Accurate drawings of various species of octopus and other cephalopods. All illustrations are hand drawn and expertly rendered. In the gallery is the Atlantic or Common Octopus, Blue-Ringed Octopus, Chambered Nautilus, Giant Pacific Octopus, Common Cuttlefish and several other species of cephalopod. All illustrations are available in both line art and full color. High quality prints made on acid-free archival paper are available of all drawings in the gallery. If you do not see the octopus or other cephalopod you're looking for please contact the artist to make a suggestion. Custom illustrations of specific animals can be ordered as well. For more information and pricing please call 1 (800) 913-7906 or send an email to the artist.
The wildlife drawings are also available for stock art illustration. Click here for sharks and rays!
When I had decided to expand my illustration scope out from simply architecture to include animals, one of my first selections was an Atlantic Octopus. Since then, I've added a few more over the years and learned a lot about what is a cephalopod. They are incredible animals that I wish I had more time to illustrate. The Giant Pacific Octopus was something of a seminal image, as I felt I was finally understanding the application of color when overlaid on a black and white ink drawing. I often look for the resident octopus at the California Academy of Sciences, but the tank allows for the octopus to hide out of sight most of the time (I did see a tentacle once though!) I'm thinking about adding another octopus or cuttlefish to this image gallery soon, but I don't have any specific species in mind. If you'd like to suggest one, or would like information about having a custom illustration made, please send me an email.
Octopuses are cephalopods of the order Octopoda. They are cephalopods and they make up over 1/3 of that class of animals. Octopus have eight arms (four sets of two), two eyes and are bilaterally symmetrical. While the octopus has no bones or anything like a skeleton, it does have a hard beak at the center of where the arms come together. This flexibility and allows them to squeeze through and into very tight spaces, with some smaller species this means they can enter into something as small as the opening of a bottle. They are exclusively found in saltwater, commonly in kelp forests and coral reefs, where they are usually near the bottom, not far from shelter or a rocky place they can escape into. When threatened, they will often dispel a burst of ink in order to discourage potential predators. They are uncommonly intelligent, and will put their cunning into work usually figuring out how to obtain prey. In a famous incident, a marine biologist noticed that fish were disappearing mysteriously from his tanks, despite the fact that no predators were kept in the same tank. One evening, he put a security camera in place to see what was going on, and to his amazement the resident octopus was leaving its tank and invading neighboring tanks for food. There are other accounts of captive octopi doing amazing feats, such as screwing the top off a bottle to get at prey inside.
Cephalopods are mollusks. The name means "head foot." They are marine animals, characterized by having bilateral body symmetry, a large head that makes up much of its entire body and arms/tentacles. These include octopus, cuttlefish, squid and Nautiloidea (Nautilus and Allonautilus) Some of these animals, like the nautilus, represent extremely ancient forms of life and can trace their lineage back hundreds of millions of years. In some cases they have hardly changed and retain many similarities to their ancestors. There are about 800 indentified cephalopods, about one third of these are octopus. Cephalopods are only found in saltwater and cannot live in freshwater. They are found in nearly every ocean on earth, from the tropical coral reefs near the equator to areas far to the north and south. Some species grow incredibly large, like the Giant Pacific Octopus which can reach a size of 33 pounds (15 kg) with an arm span of up to 14 feet (4.3 m.) Cephalopods are considered the most intelligent of the invertebrates. They have large, well-developed brains, which coupled with excellent eyesight make them formidable predators. Many species are able to change not only the color of their skin to reflect their mood, they can change the texture of their skin to match their surroundings or to convey messages to one another. If this change of skin or color doesn't work to deter predators, they can discharge a cloud of black ink.