Return Of The Blow Fly

Doodlewash and watercolor sketch of green blow fly house fly on white background

Since I rarely repeat myself, I decided to doodlewash a fly for the second time. And so, this little green bottle fly or blow fly has wandered into our #NatureDoodlewash hike. I first painted a fly like this back in October so I was curious to see what it would look like if I tried it again today. I did a light pencil sketch before inking it and then added watercolor. The first time was just straight to pen and I rather liked the outcome of that. So, I think I’ll be sketching fast in ink more in July before adding watercolor, along with my growing wish list of watercolor experimentation for World Watercolor Month!

Yeah, most consider flies to be kind of gross, but they’re very beneficial. Unfortunately, what makes them beneficial is precisely what makes them super disgusting. They play an essential role in nature by decomposing dead tissue. Their babies are yucky little larvae, and mom lays her eggs on the body of a recently killed animal. Seriously hoping you’re not reading this during dinner, but there’s nothing to tell about flies that isn’t sort of nasty. Fly facts aren’t fun as they always seem to start with maggot and end with cholera, so that’s probably all that needs to be said here.

I’m thrilled and excited for the end of the week! There’s a constant stream of new artists joining the Facebook Group and it’s exciting to see everyone’s preliminary posts! If you haven’t joined yet, check it out (even if you’re not a fan of Facebook… just come hang out in our group! It’s worth it!). I’m running really short on time tonight, so figured I’d sneak this fly in quickly. I’m so ready to play and experiment in July! I hope all of you will be joining us! No rules, except your art must use watercolors or gouache in any way you choose and be tagged #WorldWatercolorMonth wherever you post it in July! Let’s get ready to play together!

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: Ultramarine Blue, Quinacridone Gold, Permanent Green Pale, Viridian, Azo Orange, and Neutral Tint. Sennelier: Opera Rose. 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
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!
Published in By Charlie
50 Comments
  1. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    How do you manage to make a fly look good? Way to go Charlie!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Susan! 😃💕Glad ya like my fly! They’re yucky in person, but cool looking close up! Lol

      • Susan Feniak 1 year ago

        If you say so. Magnify glass at hand. But I still say they are not clean.

  2. Teri C 1 year ago

    This is an amazing painting for something so yucky. Love that green.

  3. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    I just don’t like flies, but this one is quite attractive. Or you made him quite attractive, Charlie. Well done.

  4. Jacob 1 year ago

    I daresay there are a fair few more of the beggars around than there were in October! In fact I know as much! It’s nice to revisit and observe the progression. How far we have come! 😉 Great job on their one saving grace – the colourful body/thorax/whatever the correct term is! And on the subject of saving graces, hearing those snippets of research it’s probably another that you’re short of time!

    • Author

      Yeah, any more time on research and things would have gotten ugly!! Lol Thanks so much, Jacob! It was fun to revisit a previous subject. I almost liked the first one better though. I want to try straight to pen lose sketches again in July. Among a million other things I won’t quite make it too! Lol

  5. Carol 1 year ago

    Amazing green metallic effect, legs, shadows, and wings – although I am not surprised. Yes, thanks for skipping the majority of the gross details. Also, I have a rolled up newspaper just in case I hear any buzzing 😉

    • Author

      Haha! Great you’re prepared, Carol! Thanks!! Glad you liked this…flies are irritating as hell in real life but super fun to doodlewash!

  6. Laura (PA Pict) 1 year ago

    That green sheen is amazing. I’m in awe of your skills.

  7. Jodi 1 year ago

    this is the most beautiful fly i’ve ever seen! (and I have my posts scheduled for 6/30 and 7/1 – WOOHOOO! Almost can’t wait!)

    • Author

      Aww thanks so much, Jodi!! 😃💕 And yay!! Mostly impressed by scheduled posts!! I’m totally real time…some days I think I’ll barely make it! 😊

      • Jodi 1 year ago

        LOL! Sometimes I get a little ahead, but most of the time I am getting to it late at night for the next day 🙂

  8. Catherine Johnson 1 year ago

    Great fly, Charlie! I didn’t know gouache counted, cool 👍

    • Author

      Thanks, Catherine! 😃💕 And yeah…I just went with the scarce Doodlewash rules for the month. Hehe…I hate rules… mainly because I can never follow them! Lol

  9. debiriley 1 year ago

    very lovely looking fly! nice!

  10. Curious to the Max 1 year ago

    All flies are vile
    I swat, watch them splat
    squish them on the tile
    gross little buggers, take that!

  11. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    Kudos to you for making this gross fellow so handsome, I almost am willing to like it! 😉 I just love the way you made it so 3D and iridescent! <3 My old brain fails me but do you do demos on a Youtube channel?

  12. Bridgetti 1 year ago

    I’m not a fly person either, but great job on this drawing!!

  13. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    Gosh, Charlie, your fly looks so real I wanted to grab the fly swatted! Lol! 😉 And thanks for leaving out the gross details. 😃🎨

    • Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

      Fly swatter…darn autocorrect! 🙄

    • Author

      Haha! Wanting to swat my doodlewash in this case is the perfect compliment!! Thank so much Jill! 😃💕lol Yeah… it just gets worse from here when it comes to fly facts. I had to stop!! Hehe

  14. Carmel Campbell 1 year ago

    Your fly looks a little scared….poor little guy. It had to have been your paint brush that did it! 😊 Nice detail and expression!

    • Author

      hehe… he does a little bit, but I guess that happens when your eyes are so big! lol Thanks so much, Carmel! 😃💕

  15. Birgit Winter 1 year ago

    It has been said before but the shiny green is stunning!

  16. Taia 1 year ago

    Well done and fresh looking, as all of your works. They are always nice to see.

  17. Love your doodlewash….don’t like the fly! However I do appreciate their vital job in the world 😀

    • Author

      hehe… I really hate flies in person, but for some reason find them super fun to doodlewash! Thanks, Rebecca! 😃💕

  18. I love this! Even the tiny little hairs on the legs, you captured it all so perfectly, Charlie! Way to go! 💜💛💜

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much Laura! 😃💕It’s official… I love doodlewashing flies! lol But hate swatting them when sitting outside!

  19. Cathe 1 year ago

    By far the most handsome fly Charlie!

  20. memadtwo 1 year ago

    The extra-largeness, as always, magnifies the beauty. As long as they stay out of the house! (K)

  21. jmnowak 1 year ago

    I like colourful flies…you’ve done this one very proud, Charlie! Lovely! Looking forward to July…

  22. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    Stunning and beautiful painting! Love how you captured the metallic iridescent sheen…really amazing. I remember when I first saw one as a child, I thought it looked like a lovely jewel flying around and promptly “ooohed” and “aaaaahed” over it. Then my mother told me it was a fly…eeeew really?!! (Though I still think they look pretty…lol) Thanks for sharing this little gem.

    • Author

      But they do, right? The shiny green ones are so pretty. I was always fascinated as a child as well. Then the solid dark dull ones buzzed around my head and lost all the charm. Lol Thanks, Haunani! 😃💕

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