A Scorpion In The Night

A Scorpion In The Night Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of yellow red scorpion

While walking down the trail at night on our #NatureDoodlewash, I’ve run into this little scorpion. This freaky little creature has been around for over 430 million years and since its extremely sensitive to light, you’re most likely to encounter one when its dark. Which is truly terrifying. Although all scorpions are venomous, we are supposed to take comfort in the fact that only 30-40 of them with venom strong enough to kill you. The fact that even one kind could do that is enough to make me want to run and hide. They are closely related to ticks, mites, and spiders, so that tells you something right there.

The young are called Scorplings, which is admittedly rather cute, but still doesn’t make me want to pet one. You’ll find them on every continent except Antarctica due to their amazing ability to adapt and survive some of the harshest climates. But they do require dirt at a bare minimum since they like to burrow down into things. In an effort to test their ability to survive practically anything, researchers have even frozen a scorpion overnight. The next day, they put the likely pissed off frozen scorpion back in the sun and watched as it slowly thawed and walked away.

I’ve luckily never encountered one of these things while out hiking. And for that, I’m infinitely grateful. But like all creatures with unique abilities, I have to be impressed with their strong will to survive. Granted, they’ve got a huge evolutionary head start on us humans, but I still don’t think I could even survive a day without air conditioning. So cheers to this little invincible creature of the night. I’ll stick to sketches and virtual hikes with scorpions, though. I’m pretty sure I’d lose quickly in a fight, and I don’t particularly like the sound of my screams.

Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month! 

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Perylene Maroon, Azo Orange, Gamboge, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

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!
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49 Comments
  1. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    At least this one posed long enough for a very attractive portrait to be doodlewashed. I’m with you on the scream factor – my computer is close enough.

    • Author

      Thanks Sharon! 😃💕Yeah…I’m best with the virtual versions of these guys, and yet they still creep me out! Lol

  2. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    Alright, I nearly fell off my chair screaming when this image popped up…but that aside…Cheers to you Charlie on your beautiful paintings that are able to pull an emotional reaction from your viewers…lol. The things researchers do to annoy scorpions helped to laugh off the nerves, loved your post, better than espresso to wake me up. Thank you for sharing…;D

    • Author

      Hehe…sorry for the scare!! Glad you liked the doodlewash, Haunani! 😃💕 Yeah…these things freak me out, but they’re super interesting to sketch! I don’t think I’d want to be around when a mad one thaws out though! 😳

  3. alethakuschan 1 year ago

    You captured his inner, essential scariness. For sure. Wonderful drawing.

  4. rather cute? oh my! I don’t know about that one, I hate how scorpions have this scratchy sound when they move…..eek! Your doodlewash is so good, it made me get goosebumps!

    • Author

      Wow…you know how they sound?!! That gave me chills!! Yikes! Lol Thanks Margaret! 😃💕 Goosebumps are high praise for this creature! Hehe

  5. Cathy 1 year ago

    Great colors! I am curious about the size nib you use in your fountain pen? Fine or? Would you sometime show a progression of your sketch? Stages of drawing and painting? Thanks!

    • Author

      Thanks Cathy!! 😃💕I use an extra fine nib actually. I was going to do more process sketches, but I barely have time for the sketch itself! 😊 And I tend to stick with the same materials as they suit me. Many of my Guest Doodlewashers are teachers and far better givers of examples than I. Early this year I did do a sample of my process, but haven’t done one since. Not much has changed though, so here’s the link:

      https://doodlewash.com/2015/12/31/tiny-little-panda/

      • catagonia12 1 year ago

        Thanks! I love the beautiful color and life that you are able to achieve with your sketches! I appreciate the daily infusion of art.

      • Author

        Thanks so much!! That makes me so happy that you like my doodlewashes! 😊😃

  6. Ellie 1 year ago

    Fortunately, I’ve never encountered one in real life either (and the fact that Margaret knows what they sound like is a bit terrifying) but your doodlewash is fantastic. And I feel a little better about them knowing that they start out as scorplings. Well, a just a little better……

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks, Ellie! 😃💕 Yeah… I can’t imagine seeing them much less hearing them! Lol But you have to admit that Scorplings is pretty darn cute! 😉

  7. Sand Salt Moon 1 year ago

    Such details, down to those hairs … ewwy – Scary Spice!

    • Author

      Thanks, Cynthia! 😃💕Haha! Yeah…this one is just scary. You’d think I’d do more flowers, but I just love these weird creatures! Though have no desire to meet many of them, of course. 😊

  8. Teri C 1 year ago

    You have such a talent for taking the ugly and/or dangerous and making them beautiful. Wonderful painting.

    • Author

      Aww thanks, Teri! 😃💕 I think that may be my calling in life! Hehe

      • Teri C 1 year ago

        Lol, no, your calling is for bigger and better things. 😄

  9. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    Oddly, there was one of these on the counter when I was taking a cooking class in Mexico. Lucky for me there was someone familiar with them and killed it before it got to close to me! 😁 Your details and shadow are really fantastic, Charlie on your doodlewash! 🦂🦂🦂

  10. memadtwo 1 year ago

    I’ve never seen one either, thank goodness…it’s like an insect crossed with a lobster. It’s good you showed us a close up, so if we see anything remotely close we can start running…(K)

  11. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    I’ve had encounters with tiny scorpions, but nothing this size. Beautifully rendered Charlie. I love your style.

  12. Laura (PA Pict) 1 year ago

    I’m rather fond of scorpions. Granted, I’ve never been stung by one – that might change my mind. Your painting is superb. I love the sheen and impression of hard carapace / exoskeleton you’ve achieved through layering.

    • Author

      Yay! A scorpion fan, finally! hehe… yeah… getting stung might definitely change that. So glad you liked this, Laura! 😃💕

  13. Jacob 1 year ago

    I don’t know a lot about scorpions other than I probably shouldn’t wish to encounter one. Evidently, the Doodlewash scorpion is the one exception to this – he’s really rather beautiful, as scorpions go! Should’ve known, really! 😉

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob! 😃💕yeah… this is absolutely as close as I’m getting to one. I’m glad I don’t live in a climate where they’re really prevalent. Too scary!

  14. Very nicely done Charlie. Glad it’s too cold here for these little creatures and that this one is only on paper. That’s real enough for me!

  15. kim881 1 year ago

    I know some people are freaked out by scorpions, spiders, beetles and the like, but I think they are so beautifully alien and enchanting. When I saw the colour and detail in this doodlewash, I had to smile.

    • Author

      Thanks Kim! 😃💕Yeah… I’m totally fascinated with them visually and love to paint them. But not a big fan of meeting up with them in person. 😊Hehe

  16. Fantastic work, he looks about to scuttle off the paper, great colours. He is so realistic I am scared, yes I hate these creatures, harsh I know, especially as we don’t get them here in the uk, so I have never met one, thank goodness. I think it could be that probability that if I met one and it stung me I have 40% chance that I bumped into the wrong one for my first encounter??

  17. ann christina 1 year ago

    Funny story and great doodlewash!!! The colour ist perfect, and all that detail, the tiny little hair and stuff! Allthough it´s really gross, it´s wonderful! 😊🦂

  18. Jodi 1 year ago

    So comforted in that fact!!! Lol. Dynamite painting!

  19. lemongrass 1 year ago

    The title reminds me of the poem, ‘The Night of the Scorpion’. I am glad I read this, got to know a lot of interesting things about scorpions. 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks!😃I’ll have to check that out! Anything in words or image is fine. As long as I don’t have to deal with the real thing! 😊Hehe

      • lemongrass 1 year ago

        Haha yeah. The poem is by Nissim Ezekiel. 😌

  20. Very happy to have never seen one in real life. Beautiful dimension, Charlie! Wow, it’s like his tail is just popping right out of the screen at us!!! 😀

    • Author

      Thanks so much Laura! 😃💕 You and me both… I really don’t want to meet one of these on the path. But super fun to doodlewash!!

  21. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    Ack! If there’s one thing worse than spiders… LOL! They give me the creeps but you’ve doodlewashed a beautiful thing! <3

    • Author

      Hehe… this time I swear I wasn’t trying to scare you. Last time… of course I was, but not this time! Lol Glad you liked the doodlewash version! 😃💕

  22. I know them from cowboy movies that the scorpion crawl in their boots! Gave me the creeps! and glad I lived in Holland! its a very pretty and good sketch! love the shadows that makes him 3D ! Kind regards Edo

    • Author

      I remember them from those movies! Made me scared to ever wear boots! Like scorpions just liked that sort of thing or something. Hehe… Thanks so much Edo! Glad you liked the doodlewash! 😃

  23. Judith 1 year ago

    Scary-looking creatures! You’ve certainly made him look almost alive! Creepy, but that’s good, right?

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