Friday, 4 March 2011

New directions

We've had some warm and sunny days recently, although the temperature has dropped at night. This Dotted Border moth - Agriopis marginaria - came to light:

Male Dotted Border
The Dotted Border is another of our moths with flightless females, and the larvae feed on many broadleaf trees and shrubs.

One thing that I have been promising myself (or threatening myself) for quite some time now is to develop some skill in wildlife painting. My chosen medium is watercolour with ink, because I like the intensity and accuracy that indian ink adds to watercolour. For the past couple of weeks, I have been working on a portrait of the Small Tortoiseshell butterfly (which incidentally can be seen flying at the moment), and I now feel brave enough to reveal my efforts to the internet audience:

I suppose the actual painting/inking time was perhaps 3 hours, but with large gaps between sessions to layer the colours and let things dry.

The original is about 15 cm. x 10 cm.


Caroline Gill said...

This is so beautiful. Have you been using glazing techniques? I am just learning oils, and am gearing up to a painting of Caretta caretta ...

Stuart said...

I hadn't heard of glazing techniques, but I just looked it up and it seems that's what I was doing. A basic set of 'flat' colours was laid down, and then I applied transparent, darker, colours on top (up to 3 layers) to give texture and to imply shading and lighting. I also used a bit of water-only brushing around some pre-dried boundaries to soften them without the bleeding that wet on wet would produce.

I took shots of the whole process, so I could post them if that seems of interest.

The turtle would make a brilliant subject for oils, acrylics or watercolour. Good luck with that.