha
    Great doodle, Charlie; you’ve got the details and facial expression so well! <3

    • Author

      Thanks Janina!! 💕😃 And oh no!! Can’t believe your koala disappeared. But that happened to me a lot as well when my plush animals started stacking up. Hehe

  18. M. L. Kappa 1 year ago

    Plenty of eucalyptus in my garden, so I’ve always wanted a koala as well! Llama, lion, leopard, lemur? Gaaah, spoilt for choice. I love ’em all!

    • Author

      Hehe…you have the perfect spot!! You need one of these!!! And I know! L is tough…too many great choices!! Arrghh!😊hehe

  19. itsmyhusbandandme 1 year ago

    They are cute but apparently they bite!
    Great pic.
    JP

  20. Oh yeah, great job on this one, Charlie! L is for Lepidoptera! Hehe. I also thought of llama, lion, lizard, even locust (but I really don’t wanna see that lol). This one is one of my favorites so far. He is really beautiful! Wonderful underdrawing as well! Happy Valentine’s, Charlie! ❤️❤️❤️

    • Author

      Thanks Laura!! So happy you liked this one!! Hope you’re having a wonderful day!! ❤️😃 Yeah…you know I’d totally do a locust!! Lol But yeah…probably a little too creepy for Valentine’s Day! 😊

  21. ArtsyDot 1 year ago

    so cute!

  22. Kari 1 year ago

    I am going senile because I thought I had already commented! Charlie, I just love the way you doodlewash the fur! Not just on this cutie, but so many of the furry friends! Sometimes I feel like that koala as my lunch is the same almost every day.. A spinach salad! 😊 hehe..

    • Author

      Lol….I’m pretty sure I’m already going senile. I can’t seem to remember anything lately. Doodlewashing fur is fun! I know it’s not very abstract and watercolor-y the way I do it, but it’s fun to get the bits of detail in. Hehe…and you ARE just like a koala! That’s so cute!! ❤️😃 Just stick to spinach and don’t switch to eucalyptus, it’s poisonous!! Lol

  23. corinnebekker 1 year ago

    Wonderful work as always Charlie. I agree with remarks above that you have a wonderful way to paint the fur.

    • Author

      Thanks Corinne! 💕😃It’s been a fun challenge to try to get a more furry feels with watercolor. Glad you like it!

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