With rather few options available for a creature of this letter, I decided to doodlewash this newt. Newts are a type of salamander and have the unusual ability to regenerate body parts including limbs, spinal cord tissues, and even eyes. Many of these little guys are also highly toxic, but only if ingested, so humans are safe to handle newts as long as they don’t try to eat them. Something I’m hoping most humans would never consider.

Newt populations are rapidly declining worldwide, a problem facing many amphibians due to deforestation and pollution. Without the humans to screw up their little lives, they can actual live quite a long time, with some newts living over 25 years.  Some species of newt will curl up and play dead when provoked by a predator, or lie on their back exposing their bright underbelly as a warning. Apparently bright bellies are not something these attackers like, or perhaps it’s just nature’s hazard warning label, considering their high toxicity.

I’ve no personal experiences with newts, so this is all I was able to discover in my intense five minutes of research. It’s equally possible I ended up included lies and urban legends in these factoids, but for the most part I think these are basically truths. I’m not sure if a newt qualifies as cute, but I rather enjoyed created this little guy and hope you’ll like him as well. The next letter is “O” so if you have a suggestion of what I should doodlewash, shout it out in the comments!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Azo Orange, Pyrrol Red, Perylene Maroon, Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal


Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

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!

53 replies on “N Is For Newt

  1. I am laughing out loud at your “intense 5 minutes of research” comment!😀 If I weren’t an introvert and never threw parties, I would invite you to every party I have because you would be THE LIFE of my parties!❤ As far as I know, all you've said about newts are true. And I agree with Sharon, your little newt does look so real, he looks like he could jump out of the screen!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You paint such charasmatic little creatures! He looks as if he’s saying ‘catch me if you can’ and about to dart off! Maybe not pushing the ‘cute’ button for me, but he’s most definitely striking with that dangerous red! Wow! Those colours are definitely warning signs. I shan’t be trying newt anytime soon, for sure…

    Another order over here for Octopus. Also how about Owl or Ocelot?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe…sorry I didn’t push your cute button with this one! Not a lot of choice for N! lol So I just went with the most colorful thing I could find. Yeah…”don’t eat newt” was my public service announcement for the day! Lol Definitely considering and owl or octopus. Shall need to google Ocelot. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha, how grateful we are for your announcements. And You’re in for a treat when you google ocelots… they so cute!!! I want one! I should really just give in and start building the ark, for all these animals I’m apparently going to own.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful sketch! The research you cite prompts me to include this link–a TED video well worth watching, related to the pressures on biodiversity (including amphibians), since you have raised this important issue. Art has a role to play in moving our understanding of these issues further along.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The little guy certainly has lots of personality! Love the colors! Would it not be nice to be able to regenerate body parts! I have to research what type of toxins are found in their bodies and how lethal they are. The name is so strange. I’m afraid I keep thinking of Newt Gingrich… Lol. 😊😁😜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I go R is for that cheeky little bugger called a Raccoon, or a Russian Blue.
    If your lovely red Newt were a light jade green, it would be one of our tropical geckoes, small and so cute, with round pads as feet that help it stick to the walls and ceilings (they come in at night and wait for mosquitoes as their food).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely colors for a newt, Charlie. I have no experience with them either, but if my memory serves me correctly, all the witches on Saturday morning cartoons needed an eye of newt in their potions. Newt eyes must be pretty special!! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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