For today’s prompt of “Water,” I first started to sketch a water bottle, but then thought about a message in a bottle. And soon after that, I wondered what would happen if one’s message was accidentally delivered to a ghost crab. So, that’s where we ended up. Yeah, my mind is a weird and wild place sometimes. I’ve always been enamored with the idea of a message in a bottle. There’s a certain romance and mystery to sending messages this way. That said, it’s a horribly inefficient means of communication compared to our options today as some messages weren’t found until over a century after they were launched. Yet, as awesome as our immediate gratification forms of communicating are today, there’s still something that can’t quite replace a tangible note. My handwriting is horrific or I’d write and send notes more often. Instead, I use my posts to deliver my messages. But, each time I receive a handwritten note from a friend in the mail it makes my heart smile. Yesterday, I received one from a friend whose handwriting was so perfect it first resembled a typed font. It made me happy and I just had to giggle at my own inadequacies when it comes to legible handwriting.

My problem with handwriting has always been that my mind moves much faster than I can write. This is actually a bit of a challenge when it comes to drawing as well, but somehow easier to overcome. Typing is a far easier way for me to communicate as I can type much more quickly. I’ll still end up with whole phrases that get a bit botched as my mind lurches forward, but it’s mostly a smooth experience. Philippe has much better handwriting than I do, though it’s still more scrawl than something that approaches lovely lettering. I always wanted to try my hand at lettering, but haven’t been able to take the time to practice yet. I’m constantly wanting to try new things in my head, but time is never my friend. So, I just stick to working with ink and watercolor as that provides plenty of challenges to keep me occupied. One would think that after over four years of daily sketching I would have set into a single look, but I just love playing around each time I sit down to sketch so results always vary. Though I will admit that lovely lettering is definitely one of the things that I’ve put on my bucket list to try to accomplish before I depart this life.

Tonight, our dog Phineas is extra curious about whatever it is I’m typing. He keeps jumping up on me as I sit at the kitchen counter as if wanting to see what I’ve made today. In truth, he really just wants another treat even though he’s hit his quota. Philippe is sitting next to me and just magically made a chocolate appear that he quickly devoured. I simply glanced over at him and he said, “I wish someone would limit my treats.” It never occurred to me that he’s the only one in the family without a gatekeeper when it comes to eating sweets. I always assumed since he’s the one always throttling me back that he’s the sensible one. But, that’s not the case at all. He’s just looking after my health. I told him that I never thought to throttle him back, and in truth I was selfishly worried it would only make worse my own excessive throttling. When I failed to say anything at first, he simply shrugged and started to reach for another. This was when I took my cue and told him that he’d probably had enough. He put it back and then looked at me with puppy dog eyes that expressed sincere regret while at the same time true love. There are a million ways to communicate in this world and no matter how it’s done, it’s always wise to listen when someone you love is sending a message.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Gold Ochre. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. 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!
Ghost Crab Message In A Bottle Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail


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32 thoughts on “Sending A Message

  1. I like how your mind works, Charlie as it allows you to create very interesting posts! I spent a great deal of time on the coast of Maine as a little kid and always wanted to send a message in a bottle but for some reason never did.

  2. The home where I grew up was just a few miles from a sandy Lake Michigan beach. Because Door County is surrounded by water, I lived within a half hour of more public beaches than I can count without getting a map out to remind myself of them all. Yet I never found a message on a bottle. Pity! That would have been so cool! I also never put a message in a bottle which seems a lost opportunity, looking back. It would have been cool to get a letter back from someone who had found one of my messages!

  3. Could you imagine if we sketched everything that popped into our twirling minds? I just did a whole page of doodles the other day of things in November…leaves, turkeys, etc. I had to stop because I filled the page. Love your curious little crab. I think he is wondering how he is going to get in that bottle with that piece of paper in the way! Bahawahaha!

  4. You know I did that once, back when I was like 8 yrs…. I put a message in a bottle and leave it in the Caribbean Sea on the south of Puerto Rico. Where it is now, who knows…. But your drawing make me remind of that moment…. Thanks.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crab look so intrigued! And what nice colours for a dull November day. My handwriting used to be really neat, but now, it’s embarrassing. I simply don’t write much anymore so it’s a bit daunting 😉 I’m still waiting to find a message in a bottle, typed or handwritten it would be amazing!

    1. Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 I was hoping to add a bit of intrigue to this crab. It’s tough when you don’t use many lines. hehe And I love that your handwriting was neat once! My has always been a sort of crazy man’s scrawl. Never once was it in a state that could be considered pretty. 😊

  6. You know I adore your art Charlie but today what sticks in my mind and heart most is just the connection between you and your beloved. Like you both hit another level of love looking out for one another. Made my heart so happy aweeeee lol. Perhaps Phineas wants to share a message or some art with us again too? 🙂 🙂

    1. Aww thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this. And yeah, we did sort of level up recently. I think it’s always a challenge to truly take care of the people who are the best at taking care of you!

  7. I love that crab! It looks like a Maryland Blue to me. (I am a Marylander by birth
    and the sand has never left my shoes!) It also looks as if he thinks that message
    might have been meant for him. Super!! (you chocolate police, you!)

  8. I wanna know more about that sleight-of-hand spouse you have that magically creates chocolate out of thin air. (Had to say thin, right?). You didn’t elaborate, Charlie. Were they brownies or…chocolate chocolates? You’re a lucky man, and so is your high-springing pooch!

    1. Thanks so much, Fanna! 😃💕 lol… yeah… we don’t buy regular candies, but Philippe will buy baking chocolate under the premise that he’ll make a dessert. Instead, it ends up parted off in little bites and disappears. A mystery indeed!

  9. I get your point Charlie about modern communication means being way more efficient but…..I can’t help think the message in a bottle is fab and still has its place….in a fantasy book for instance 🙂 I think it makes a great element in a story (a bit like the lunchbox in the movie of the same name).

  10. This is a nice wending tale, reminding us of magical childhood daydreams and memories. While never having found a bottled message I am reminded of a real message that reached my brother via balloon. He found it hanging from its string where it had been snagged on a fence-line on our farm. It had been sent by an elementary schoolgirl over a hundred miles away. He answered the message (an assignment in her English class) and began a years long communication between them (I was a little jealous). He actually traveled to her school when she graduated from high school and still exchanges Christmas cards and keeps up with events in her life. Handwritten, I might add. The written word has been cherished in his (and my) life and he is a fine writer. Perhaps the penpal he found so many years ago was akin to a message in a bottle! Thanks for your delightful story – it triggered my memory in a most wonderful way!

  11. Beautifully done, Charlie ❤️. What a coincidence , I wanted to do this prompt “water” with an idea “message” . Many ideas but I struggled with what I want to depict. To me, A message in a bottle is really lovely 😉

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