For our prompt of “Chipmunk” today, I created mine in a quick little sketch with some pink flowers for a bit more color. Last spring there was a little chipmunk that was living right next to us and I’d see him occasionally darting around. They’re just so tiny, and so, I find them incredibly cute. I watched him dart around for as long as he would let me and then he disappeared back into a hole in the ground. The limited time outside is more of a defense mechanism as when you’re this tiny, it means you have tons of predators. But as usual, while studying them for this sketch, I got totally sidetracked watching videos of them. In one video, which I actually watched on repeat, a little chipmunk stuffs 6 acorns into its face and runs off. The fat cheeks only served to make the little guy even more adorable. As I look in the mirror and notice the fatter cheeks I personally acquired over the winter, I’m not sure it has quite the same charming effect.

As I was bouncing around looking at chipmunks I saw a bit of trivia that said they need 15 hours of sleep each day. I think our dog Phineas has that beat. He, like many basenjis, prefers to sleep in a little bit more, which can amount to up to 20 hours a day. But, in those 4 hours when his switch turns back to the “ON” position he does everything he can to make up for lost time. He bounds up and down the stairs for most of it trying to see what’s happening outside from every vantage point possible. Then he’ll start pawing at us for more treats, which we’ve now begun to place in toys to slow him down a bit. Once, when handed his treat toy, Phineas just looked at it and pushed it around and walked off in the other direction. Philippe jumped in like a mama bear and started asking him if he felt okay. Phineas looked up at him with sad brown eyes and just sat there. I glanced over during this interaction and simply said, “he’s fine. He’s playing you to see if you’ll get the treat out for him!” Which, of course, he was, so now Philippe doesn’t give in so easily.

I rather enjoy watching the interaction between Phineas and Philippe from afar. Phineas has such a willful streak that shows up quite regularly. On walks, he’ll pull in a particular direction and if you don’t immediately go his way, you get the side eye or Phineas will just sit down and not move at all until you come to your senses and comply. While certainly irritating in the exact moment, it’s just impossible to stay that way for long. Phineas has those magnetic traits that are simply impossible to ignore. He’s small and cute. And, in his case at least, he knows it and works it to his advantage whenever possible. I love his willfulness and ability to stick to getting something that he wants. It’s inspiring to see him try multiple approaches to things before just giving up entirely. I like to fancy myself as having the same dogged determination, but sometimes he reminds me that maybe I did give up too soon on something. Perhaps, there’s another chance for that impossible dream to come true. It never hurts to try, at least. This is simply a bit of sage wisdom that I acquired from taking a moment to watch little creatures.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) with sepia 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!
Chipmunk And Flowers Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail


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24 thoughts on “Little Creatures

  1. So cute Charlie! It does feel so much like Spring. It was a grey day here and I took the day to not leave the house. Exhaustion and a bit of funk from a long chaotic evening of hanging art with 8 other artists. So I played in my studio and it helped!

  2. Dogged determination! Lol lol! I had a friend who had a Bassett hound. She took him for a walk once and he got tired on the way home, so he laid down and wouldn’t get up for anything. She had to get the car and drive him home!

  3. My basenji was a well of energy. I’m sure he slept, but I don’t think I ever saw him. I remember once we visited some friends who had a farm. Their border collie had pups that were about six months old and they all went wild. By the end of the day, Warlock was still jumping around, encouraging them to play and they were exhausted. He ran them all into the ground.

  4. Cute little guy. Our animals have us figured out so well. Our kitty has us trained to receive treats at night. Little does she know, I have her trained for going outside after she has her treats. She goes to the back door after she has them. (She spends nights outside because she is a night time party girl. She wants me to get up and play in the middle of the night.)

  5. Great chipmunk and you are amazing how you can wander in your reference research and musing but still(finally?) arrive back at your starting and intended point. This is a great talent! One of your many thank you sharing it with us!

  6. Aweeeeeeee so beautiful!!!!!! I so enjoy watching the wee tiny beasties too. Well all of them they are so amazing!!! i can relate to being a wee one and others not thinking you are capable. I love when they see I am too!!! Funny what came to mind was me in grade school. it was gym class time and were were to go to the far side of the school yard. Most of us kiddos ran. I had one of the taller long legged guys running next to me. Thinking I did not have a change to pass him up. Wrong!!! he just looked at me with happy surprise and laughed. I laughed too. 🙂

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