A Mother’s Love

Baby Bat And Mother Watercolor Illustration

For our Doodlewash prompt of “Bats,” combined with the Inktober prompt of “Injured,” I opted for a mother bat rescuing a little baby bat. While researching bats for references, I saw a sweet story of a little bat who was rescued and nursed back to health. Then he was left in an open area where the mother swooped down to retrieve it. It was sweet to watch, though bats are normally portrayed around Halloween as being a bit creepy. I’m not one to portray anything scary or tragic, so I could only illustrate the rescue itself. What I find sweet is that most bats give birth to only one baby at a time. The mother will go out and find food and return to the roost to find hundreds of other little babies from other bats waiting for food as well. Though they all look quite similar, she remembers exactly where she left her baby and can not only identify its smell, but also its cry as well. She continues to clean and care for her little bat until he’s ready to learn to fly and eventually, nudges him to move out on his own and begin a new life.

In truth, this is much like human moms. Though, thankfully, they don’t have to fly through the air with a baby a third of their body weight hanging onto to one of their nipples. Obviously, for bats, there’s a secondary reason why mom needs to get the little one flying before it grows too much. And like most other animals, they really just run on instinct, but it’s lovely to think there’s something more there that feels a bit like true love.

Baby Bat And Mother Inktober 2019 Illustration

When I was old enough to left the nest, my own experience was a bit different. My dad had already moved while I was in high school to start a new job and my parents waited until I finished school before moving to Texas. I didn’t go with them, but stayed behind, creating the opposite outcome of having my parents leave home rather than me. It was my first adult choice to stay in the city where I grew up instead of moving to a much smaller town, and one that I’ve never regretted. Now, of course, as I get older, I’m thinking that a small town sounds rather nice.

Thankfully, at the beginning of December I’ll be heading to that small town in Texas to spend time with my mother again. It’s not the roost of my childhood, but that’s the beautiful thing about family. Home is wherever they live. So, it will be nice to be home again. Though I wish I could spend more time with my mom each year, I cherish the moments that we have together. She didn’t just care for me all of those years ago, she inspired me to become the man I am today. A guy who appreciates kindness and happy simple moments. Who still gets fearful, but can bravely conquer those fears. A man who wants the world to make beautiful things and love each other just a bit more. There’s no way to know what will happen when your children leave the nest. You nudge them as best you can and soon they’re flying off in their own direction. But, there’s a wonderful magnetism that never really goes away. And, no matter how far away I fly, I’ll never be so far that I can’t feel a mother’s love.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Cobalt Turquoise. Staedtler Pigment Liners 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!
Baby Bat And Mother Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
30 Comments
  1. Silvia Elena 2 weeks ago

    So cute!!😍😍😍

  2. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    So sweet!!! I love the bat facts and a mother’s love is just that no matter the animal I knew I liked bats for a reason! It would be hard not to love an animal that takes such good care of its babies. Really good one, Charlie!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, bats get a bad wrap sometimes, but they’re actually sweet. Like all good moms!

  3. Ann 2 weeks ago

    Ahh, nothing like a mom. You’re a good son. By the way, I like your relatively new use of Ultramarine. it’s different enough from Cobalt blue that both are good in a palette (space permitting, of course).

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Ann! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this! Yeah, I had used Ultramarine Blue at the beginning, but when I found the Green Shade, I was hooked. It’s got a lovely glow that I love, so I replaced my Cobalt Blue with it as I didn’t have the space! hehe

  4. Karen Fortier 2 weeks ago

    Great sketch, Charlie! I love the story of the baby being nursed back to health and is retrieved by mom.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this… yeah, there was a video and I think I watched it four or five times. It was so sweet to see!

  5. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 2 weeks ago

    Aweeeeeeeee so fluffy, beautiful!!! Thanks for the info on bats. I love to learn all I can. And to see the beautiful connections of family in the wild too. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 hehe… glad you enjoyed this one! Yeah, I’m a sucker for animal videos. It’s a wonder I get anything done! lol

  6. Laura Hale 2 weeks ago

    As a mom of 2 sons, both of whom get to come “home” on Thanksgiving, this edition holds a special place in my heart. Thanks Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Aww I’m so happy to know that, Laura! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this. I miss my mom so much, but I’m always excited to go “home” again.

  7. Bonnie Ottaviani 2 weeks ago

    Such a nice story. I hope my “bat boy” will want to come home occasionally. Love your sketch/painting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Bonnie! 😃💕 I’m sure he will! hehe… as I get older I’m even more excited to return home!

  8. Lisa 2 weeks ago

    Great bat story. Bats are in so much trouble these days along with the birds, bugs and bees. We need every positive story out there to make people want to save them. Our little brown bats eat so many mosquitoes it’s amazing. I don’t think I saw any this summer. Let’s hope I just wasn’t paying attention, and they are still going about their batty ways.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Yes to that! Yeah, bats are amazing. We only get one or two mosquitos during the summer and it’s fun to watch their irregular flight patterns as they get each one!

  9. Zertab Quaderi 2 weeks ago

    Very touching, Charlie! I love the way the mom bat looks. Not the usual way we portray bats! Wonderful!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕 Glad you liked this one! Yeah, I wanted to portray her personality more so I took a different approach.

  10. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    Beautiful story and great illustration of the mom and baby bat. Sweet tribute to your mom, too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 yeah, I keep telling my mother she needs internet so she can read my blog. Hasn’t happened yet. hehe

  11. Jerson Antao 2 weeks ago

    Nice story Charlie! and the painting too.

  12. LoriCtoo 2 weeks ago

    Nice bat! Yes, bats are good for our world and get a bad wrap. I remember we used to watch them fly around our street lights when I was young. Funny how they never creeped me out then. I haven’t seen a bat here for years, we heard one recently.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, I love watching them fly around. They’re impossible to mistake for a bird with their flight pattern. We go through phases. A couple of years ago there were tons flying around. It was amazing to see!

  13. Loan Anh Pham 2 weeks ago

    I adore your story, lovely mom bat and her baby, Charlie. ❤️I’ve felt the beauty of love, thanks for wonderful moments you giving everyone.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Loan! 😃💕 Thrilled you’re enjoying these posts!

  14. Stephanie L. 2 weeks ago

    I have phobia with bats but on the other hand your painting is very lovely. I like it. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Stephanie! 😃💕 That’s high praise… I was hoping to make a cute bat.

  15. smzang 1 week ago

    Your Mom did a great job.

    (and so did you when you created that Mom Bat and her baby.)

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