Little Ghost Octopus

Cute Ghost Octopus Trick Or Treating Giant Clam Underwater Halloween Watercolor Illustration Painting

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.

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Cute Ghost Octopus Trick Or Treating Giant Clam Underwater Halloween Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail
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31 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Sweet New character, Charlie, and sweet memories too. We watched “The Oftopus Teacher” the other night. An interesting documentary.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Oh fun! I’ll have to check out that documentary!

      • Lois Mountz 1 month ago

        Do watch ‘The Octopus Teacher’!! I thought of it as soon as I saw your great little octopus illustration. One would never expect a connection between a human and an octopus.

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

          I totally watched it The Octopus Teacher this past weekend!! It’s so good! Loved it! 😃💕

  2. writerleenda 1 month ago

    We know what’s good for treats, right Charlie! We also say octopi. Like cactus and cacti. Octopuses is correct too. See now you get a lollipop, tell Phillippe I said so.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Indeed! I think we should always have good treats! 😃💕 Though, now I tend to eat less candy! hehe I’ll take some wine and cheese instead.

  3. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    Halloween is definitely a holiday that has suffered over the years. When I was a kid we got candy bars came in one size, and that size was bigger than the so-call ‘King’ size we have now. When we went trick or treating we the full size candy bar or bag of candy. Ah, those were the days!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Oh, I know right? It seems like everything kept getting shrunk in the experience of Halloween. Those were fun days! 😃💕

  4. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    Fantastic Charlie, they are such interesting creatures and very intelligent! I’m running late tonight as I got sucked down the experimenting with new art idea rabbit hole and lost all since of time. I did get outside today and it was a perfect fall day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yay for going done the experimental rabbit hole of art. Sounds like a fun time indeed!

  5. Nellie Nellie 1 month ago

    Awww Charlie! This one’s a winner! Keep him in mind for the future, he’s got a sweet expression. My favorite Jacque Cousteau was about octopus, maybe in the Mediterranean. I love a smart animal that can outwit us with such seeming ease! Well, I have my own bit of nefarious tom-foolery to pass on: dress up Phineas and go get your candy! When we took out our little guy, people practically threw candy at us! None for me or the dog but my husband wouldn’t turn down a Snickers!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Nellie! 😃💕 Glad you liked this character! hehe… and that’s a fun plane for Halloween, but getting the costume on Phineas would be the toughest part! lol

  6. Gary Middleton 1 month ago

    Brilliant. I love this little character. Trick or treating is relatively new in the UK but it’s a massive industry now. The supermarkets have lots of costumes and treats on the shelves weeks before the day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Yeah, it would seem our little craze for Halloween has spread. It’s fun!

  7. Lisa 1 month ago

    Cute! And I had to look up your plural because inquiring minds need more info and found this. The three main plurals for octopus come from the different ways the English language adopts plurals. Octopi is the oldest plural of octopus, coming from the belief that Latin origins should have Latin endings. Octopuses is the next plural, which gives the word an English ending to match its adoption as an English word. Lastly, octopodes stems from the belief that because octopus is originally Greek, it should have a Greek ending.

    So even though I say octopi, I’m not wrong. But I’m going to try to train myself to say octopuses.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Indeed! That’s what I found… seems the proper English is octopuses, but I love Octopi best, and Latin can never be wrong! hehe 😉

  8. Moony 1 month ago

    Aww such a cute character 💕

  9. LoriCtoo 1 month ago

    Possibly one of Nemo’s neighbors? 😉 So cute. I agree with you, it is much easier and more fun to sketch things from your own imagination. There’s no right or wrong, well sort of. Have a great weekend! We have a coldfront coming in and I am looking forward to finally hunkering down under some cozy blankets.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, sketching from imagination is fun. But, it’s super challenging to get things out of my crazy mind! lol It was warm yesterday here and now got really cool again. Time to hunker down indeed!

  10. Meg of TfSB 📚 1 month ago

    This is adorable. 🙂

  11. memadtwo 1 month ago

    This one needs an entire illustrated book. Charming! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 I’m so happy you think so… I really liked how this character turned out!

  12. Mugdha 1 month ago

    Hello Charlie,

    The ghost octopus looks so happy trick-or-treating! I love that he’s knocking on a clam shell. Though very young he seems to be easily pleased and very content. Had I been in his place I would’ve taken advantage of ALL my tentacles (or arms as you said they are) and held a separate trick-or-treating bucket in each. 😉 And your story about warning others about the apple-distributing neighbor was so funny. Looks like Little Charlie was every bit the noble man he is today. 🙂

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed my little octopus character. I did actually start by putting a bucket in each arm, but it looked too busy in the end and he didn’t an arm to knock! hehe Yeah, that poor apple-giving neighbor didn’t get many visits. But perhaps that was the point! lol

  13. heila 1 month ago

    Charming. Reminds me of the wonderful documentary My Octopus teacher.
    https://youtu.be/3s0LTDhqe5A

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Heila! 😃💕 I haven’t seen that yet, so I’ll totally have to check it out!

  14. Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

    Hi, Charlie! I am late to the party. I didn’t have internet yesterday. 💜 Cute octopus 🐙🐙🐙. In Spanish, they are called pulpos (plural). I will be honest, they scare me. I have seen one too many videos of them wrapping themselves around people. I don’t know how to spell heebeejeebees so YUCK! In Mexico, in coastal towns, people obviously fish for a living and fish their own food. They all know to be careful because the squids there EAT HUMANS. OH MY GOODNESS, CHARLIE! These animals are extremely smart and rock the small fishing boats to tip them over and drag the fisherman to the bottom to drown and eat. YUCK again! Even worse, many fisherman fish at night. Isn’t that terrifying, Charlie? That’s enough to give anyone nightmares. Yours seems sweet. 🌻🌞💜
    So, the city came out and they said no to fixing the section that we were hopeful they would fix. My uncle works for SAWS, which is the city water system. He wasn’t surprised, but not happy. Charlie, like I told my mom, we don’t have that kind of money ($9,000) and all we can do is trust the Lord to help us and take care of us like He always has. God willing, this pandemic will end soon and I can live my life again and go back to work. Then, we can have a game plan, but, right now, I mean, when you don’t have the money, you don’t have it. Thankfully, they cleared out our sewer line and it is in good condition. We just have to be careful. It’s all that we can do right now. I am so tired of this virus, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Yeah, octopuses are such awesome creatures! I adore them! Typing fast tonight as friends are coming over shortly and I’m running late as usual! I’m sure things will work out somehow, keep that hope alive!

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