For our prompt of “Tentacle” today, I first thought about alien monsters, and then stumbled upon a rather new species of octopus called the ghost octopus. I imagined what Halloween must be like in the deep sea and ended up with a quick little sketch of a ghost octopus going out trick-or-treating as himself. I drew him about to knock on something and then Philippe suggested a shell of some kind, so I scribbled in a giant clam and painted the little ghost underwater. In truth, octopuses, which is the weird but correct plural form, technically don’t have any tentacles. They’re just called arms, and though you’ll find tentacles on everything from squid to a nautilus, they’re often free of suckers and much less interesting in appearance. Yet, somewhere along the way, we’ve focused on the grasping bit and think of things as “spreading their tentacles” when describing something rather nefarious. Hence, the association with various alien monsters. But, I couldn’t sketch something nefarious if I tried, so I ended up with this instead.
I’m getting a bit faster at sketching stuff and much braver when it comes to making something up from my imagination. It’s fun to see what appears and it often makes me giggle. Letting my inner child take the pen and brush is totally freeing and fun, as even I don’t really know what will come next. I’ll often look back at my previous sketches and think, “how the heck did I end up with that?” This was a fun little character to add to my ever-growing menagerie of characters. This one was strangely easiest to draw as I’ve already tried drawing actual octopuses and painstakingly studied all of those arms. Quickly abstracting something after you know how to sketch the real thing makes life much easier. And though I won’t be trick-or-treating this Halloween, as that’s weird when you’re an adult without children to accompany you, it’s fun to remember back to that time. I loved the thrill of anticipation to see what would land in my plastic little jack-o-lantern bucket.
Of course, the treats were mostly just miniature versions of candy bars and some lollipops. This was nothing to complain about as that’s still rather awesome. Whenever a neighbor decided they were going to “save the children” and offered up healthy treats, however, I was not pleased at all. If I wanted to be healthy, I could do that at home and wouldn’t bother going door to door begging for treats. The word treat means something you don’t normally have, so whenever someone was passing out apples instead of candy bars, we kids would meet each other in the street and warn others away from the crazy house. We weren’t out shopping for groceries, we wanted the good stuff. That decadent stuff our parents would never let us have in bulk except for this one exceptional time each year. I adored those days back then, and I love conjuring those memories up again through my sketches, even if it’s no longer Little Charlie, but only his version of a little ghost octopus.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Bezimida Orange, Opus (Vivid Pink), Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, Indigo and Pthalo Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? 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!