Today on our #NatureDoodlewash hike, I’ve brought this super quick doodlewash of a little lady bug who’s just about to fly away, like my sketching time today. Since ladybugs are usually seen and illustrated as a crawling creature, I wanted to try a version with her wings showing, which are normally kept hidden under her bright red shell. Why are ladybugs red? Or other bright colors? Well, it’s actually to warn birds and send a signal that they don’t taste very good. Apparently, birds prefer their cuisine in more mundane hues.
When ladybugs are cornered inside a house, they release yellow stuff that I had always assumed was poop. I just figured a huge giant coming toward them stressed them out and made them sh*t themselves. I mean, I’m sure I would probably react similarly if a huge giant approached me. But actually, I was only half right and the answer is weirder. They release a small amount of their blood, which is actually yellow and stinks, as a sort of bizarre defense mechanism. And I honestly don’t know which is grosser.
As kids, when a ladybug would land on us, we’d make a wish. I always thought that meant the wish would come true. But as an adult, I read somewhere that you’re supposed to wait until they fly away and whichever direction they fly tells you from which direction your wish will come. Which makes no sense at all and is extremely disappointing. After all those years of wishing, it turns out the ladybug was just some sort of wish GPS and couldn’t actually deliver the goods. I guess it’s not so bad. Of course, having your wish come true is a wonderful thing, but there’s still something wonderful about simply making a wish in the first place. Perhaps that was all the magic I ever really needed.
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!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Quinacridone Gold, Azo Orange, Sap Green, Ultramarine 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
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