Friday, January 17, 2014

Butterfly: Eastern Comma

I heard that the local Art Association was going to have a “small paintings” show. I ran down to the art store and picked up a package of  8 x 8 canvas boards. I dug through the images on Wet Canvas looking for a good small subject, and I found this.

I transferred the drawing to the canvas as exactly as I could. I painted all around the butterfly in a Burnt Sienna wash, leaving the butterfly area white, and treated the flowers just like an impressionistic painting.

I knew the butterfly would have to be perfect, so I used glazing techniques on that. First, I did an underpainting of thin, bright yellow. Then I would let that dry, and slowly build up the colors using the most delicate brushstrokes. When it was all done, I put on the white highlights on the edges.

I didn't know what kind of a butterfly this was, so I searched on “orange butterflies” on Google until I found one that matched it. It was an Eastern Comma.

The gallery had a small paintings show, but they had another show where I could buy a 6’ x 5’ piece of wall space and show whatever I wanted. I did that instead.

I'm very happy with how this one turned out. 

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