National Sardines Day

National Sardines Day by Charlie O'Shields

Today is all about celebrating those tiny little fish known as sardines. They often come in a can and are loved by millions while simultaneously freaking out the remainder of the population. I’m not a big fan, and they’re usually headless, which was just too gross to doodlewash so I put their heads back on.

I’ve been loving limited palettes lately, and not sure why but here we go again. This one uses just Azo Green, Pyrrol Red, Cobalt Blue with Neutral Tint. Today I was a bit rushed and am posting later than I normally do, but this is such an odd day, that if you actually love these things, I’m sure you’re already celebrating it.

Philippe is a huge fan of sardines and has turned Phineas on to the notion, though admittedly the dog will eat anything that you put in front of him. He even eats dried leaves off the terrace, and later regurgitates them, leading us to refer to them as his “pukey chips.” But sardines are far better for him and make his coat all shiny, so there’s something to be said for these little creatures after all.

There’s just something weird to me about eating fish out of a can that I can’t get past. I’ve tried them once when Philippe coaxed me, and they weren’t as horrific as I had imagined, but still not the culinary treat that would keep me coming back for more. To be fair, I’m typically against all meat in a can, but have to admit having fried SPAM as a child.

SPAM, however, isn’t actually meat, but a “meat product.” Something that’s been processed beyond belief and no longer retains any of the qualities of real meat. So I guess, if you want me to eat meat out of a can, you just need to disguise it’s animal characteristics and render it unrecognizable. It also helps if you catch me when I’m terribly young and would probably be just as likely to try some “pukey chips.”

But if sardines are your thing, then this day was made for you! Roll open a can and dig into some headless goodness packed in oil, water, mustard or tomato sauce. Whatever you like best! I’ll be opting out of this day, however, and feasting on just about anything else.

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!
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51 Comments
  1. memadtwo 2 years ago

    …and yet you make them look so tempting…(K)

  2. Nancy 2 years ago

    Like your drawing. Don’t think I would like sardines but I’ve never tried them so I don’t know for sure. I can imagine that eating them must give Phineas interesting breath…hmmm.

  3. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    We love sardines! Hubby makes an excellent sardine pasta. 🙂 Actually, we love all fish…the oilier the better (my favorite has to be mackerel and salmon). Fish in a can (they’re whole, too!) is nothing like meat in a can, although I’m a fan of SPAM, too. I know, I’m weird! LOL!

    Speaking of SPAM, we had scrapple for dinner tonight. It’s big on the East Coast and it’s like a non-canned SPAM. So yummy with ketchup. Am I grossing you out?

    • Author

      Yeah…you’re totally grossing me out and you’re doing it on purpose! Haha!! ❤️😃 But we were just talking about Scrapple the other day as our butchers had some made…we had to look it up. I kind of want to try it, but it seems so weird!! Lol

      • Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

        I have a friend who can’t stand Scrapple because she doesn’t like the taste of liver, but I love offal and innards! 😀 I would never gross you out on purpose, my dear…okay, maybe just a little. Heh! xo

      • Author

        Hehe…you totally would, but that’s okay! It’s fun! 😄 And yeah…I’m not a big liver fan, but Philippe does prepare an amazing Foie Gras at Christmastime!

      • Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

        I’ll be crashing your Christmas dinner! 😀 xo

      • Author

        Fantastic!! That would be awesome!! ❤️😃👍🏻

  4. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    I’m with you Charlie, I’ve never been a fan of sardines. But, there are several cans in the cupboard. My husband Gary likes them occasionally. I wonder if it’s that way in every partnership, hee hee. I love your doodle wash. You really nailed the tin can color. 🐟

    • Author

      Yay! You’re on my side! Yeah… I’m not sure what that says about our relationships! Lol But they do say opposites attract! 😉 Thanks Sharon! 💕😃 I don’t know why, but I’ve been attracted to shiny surfaces the last few days! Hehe 😊

  5. Nancy 2 years ago

    Oh, and as for SPAM…my mom made it for dinner quite often-it builds character! 😉

  6. Kari 2 years ago

    I love sardines, anchovies and yes, even SPAM.. I’m Japanese after all. Mom used to put SPAM into stir fry, fried rice, soup.. Wonderful doodlewash..I was getting worried that you may miss today.. Glad you made it!! ❤️

    • Author

      Thanks Kari! ❤️😃Hehe…I was a bit worried too today! 😳 I barely had time to do one and had to knock this post out in less 40 minutes that I barely had! But I was determined to do it!! Should be back on schedule now, since it’s the holidays! 😊 And wowser! That’s a ton of uses for SPAM I wouldn’t have imagined! Of course…I am imagining it now and would love to try them all just to see! Hehe

  7. Jacob 2 years ago

    The specular on that lid… you’s getting too good at this stuff, Charlie!

    Hmm! I think this is another knees-up that I’m going to have to ‘forget’ about. You mention SPAM – sardines or SPAM… now there’s a dilemma… one I hope to never have to contemplate again, ever!

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob! 😄 Yeah…this was another dilemma day for me as well. The celebratory option and what it brought to mind were both a bit foul, so hopefully tomorrow will bring something more festive for us! Lol

      • Jacob 2 years ago

        Yes! Fingers crossed! I think the only way is up (though I’ve probably jinxed it now by saying this).

  8. memadtwo 2 years ago

    I’m a fan. I love sardines and always save a few from the can for my dogs. They love them too. Great drawing and tribute to an unappreciated food item. N.

    • Author

      Awww thanks Nina! 💕😃And that’s awesome you’re in the Philippe and Phineas camp. They will love to know you’re part of the club!! 😉👍🏻

  9. Teri C 2 years ago

    That is an awesome sketch! Forget the sardines, I can’t get past the painting.

  10. Jodi 2 years ago

    So how you get from National Sardine Day to SPAM cracks me up! But….. the doodlewash – AMAZING! Seriously! your talent…. I am beyond words… how you can make these little buggers look so awesome is beyond me. Only you Charlie O! Only YOU! 🙂

    • Author

      Aww you’re too sweet Jodi! Thanks! ❤️😃 yeah….my brain goes to weird places! Lol Glad you enjoy the ride!! 😉

  11. Rachel Murphree 2 years ago

    Super fabulous doodle! love the texture and “believability” of the rolled can lid. You ROCK my friend! I thoroughly dislike the smell of the things, but they are amazingly good on a full tossed salad. you don’t even need salad dressing. Those creatures do double duty.

    • Author

      Awww thanks!! I’m glad you like this one Rachel! ❤️😃I’m just not a fan of these, hehe…but it works out well since then I’m not fighting Philippe for them!! Lol

  12. jmnowak 2 years ago

    I must put this day in my calendar…I love Sardines, any which way, and fresh-cooked too. My fave is to just mash them from a can onto a couple of slices of crisp toast, with a layer of fresh sliced Spanish onion and Iceberg lettuce underneath the sardines…YUM-O.
    Of course, your doodle is another success, Charlie. 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much!! Hehe💕😃hehe! Yay! A day that sounds like it was made for you my friend! You’re a true lover of these little guys! Hehe😉👍🏻

      • jmnowak 2 years ago

        …yay, apart from the added bonus of they being brain food, and all that wondrful calcium for the bones… 😎

  13. kirkistan 2 years ago

    Charlie–I’m with Philippe here: sardines are a satisfying, tasty snack. Our kid used to wrinkle their noses when they smelled but I love them. But can we talk about your sardine can? It is so realistic! Really. You nailed the coiled lid–it almost looks like a photo to me. And the shadow around the edge is perfect. Really, really well done.

    • Author

      Hehe…so you’re in camp Philippe I see! 😉👍🏻 Thanks Kirk!! I’m glad you like this, I’ve been digging reflections and metal lately. They’re fun to try to pull off! 😊

  14. thepaperbaker 2 years ago

    Ultra Fab Doodlewash! Ultra Yucky food choice! My husband loves them… I on the other hand would have to be near death before they entered my food list. I make my husband throw the cans outside & gargle with industrial strength LISTERINE! So thankful you reattatched their heads 😉

    • Author

      Thanks!! 💕😃Haha!! That’s awesome Nicole!! 😂Sounds like you don’t pull any punches when it comes to him eating these little creatures! Lol

  15. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    Not a big fan of Sardines – but a BIG FAN of your Doodlewashes, Charlie!! 😊🎨🌟💜🎉

    • Author

      Thanks Jill! 💕😃Lol…I don’t like them either, but they were actually kind of fun to doodlewash at least! Hehe

  16. Rebecca 2 years ago

    Super tin Charlie! The colour and shine you’ve achieved are spot on. 🙂

  17. rebecca 2 years ago

    Nice reflections on the tin…you made sardines look “good”! I have to ask….where do you come up with all these “days”…..

    • Author

      Thanks so much!! Glad you liked it! 😃As for the “days”…there’s a days of the year calendar and a national days calendar I found via Google. Usually gives me quite a few options to choose from and then if I don’t like those, I just keep googling! It’s amazing how many things are being celebrated in a single day. Lol

      • rebecca 2 years ago

        aha! okay good to know!! In Sweden they celebrate their cinnamon buns and other sweets so go figure! Always good to celebrate something and something tasty, even sardines!

  18. herschelian 2 years ago

    Did you ever play the game ‘Sardines’ when you were a child? Its a variation of Hide & Seek. All the players wait together except for one, who runs away and hides. The group count to 100 then go to seek out the hidden person. If you find them, you make NO sound, but squeeze in beside them in their hiding place. Slowly everyone ends up in the hiding place except for the last person to find them who is then OUT!

    My husband LOVES sardines on toast – yuck – think it goes back to his days boarding at a British Public School!
    Anchovies are another thing entirely, I love them – on pizza, as anchovy butter, pounded into the dressing for a proper Caesar salad..

    As ever, a thought-provoking post and fab doodlewash!

    • Author

      Oh wow!! I never played that game but sounds super fun! I guess it would be much harder to play as an adult and possibly much more awkward. 😳hehe… And seems like a trend that only one spouse likes these little guys. I do like a proper Caesar salad, but only if the anchovies have been fully pounded…I don’t like them in their natural state. 😊lol

  19. jk109 2 years ago

    nice painting!

  20. itsmyhusbandandme 2 years ago

    I am currently reading your post on a London bus. I know how the sardines feel.
    Jean-Paul

  21. amaryllislog 2 years ago

    Sardines to Spam, what a post! I’m just focusing on the beautiful rendering, I would say it’s perfection!

  22. Tori 2 years ago

    Love your painting of sardines but I’m so glad that I don’t have to eat them! Spam is the stuff of nightmares, when I was at school we were made to eat deep fried Spam fritters, urgh!

    • Author

      Glad you like the doodlewash, Tori! 💕😃 Yeah…I don’t want any of this stuff, but as a kid I did like fried SPAM… I bet I would gag as an adult trying it again though! 😝

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