Monday, 19 October 2015

Brushes and orchid tree flowers

Unexpectedly yesterday I painted more than I thought I would paint. It's good, because I have a tight deadline and it will help me to spread my painting in time. 
Someone asked me yesterday which brand of brushes I'm using. In general in botanical painting I'm using Raphael 8408 series, #2, #4 and #6. I like them, because they have very very fine tip. Although I have to sincerely admit that sometimes that really long tip is a little bit troublesome. It ends with almost one hair, or two maybe, and sometimes it's difficult to release the paint from the brush, especially when you paint something really tiny. 
I wish I could try Winsor&Newton series 7 brushes as I've heared they are excellent. I have to save up for them.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Great Mormon and Orchid Tree

I've started a new commissioned botanical painting this week. This is the second one out of 3 or 5 (depending on how much time I'll have, but 3 at least). This time I decided to paint The Great Mormon (Papilio memnon) butterfly sitting on a flower of the Ochid Tree. I had a great pleasure to spot this butterfly while I was in Bali island in Indonesia last year. This butterfly was huge! It's wings were as big as my hands!
I took dozens of photos of course, because I knew that in the future I would paint it. And now I have this opportunity.

I asked people on entomology group for some additional information and I found out that this particular butterfly I spotted is a female form alcanor. Here's what I found on Wikipedia:

Female form alcanor:
  • Tailed. The sides of the abdomen are yellow.
  • Upperside forewing greyish brown with veins and streaks between them black. The cell is red at the base. There is a velvety black patch at the bases of veins 1 and 2 of the upperside forewing.
  • Upperside hindwing is black with part of the cell white. There are white streaks around it. The tornus is red with a large black spot. There is a row of red terminal spots between the vein.

It looked particularly beautiful with those magenta flowers of Orchid Tree, and I decided to paint it exactly the way how I saw it.

I started with the sketch of course. I added first pale washes on the petals of the flowers, and when they were dry I started adding more details. In my sketchbook I note down the colors I'm using. 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Echium vulgare and Melitaea didyma - finished!

I have finally finished my illustration of Echium vulgare and Melitaea didyma. It was such a long journey! And it's just the beginning, because I have to paint at least two more illustrations like this one. I'm really excited, because they all will be exhibit during Museum at Nights 2016 events and it will be the first time when I show my paintings in real, not virtual, world.

This painting took me about two weeks. I stopped counting hours... I used Saunders Waterford HP paper, 140lb, 16" x 12". I can't wait to start another painting! :)

Echium and Melitaea, part 7

Hi! Today I finished the second imago of Melitaea didyma. In the next few photos you will see the progress.

I started with very pale wash of Naples Yellow Deep and added some orange parts with Translucent Orange and Hansa Yellow Medium.

Here I added some shadows. I mixed French Ultramarine with Naples Yellow Deep. 

Before I laid down the blacks on the butterfly's wings I had painted his head and body. Here I used white tempera mixed with various watercolor paints to paint hairs. At the bottom part of the body I used beautiful mix of Phthalo Blue Green Shade with Cobalt Turquoise Light.

Finally, I used my black (Perylene Green + Pyrrol Crimson) to paint dark patterns.

Now the whole painting looks like this. So only the flower on which the butterfly sits lasts.