Beware Of Flying Ants

Flying Ant Doodlewash and Watercolor sketch carpenter ant casting shadow

Apparently my sudden obsession with tiny creatures on our #NatureDoodlewash hike lead us to this flying ant. These are rather disturbing creatures, especially if you’re unlucky enough to come into a swarm of them. But by themselves, if there’s only one, I’ve always found them quite fascinating. On a hot summer day when I was young, if you saw one land, they would always cast the most amazing shadows. As if they were no longer a grotesque little insect, but actually a woman wearing a long flowing dress. Admittedly, I’ve always had a rather overactive imagination.

I don’t have much time today, and a quick research of flying ants pulls up only pest control sites, telling you just how obnoxious these little things can be. Also, flying ants are not particularly great at flying. They apparently can’t really fly more than a half mile, but I’m not judging as this is farther that I can likely run. If you see a winged ant this time of year, the pest control experts tell us that it’s most likely you’ve encountered a Carpenter Ant. If it’s late summer you probably have Moisture Ants, which is a ridiculously appalling name and I don’t want to think about it anymore.

Really, the best thing about ants is their social nature. They always put their families first and work together to help their communities. Though you probably don’t want their communities in your house, you can’t argue that they certainly have a philosophy worth aspiring to. It’s interesting to think what the world would be like if humans weren’t just equally social, but actually as collaborative as ants. I think much of the strife we experience in the world would be nonexistent. And who knows, perhaps we too, could even learn to fly.

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! 

And World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!


About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Azo Orange, Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black 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!
56 Comments
  1. Susan Feniak 12 months ago

    Fantastic detail Charlie. The shadow is a definite plus. Amazing! Amazing creatures too.

  2. Jodi 12 months ago

    I was ready to be all – “really!??” flying ants???!!!- and then you nailed it with your thoughts on how they live – and in true Charlie O fashion – rocked it with this post and doodlewash! Love!

  3. Margaret Parker Brown 12 months ago

    I agree, awesome detail, I have always had a fascination with ants and yet, the flying ones and the carpenter ants trip me out.

    • Author

      Thanks Margaret!! 😃💕 Yeah, I agree! This was super creepy to doodlewash, but I was still drawn to all the details for some reason! Hehe

  4. sheldonk2014 12 months ago

    Beautiful done
    I love your description of the dress
    I can see that too
    Sheldon

  5. Teri C 12 months ago

    Amazing amount of details in this ant. Wow! If ants were beautiful, this one would be the winner!

  6. YesterdayAfter 12 months ago

    You did very well Charlie great colors, shadow and awesome details! 😉 <3

  7. Laura (PA Pict) 12 months ago

    Fabulous painting, Charlie. I love all the details. Very well observed. Less fabulous is the fact I’m having to pay someone to come and exterminate carpenter acts who have taken up residence in the sill of my bay window.

  8. Jacob 12 months ago

    Awesome – what a succinct and effective job you did in warming us (slightly) to this pest! When the saw the doodlewash I was wondering what on earth you were going to say about them; the flowing dress vision is very sweet indeed – I’m not sure women look like that, though. I think it’s the antennae; I don’t think theirs are quite so large. Your doodlewash wings reminded me of a cape when I saw it. Antman (or Antwoman!) Great fun.

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob! 😃 True… most women don’t have antennae… However was I sure my mom must have since she always see to know what I was up to. Yay! Antwoman! The world’s next action hero!! Awesome!

  9. Teresa Robeson 12 months ago

    You make these creepy little buggers almost attractive! 😀 I love that you made its shadow like the way you used to see them: as a lady with a dress. Your write-up is hilarious, as always! <3 I'm just relieved we don't see to have an outbreak inside the house this year.

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks Teresa! 😃💕I was going to paint a flower, but I always get distracted by bugs. I’m such a boy!! 😊lol

      • Teresa Robeson 12 months ago

        Bugs are just as beautiful in their own ways…except spiders. Brrr! LOL! Poor spiders get such a bad rap. 😉

      • Author

        Yeah… I should make sure a spider shows up on the hike then! hehe

      • Teresa Robeson 12 months ago

        You’re just being mean now! 😛 Hahaha!

      • Author

        Muwahahahahaha! That’s an evil laugh… never sure how to type it. 😊

      • Teresa Robeson 12 months ago

        I usually skip the “u” but pretty much type it that way. Not that I would know what an evil laugh is, mind you. 😉 Hah!

      • Author

        You? Nooooo…😉😈

  10. circadianreflections 12 months ago

    Wow I love the luster and highlights on its back and head! Beautifully done!

  11. artandmoondreams 12 months ago

    Great post, fun read, still laughing at the deplorable names some ants have. Beautiful painting, your attention to detail is wonderful, particularly love the way you captured the light reflection on the head and thorax. Thank you for sharing this delightful creature.

  12. ilmysaputri 12 months ago

    fantastic!

  13. Jill Kuhn 12 months ago

    I immediately saw a woman in a long flowing gown even before I read your post! 😉 Of course she is wearing a strange hat with horn like antennas but that isn’t important…lol! 😳 I really like how you painted its wings. These flying creatures can be do annoying but I kind of like your doodlewashed one! 💕🎨🌟

    • Author

      Haha! What? You don’t like her hat? Lol I knew you would see it too, Jill! Thanks so much! 😃💕Glad you liked the doodlewash version. Yeah… much easier to handle.

  14. Who would have thought it, a lady in a dress, I can see that now, and look she is even flashing some leg. Just brilliant well done. So interesting, if I get moisture ants!!! I will look for the lovely ladies.

    • Author

      Oh wow… I’ll never look at this the same way… she is a bit of a trollop! Lol Looking for lovely ladies in moisture ants is probably a set of words that should never be spoken. Ewww! Haha! 😳

  15. ann christina 12 months ago

    Beautiful, love how you did the shadow!!! And the ants body is so shiny! Very nice! And the story is nice too! Reminds me when I was at my grandparents in Hungary as a kid. They had a little summer house with a huge garden with cherries and tons of rasberries and gooseberries and lots of flying ants. Thanks for reminding me, Charlie! ❤️🌞🐜

    • Author

      Thanks Ann! 😃💕Glad you liked this. And that’s a wonderful memory… maybe minus the flying ants depending on how many I guess! Hehe… but gooseberries are my favorite!! yum!!

      • ann christina 12 months ago

        A lot of flying ants, but in hives and not always. Gooseberries are great, yes! 🍈 (I know that´s supposed to be a melon, but it could also be a gooseberry 😊)

  16. brushparkwatercolors 12 months ago

    Great! These insects under the magnifying glass of the master of doodlewashes are really impressive!

    • Author

      Hehe… Thanks Carsten! 😃I’m determined to move to something more pretty and floral today, but who knows… insects are just super fun to doodlewash! Lol

  17. memadtwo 12 months ago

    I’m just glad they are not this big in real life! (K)

  18. Love your artwork and final paragraph, Charlie. Music to my eyes, friend. 💜

  19. The Leaf Diary 12 months ago

    Lovely illustration!

  20. Carol 12 months ago

    Charlie, I see the lady and her flowing dress in the shadow and never would have noticed it if you hadn’t pointed it out. There indeed is beauty in all creation but sometimes we have to use a little imagination to see it – thanks for helping me out with this fine doodlewash. Yes, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all “evolved” enough that we could indeed fly? 😉

    • Author

      It certainly would! Thanks so much Carol! 😃💕Glad you liked this one… granted they’re not super great in person, but I always loved that shadow! Hehe

  21. jmnowak 12 months ago

    How very clever of you with the shadow, Charlie!

  22. […] to doodlewash him. Truth be told, my friend Teresa recently made a comment implying it was good my flying ant wasn’t a spider, but went on to say that “poor spiders get such a bad rap.” I […]

  23. […] via Beware Of Flying Ants — Doodlewash […]

  24. wordsforthemindsite 6 months ago

    Great post got alot of interesting information.

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