Y Is For Yak

Yak Doodlewash

Beating out the yellow-eyed penguin since I’ve already doodlewashed a penguin, and a Yorkshire Terrier because that seemed too specific, we have this yak. Other than being the only animal that readily comes to mind for the letter “Y,” I really knew nothing about yaks. But apparently there are two types, one being domesticated and the other being wild. The domesticated ones are smaller and not quite as shaggy as their wild cousins.

So what’s so interesting about a yak? Well, they are pretty valuable to those who domesticated them in Tibet and parts of China for their milk, wool, meat, and surprisingly, their poop. Apparently yak poop is used as fuel in the high mountains of the Himalayas, since the government protects the few wooded areas that exist there. Sherpa villagers regularly collect the stuff on the trails, dry it out and make poop patties that they use in small iron stoves. It’s thankfully not stinky and can achieve really high temperatures.

If playing with yak poop isn’t your thing, then you might consider adding a little yak cheese to your diet. Because of the grasses and shrubs that they eat, versus industrial grains of other milk-making creatures, their cheese contains very high levels of healthy fats and Omega-3 fatty-acids. And unlike most food that’s good for you, yak cheese apparently tastes good. Those are some little tidbits I was able to grab quickly, but feel free to do your own research if you’re a yak enthusiast. Tomorrow we have the last letter in our alphabet! And then stay tuned for some special Leap Day reveals!


About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. 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
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!
Published in By Charlie
47 Comments
  1. kungfunaomi 1 year ago

    I always liked yaks. 😀

  2. He’s majestic! Love those horns, he looks so fierce! Nice job, Charlie!

  3. Eric Disney 1 year ago

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this alphabet series!!! LOVE 🙂

  4. Jodi 1 year ago

    what a stately looking yak! another great doodlewash charlie 0! and here is a fun fact- my favorite children’s book of ALL TIME is one that is no longer published, but I still often buy used to give as gifts – “Bob and Jack – A Boy and His Yak” by Jeff Moss – a tender, beautiful, tearjerker of a story. (http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Jack-Boy-His-Yak/dp/0553089315) Happy Saturday!

    • Author

      Thanks Jodi! 💕😃 And cool!! That book looks awesome!! I’ll have to get my hands on a copy! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!!

  5. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    Very handsome Yak. Your really got the thick wool perfectly, Charlie. Hmm, Z what could you possibly be painting? 😄😜

    • Author

      So appreciate that Sharon! 💕😃The wool was tough! Hehe… Glad you liked the outcome! And yeppers… Z will surprise exactly nobody!! Lol

  6. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    What a Yak! Great details Charlie! 😄🌟🎨

    • Author

      Thanks Jill!! 💕😃Glad you liked him. Yaks are pretty interesting. Never really looked at them this closely before. Hope you’re having an amazing weekend!!

  7. kirkistan 1 year ago

    That’s a handsome yak, Charlie. Love the fur.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Kirk! It’s been fun to try so many different types of fur and other animals coverings in this series! Hehe

  8. Now that is a yak!

  9. Jacob 1 year ago

    Haha, well, at least now I know what to do with yak poo if I happen across some on my travels – many thanks, Charlie. Awesome doodlewash – fearsome horns, rendered so smooth they look extra strong and sharp, but I want to stroke that oh-so-thick, shaggy coat of his! He’s wonderful. You make me want all these animals 😛

    It’ll be a shame as it always is to reach the end tomorrow/today, but I look forward to the 29th surprise and of course whatever you’ve got up your sleeve for March… not that I expect you’ve any idea yet! 😉

    • Author

      Nope!! Not a clue yet! You know me so well! Lol But glad you liked my yak, and even better learning an important lesson about yak poo! Hehe… My animals facts are limited to those my inner 8 year old finds amusing. 😊

      • Jacob 1 year ago

        Haha – that must be why they appeal to me as well!

  10. anniedrawsthings 1 year ago

    What a fun yak! He looks awesome! I can’t believe we’re already so close to the end… I wonder what Z could be. 😛

  11. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    Like your walrus this is a rather handsome rendition of a yak. Awesomeness abounds!

  12. Teri C 1 year ago

    Another wonderful job. You are now the master of fur!

  13. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    “Yak enthusiast”…hahaha! Your yak is grumpy yet handsome in its unique yak way! 😀 <3 I actually knew a few of those yak facts (including the poop thing), but it was fun to see your painting and refresh my memory!

    • Author

      Lol…thanks so much Teresa!! 😃💕 No idea if there are yak enthusiasts, but there’s usually always someone out there to be enthusiastic about anything.

      • Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

        True! It’s funny and scary at the same time, no? 😉

  14. jmnowak 1 year ago

    …and he is eating some grass too! Lovely! 🙂
    Z is for zoot-scoot, and zinger, and zoodle-doodle-doo! hehehe 😛 Does that help, Charlie?

  15. M. L. Kappa 1 year ago

    The yak is lovely, he has a very thoughtful look in his eyes – perhaps preparing to produce stove fuel? And don’t the locals put yak butter in their tea? I seem to remember this factoid. Well Charlie, I wonder if you will manage to bypass the ubiquitous zebra tomorrow!

    • Author

      Thanks! Glad you liked him! And I have no idea about yak butter… hehe…but I’m sure it’s totally possible. My research is a bit thin and fast! And nope! We’ll likely have a zebra… I’ve managed to avoid being too obscure, so I’m sticking with the classics! Lol

  16. ann christina 1 year ago

    I thought exactly what Laura already wrote – what a majestic animal! They´re beautiful, and you captured that perfectly! 😊👍

  17. Cathe 1 year ago

    Super love for your Yak. They seem so prehistoric perhaps hanging out with a wooly mammoth. As for “z” it might be obvious but such a cool challenge and doodlewash!

    • Author

      Thanks Cathe! 💕😃 Yeah they do have a wooly mammoth look about them!! And yeah…I’m tackling the definitive Z because it’s actually super hard!! We’ll see how it turns out!

  18. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    Love yaks….adore this one. Your painting is wonderful and you seem to bring out such a personality in the expression and eyes. Yak butter tea for everyone! Cheers!

    • Author

      Hehe!! Thanks so much!! 😃💕Eyes are my favorite thing to paint I think. It’s amazing what a little bit of white can do to bring them to life!!

  19. Kari 1 year ago

    Love this one! The fur is just gorgeous! Interesting facts, for sure! I love cheese so I have find some Yak cheese! 😜

    • Author

      Thanks!! 💕😃 hehe…yeah this was a really furry one!! Glad you liked it. And too funny…after doing this one I was immediately online and searching for yak cheese! 😊

      • Kari 1 year ago

        Me too!

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