A Little Bat

Day 29 - Bat Inktober Watercolor - Doodlewash

Along with spiders, bats can be a bit creepy, particularly this time of year. But unlike spiders, I think bats are rather cute, so I attempted to portray the cuter side of this creature. Sure, even a little puppy-like face can become a bit off-putting when combined with dragon wings, but the whole combo just makes me adore them all the more. Contrary to the way they look, bats are not actually flying rodents, but so unusual and special that scientists have given them a class all their own. The name for this class is “Chiroptera” which means hand wing, because the wings are supported by four long fingers rather than arms. Sure, the idea they actually have giant hands might not help the case against their creepiness, but to me, it just makes them even more unique and wonderful. And they’re not blind in the least, but can see us nearly as well as we can see them. The distinction is simply that they possess an incredible ability to truly listen, which is likely why humans often assume they must be blind. Instead, they’re an odd breed of mammal that simply can’t be fooled by visuals alone.

I don’t actually see very well at night due to my nearsightedness, so having a sonar ability like a bat is a wonderful thing to consider. This is merely among a long list of superhero abilities that I’ve imagined for myself since I was a child. The ability to fly, of course, combined with such skills makes the bat a sort of superhero to me. I used to think that bats were comical in their odd and erratic flight patterns until I learned they actually possess an internal GPS system. They create their own complex internal maps that guide them through the areas they’ve previous traveled. Rather than always soaring like a bird in a smooth line, they bounce around the sky based on memories that they’ve previously experienced. This gives me much comfort. As I spin through my own life here on the ground, I find myself often taking odd turns that seem a bit counterintuitive and incongruous. My own journey is never quite a straight path. Sure, it could simply be my attention deficit problems, but I love to think it’s something more. It’s my own built-in navigation system that’s built on memories and not just what’s happening in the moment.

My navigation system certainly contains flaws, as I’m simply human after all. I don’t function on pure instinct, since I have a wealth of emotions that come into play to guide my every move. But sometimes, in moments of pure clarity, I enjoy the thrill of moving forward on instinct alone. A burning desire to DO something that I’ve been suppressing out of some kind of fear. Well, let’s face it, it’s most often the fear of failure. That little idea that implants itself into my head to tell me that what I’m dreaming should well and truly remain only a dream. But if I listen instead to my heart and put all of my attention there, I often find myself taking a very different path. One that only seems precarious, but is, in fact, the best path of all. I have a lifetime of internal maps in my head to guide me, even on the most challenging and new paths I might choose. So, I do something that only pure instinct can provide. I don’t give up. I never give up. If a dream calls my name, I simply must pursue it and find out where it leads. Dodging things as they come my way and navigating uncertainty with all of that glorious primal intelligence of a little bat.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink 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!
Day 29 - Bat Inktober Watercolor Sketchbook - Doodlewash
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

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!

24 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    Your bat is definitely cute, Charlie, and I admire your navigation instinct that keeps you from ever giving up. My navigation skills on the other hand have left me unable to find my way out of a paper bag – an unsure why I was even in one in the first place, lol.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕haha!! Those navigation skills are perfectly wonderful! lol Love that!

  2. Leah Stark 3 weeks ago

    He is so cute…I love him!!

  3. Lisa 3 weeks ago

    Hey Batman! Nice work. The house I grew up in had a lot of bats in the attic. I slept in the top bunk under one of those slanted ceilings. I could hear them scrabbling around and squeaking up there. I always thought it was kind of creepy, and kind of interesting. These days, in the summer in the gloaming I love watching bats swoop against the purpling sky. Maybe I’m just happy they’re eating mosquitoes!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Oh wow, I would have found that creepy and interesting as well! Cool! And yay for the mosquito eating! That’s my favorite bit of all!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 3 weeks ago

    I love bats and don’t find them creepy at all. Your little guy is adorable. Keep listening to your heart – it sends you in wonderful directions!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Bats are adorable! hehe… and listening to your heart is definitely the best!

  5. smzang 3 weeks ago

    Charlie says, “But sometimes, in moments of pure clarity, I enjoy the thrill of moving forward on instinct alone.”

    that is poetic and lovely. The thought is beautiful and so is the rhythm of the words. The sibilance dances wonderfully with the hard C sound. It’s not quite 6 a.m. and I’m sitting here reading it aloud, and savoring
    the way it creates both peace and motion.

    On another note, I am not a fan of bats, but that little fellow you created is adorable.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks!😃💕 I’m glad I managed to make a bat a non-bat person finds adorable! hehe… that was my goal! (especially after that spider! Yikes!) And wow… thanks for the compliment and the description as to why. I’m not a trained writer, so it’s wonderful to hear what you feel works in the words!

  6. LoriCtoo 3 weeks ago

    And that’s our lesson on bats. Very interesting and thank you for putting a cute face on yours. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, I think cute faces are all I can manage… hehe… though my effort on that spider recently was the best I could do there! lol

  7. Anne Bonney 3 weeks ago

    I think bats are pretty amazing. after my husband was bitten by one – he’s not so sure.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Oh wow! Yikes! Yeah, I’m sure being bitten would change your mind rather quickly! 😳

  8. ehwilson2013 3 weeks ago

    Delightful sketch and the cute face does give this little creature an endearing quality. These animals have great value to sustaining certain plants in various environments as well as consuming loads of mosquitos here locally in Wisconsin where I live. BTW there is a wonderful children’s book about a bat named Stella Luna. I love your sharing of memories and ideas from your own life. Art that makes connections deeply to the artist is very dynamic! Thank you!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕And yes to bats… they’re so important! And thanks so much for the compliment! I’m thrilled you enjoy my stories!

  9. mlaiuppa 3 weeks ago

    I love me some cute bats. A much maligned mammal. The fruit eaters are great pollinators and the carnivores can eat their weight in bad bugs (like mosquitoes) each night. Bats do a lot of natural pest control to help farmers.

    For more cute bats, I encourage the childrens picture books: Stellaluna by Janelle Cannon and the series by Brian Lies: Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Ballgame, Bats in the Library and Bats in the Band. There is also Nightsong by Ari Berk but it’s a little too cute for my taste.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Bats are awesome!! 😃💕 They are such cool little mammals. And I’ll definitely have to check out those books!

  10. June Hadaway 3 weeks ago

    Bats are amazing creatures with their little foxy faces and webbed wings. Kind of frightening looking yet cute too. The
    old movie theater I went to as a kid had bats. As soon as the lights went out you could see bat eyes. Was kind of creepy but never stopped us from going. Loved you memories.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Yeah, those foxy faces make up for the incredible large and creepy flying hands! lol Love bats! 😃💕And wow… sounds like a creepy and totally awesome theatre to attend!! Fun!!

  11. Karen Howard 3 weeks ago

    Really cute bat! Ithink they are interestibg bur I dont want any in my attic. It us against the law to bother them in North Carolina!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, I agree that all animals outside of our pets are best when they don’t decide to move in with us! 😉

      • Karen Howard 3 weeks ago

        Lol. Someone here got bats in her den! They chewed through the ceiling. The room was sealed off and she couldnt have then removed because it was mating season. I would have moved.

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