Grasshoppers In The Hay Fields

Grasshoppers in the Hay Fields Doodlewash and watercolor sketch locust and grasshopper

Today, for my #NatureDoodlewash, I’m traveling back in my mind to my grandmother’s farm and thinking of grasshoppers. These little things were both cool and creepy when I was a kid. Walking through a hay field at my grandma’s involved dodging several tiny rockets sailing past your face. It would totally freak me out. I used to run through the fields as fast as I could screaming as grasshoppers pelted into my head and bounced off in a direction unknown. Of course, terrifying yourself as a kid is a total blast, so once I made it to safety I would simply turn around and do it again.

These little guys do have wings and can actually fly, but they are better known for their jumping ability. They essentially have a spring release mechanism that stores up energy and then catapults them forward when they need it. This amazing gift means they can jump super far. So far in fact, that if a human had the same ability they would be able to easily jump over a football stadium, which would be pretty darn cool to see. It’s really not surprising they’ve had a chance to develop these superpowers when you consider they’ve been around longer than dinosaurs.

By the way, grasshoppers and locusts are actually the same thing, we’ve just dubbed some parts of the species one and some the other. For some reason when referring to a plagues the word locust is always preferred, but I’ve no idea why. Catching one in your hands for a moment was always a thrill until you saw your hand which was covered in brown liquid. We thought it was poop until we finally realized they were actually just spitting on us. They were pissed, but you really couldn’t blame them. They were just wanting to be left alone to eat grandma’s crops while sailing through the hayfields.

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! 

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


About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Azo Green, Quinacridone Gold, Pyrrol Red 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

Profile photo of 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! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
64 Comments
  1. Laura (PA Pict) 12 months ago

    Wonderful detailing and great work on the shadows. This is a cracking painting.

  2. Carol 12 months ago

    Charlie, this little dude is excellently Doodlewashed, and that shadow – wow! I was recently in a field where the grasshopper frenzy was occurring, and it made me crabby. Ha, what a difference 45 years or so can make – I definitely didn’t want to do it again! 😄

    • Author

      Thanks Carol! 😃💕Hehe…yeah…I think I would be done after the first screaming run through a field these days.lol

  3. Jodi 12 months ago

    that is a crazy amazingingly detailed grasshopper! You really got your #naturedoodlewash on Charlie O!

  4. Margaret Parker Brown 12 months ago

    Awesome little guy! I had told my daughters of fellow employee of mine who said that he often would fry up grasshoppers and they are quite good. Silly me I never would think that daughters would give it a try, it didn’t turn out too well, they didn’t taste good at all. I believed the guy because he was a hippie type of guy but then maybe we got the recipe wrong. Now, you didn’t expect that story from your doodlewash, huh? oh the memories you brought up. lol

    • Author

      Thanks, Margaret! 😃💕And haha! That’s an awesome story!! I can’t believe they tried it! I’ve heard of that, but never have had any. Sounds like I may not be missing anything! Hehe

      • Margaret Parker Brown 12 months ago

        Nah….I never wanted to try it but the girls had a blast watching them sizzle and pop in the skillet, that was some memory.

  5. Teri C 12 months ago

    You must have taken a good look when you ran through those fields. It’s an awesome looking grasshopper!

  6. Jessica Seacrest 12 months ago

    Ok, you are the watercolor painting bug whisperer! You are fabulous with painting these insects!

    • Author

      Hehe…thanks Jessica! 😃💕 I don’t know why, but I love doodlewashing insects. Probably all the details. I love some detail!!

  7. Sharon Mann 12 months ago

    Very cool grasshopper, your detail is awesome, Charlie!

  8. Damita M-S 12 months ago

    Great detail on the grasshopper. Yes I hate how they can stick to your clothes without you knowing. That freaks me out😜

  9. Catherine Johnson 12 months ago

    That is so good, Charlie and great shadow too. I’d be terrible at shadows.

    • Author

      Thanks Catherine! 😃💕 Glad you liked the shadow! I usually mess my shadows up a bit by going back in instead of getting it down in one wash. Mostly because I have no patience waiting for things to dry. 😊Hehe

  10. kirkistan 12 months ago

    That is a glorious creature, Charlie. I’m with Catherine, the shadow is very good.

  11. Frank McKay 12 months ago

    I have similar memories from my childhood an grandmother’s house. Thanks for bringing them forward!

  12. Jacob 12 months ago

    The level of detail is absurd! What a lovely golden colour too, great sheen to it. It all looks so real, I don’t know what else to say! Nice memories and fabulous first sighting on this nature trail.

    My encounters with grasshoppers must have been very scarce as I have virtually no memory of them whatsoever. However, my sister used to buy tubs of locusts for her bearded dragon, Nigel, to swallow whole. Occasionally one would escape and I’d be quietly thrilled for it – at least, until it started flying after me, or got caught in my hair. Then I wasn’t rooting for it quite so much.

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob! 😃Yeah…I got a little crazy with the detail on this one. Hehe And wow…no grasshopper swarms in your childhood? But yeah…when they fly at you it’s totally freaky even if it’s just one. Lol

  13. Jill Kuhn 12 months ago

    I remember them “pooping” in my hand as a kid… I didn’t know it was spit! Lol! 😳 Your details are amazing, Charlie! And your shadows are super impressive! YAY!! For insects!! 🐜🐞🐝

  14. ybromfield 12 months ago

    Fantastic, Charlie.. I’ve always thought grasshoppers are cool, but locust: not so much.. LOL. It’s in the packaging. I absolutely love the shadows here. 🙂

  15. Carmel Campbell 12 months ago

    Great grasshopper. So much detail. Nice!

  16. Fantastic doodlewash Charlie, great detail, I have studied them well as I used to breed these things for my tarantula ( had her as a kid, then grew up, what was I doing having a pet spider? In the end I donated her to the butterfly farm near by, I think she probably had a better life there, I then released the crickets/ grasshopper/ locust. I can honestly say that they annoyed me greatly, the noise they made in my bedroom.

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Rebecca! 😃💕 Wow, that’s so cool you had a pet spider! But yeah… hearing that in a tent while camping is one thing, but camping in your bedroom every night would get really annoying I’d think!

      • Funny you should mention camping, that’s how it began….my getting the spider. A boy I fancied at a camp had a baby pet tarantula,-at the camp by the way….unfortunately it died at the camp ( probably because he didn’t have the correct conditions for it while camping) so I get home and pester my parents to allow me to have one. Do you know I never saw the lad again, he he.

      • Author

        What a great story… I wonder whatever happened to the lad. Sad for the tarantula though. Sounds like yours faired much better! 😉

      • Crazy child stories, I had forgotten all about it, so thanks to your grasshopper the memory jumped right back at me. I have no idea, I do know that he lived miles away from me, so never really expected to see him again.

      • Author

        I love hearing the stories these posts I inspire! Such fun memories!! Those kinds of crushes are always so memorable too! Hehe

  17. artandmoondreams 12 months ago

    What an image your story spins…fantastic. And your painting, wow! the detail is wonderful…while part of me oooohing at the beauty of the painting, the other part was shivering with creepy crawly delight and remembering childhood days being chased by an older cousin waving one of these at me…oh the memories. Thank you for sharing yours and the lovely art.

    • Author

      Awww thanks for the amazing compliment, Haunani! 😃💕 When I finished this guy I was actually creeped out, so I figured it must have worked out okay! Lol

  18. ann christina 12 months ago

    Wow, amazing, Charlie, so much detail! Looks gorgeous. You could have also added this to your food specialities from around the globe, I think in China and elsewhere in Asia this is a delicacy. 😉 Thanks for the information in your post, was again really interesting to read! 👍💛

    • Author

      Thanks, Ann! 😃💕Hehe… true! This could have been in food month, but it wouldn’t have looked quite like this once fried. Eek!

  19. Judith 12 months ago

    Now, that is a doodlewash! Oh, how well I remember grasshoppers from childhood. Thanks for the memories, and for the exquisitely-detailed illustration on our nature walk this month. Totally awesome!

    • Author

      Thanks, Judith! 😃💕 Would you believe I was wanting to try more abstract painting with this them? Lol But I love details so much!! Glad you liked this!

      • Judith 12 months ago

        It’s mind-boggling, Charlie. 🙂 In a good way!

  20. Cathe 12 months ago

    Charlie I can see you running through the fields screaming! Your doodlewash is fantastic, lots of yummy details…crickets…locust! Kind of creepy, but really cool.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Cathe! 😃💕 hehe… they are creepy!! They still creep me out, but I’m so darn fascinated by them.

  21. memadtwo 12 months ago

    “A plague of locusts” does roll off the tongue better than “a plague of grasshoppers”. I remember them attacking the crops in one of the Little House books. But I’ve only seen them in ones and twos. They do always startle, though,since they’re usually so well blended into the background. Nice job, Charlie! (K)

    • Author

      Thanks so much Kerfe!😃💕 Yep, as ever, it always comes down the musicality of the words, doesn’t it? Hehe… perhaps if it was like a “gang of grasshoppers” Hehe

  22. Teresa Robeson 12 months ago

    Hahaha! Your doodlewash is as awesome as your story to go with it! <3

  23. Ellie 12 months ago

    Fantastic painting! But now I have to get rid of the memory of catching these guy with my older brother – I had to be brave and pretend I liked the feel of those little prickly legs. aagghhhhh! And, yes, that weird brown juice. Bleh. ( :

    • Author

      Thanks, Ellie! 😃💕And haha! Yeah… they’re strange little critters. I felt like they were still bouncing around on me even after I ran away! Lol

  24. Tom Merriman 12 months ago

    Great Doodlewash, Charlie… although I’m glad I don’t have anything like that in my neck of the woods!

  25. Mimi 12 months ago

    Wow this just look so real – I’m afraid to touch my phone screen bcs I don’t really friendly w bugs but still this is so beautiful 😊

    • Author

      Hehe…that’s a good sign then! Glad you liked it! It could jump at any moment though…these things still freak me out a little!😊lol

  26. brushparkwatercolors 12 months ago

    I love grasshoppers – and your wonderful doodle give them justice. Great work!

  27. Myriam (Myr's Bytes) 12 months ago

    Awesome grasshopper! Grasshopper details are so neat. Loved your story about the “tiny rockets”. Enjoying your nature series a lot so far. I might participate. A lot of my planned watercolour paintings have been turning into pure pen and ink drawings lately. But I did finally paint one and I had fun playing with unsaturated colours only, so I’m looking forward to doing that again. 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much Myriam! And yay! keep doing it… you’ll be a watercolor pro in no time!

      • Myriam (Myr's Bytes) 12 months ago

        Hmm… I don’t know about pro, but I suppose that if I keep doing it, I will see some progress. And it will be more fun once it feels somewhat familiar. I am having lots of fun looking at other people’s paintings. 🙂

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