Today, when met with a prompt of “bugs”, I wasn’t quite sure what to paint. I’ve already sketched a ladybug earlier this month, and they aren’t really bugs at all, they’re beetles. They like to eat tiny aphids, which are technically true bugs. But, I didn’t really want to sketch one and instead ended up engrossed in several articles saying that we end up consuming aphids as well, whether we like it or not. Apparently, here in the States, the FDA does allow a certain amount of aphids and other insect parts in our food. The little boy in me was fascinated by this potentially gross fact. They’re tiny, perfectly edible and they say bugs outnumber humans 200 million to one, so those are pretty good odds they’ll end up on the menu at some point. In the end, I realized I could literally sketch any food that caught my eye and know that somewhere, there’s a microscopic bit of bug there. Prompt completed. And so we rather unexpectedly have this fruit tart.
Even if you told me there were little bits of bug in a dessert, I would probably still eat it. I just love dessert. And I guess a polite person probably wouldn’t bring any of this up in the first place, so apologies for bringing it to your attention if you were blissfully unaware. But I find it all so fascinating. These little facts, even the ones I might guess to be true, are fun to discover. As a kid, I loved playing Trivial Pursuit and could pretty much answer all of the science questions, but was rubbish when it came to sports. The latter is simply something that I’ve never been interested in. But science and nature are endlessly thrilling to me. As I’ve been doing this blog, I’ve learned a lot of fun facts that I’ve enjoying sharing with whoever might be reading along. Last March, I spent a month sketching Uncommon Creatures and it was fun to discover some of the lesser known species on the planet.
Little known facts and bits of trivia keep life interesting. It would be a shame to spend life with only the knowledge we currently have. Sketching and painting each day has been so rewarding, but often, when I’m searching for an idea to paint or looking at references I get lost in articles and information. Often to my detriment as it leaves me with even less time to paint, but it’s such a fun journey. So, sure, bugs in our food are not the thing you’d probably want to consider, especially if you’re reading this near mealtime, but for me, it’s fun to know. Like painting, when I discover an interesting mix of color or a particular way to shade the edge of a piece of fruit. Each of these little discoveries is a wonderful experience. So much of my day can include things that offer little to shock or impress me, so I’m endless thankful when I come across those little surprises.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Quinacridone Gold, Red Orange, Sennelier Red, Perylene Maroon, Dioxazine Purple, Phthalo. Green Pale, Phthalocyanine Blue, Indian Yellow, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. 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!