Blog 5 : Feathery pursuits…

A couple of weeks ago I took a little rest from my Horse Chestnut painting and decided to try and paint some colourful Cockerel/Rooster feathers. I had never painted a feather before and I admire the work of Elizabeth Romanini (https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.romanini?fref=ts) and thought I would like to try it one day.

I chose three Cockerel/Rooster feathers from my collection, which are very colourful. I thought they would be easier to paint than my Owl feathers to start off with as they are not so pale in colour.

To begin with, I drew up the red feather on my watercolour paper. Making sure I drew it on very lightly so that it would be easy to erase on the paler areas. The colours of this feather really appealed to me. I decided to slant my drawing to the right rather than have it positioned straight up as this seemed a more interesting composition.

Next, I made my swatches mixing up my colours and painting them onto a piece of watercolour paper to keep as a reference should I need to mix more of the same colour. I also note down the colours I used to mix each shade. For the brightest red, I used Sennelier Rose Madder Lake, Winsor Red and a little Quinacridone Gold. This makes a really bright red and the S.Rose Madder Lake just knocks it back a little without losing the vibrance. I then mixed up a selection of warm orange/tan tones for the middle section and a darker red for the shadow areas by adding Perylene Maroon to my original bright red mix. I then mixed some beigey browns and greys for the bottom section of the feather. Now I was ready to start painting!

See my swatch sheet below for my colour mixes.

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For colours listed on all my swatches – the codes are as follows: QG – Quin Gold, WR – Winsor Red, Azil – Alizarin Red, BS – Burnt Sienna, S.RML – Sennelier Rose Madder Lake, Pery M or PM – Perylene Maroon, WO (R) – Winsor Orange (Red Shade), PR – Permanent Rose, Trans Y – Transparent Yellow, WL – Winsor Lemon (not Lemon yellow, V – Winsor Violet, Vi – Viridian, Ind B – Indanthrene Blue, H20 – added water,

One other colour I used was Daniel Smith Interference Red (an iridescent colour) and I used this on the red part of the feather at the end to make it glisten a little.

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Painting stage 
I began to lay down my first wash. I use a Billy Showell no. 2 brush and a Sable Rigger size 0 for the fine detail. Red can be a tricky colour to build up in layers and if you’re not careful it will go muddy and thick, laying on top of the paper rather than seeping in. For the first wash, I used the wet-in-wet method, this was to allow for more layers to be added safely allowing the colour to increase in density without becoming thick, you must make sure each layer is thoroughly dry before adding the next! Whilst adding the red I also added a little of the orangy/tan colour under the red area and a little pale grey to the bottom, being careful to keep the edges at the bottom very, very pale. Once this was dry I added another wet-in-wet layer of the colours to strengthen it all up. I was careful not to go over the rachis (stalk/vane through the centre) as I would paint this in last. There was, however, a small area of orange tone on the top half of the rachis which needed to blur into the red area.

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I don’t add the fine detail and ‘after feather’ (wispy bits towards the bottom of the feather), until the end.

Now my feather was starting to look nice and bright, I started to add in the pattern detail on the right-hand side orange/tan area with a watered-down grey and then a few of the ‘after feather’ parts – very pale to start with! There is a very pale hint of the orange/tan in the ‘after feather’ area too, so I used a little of that colour with the grey to build up this area.

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Some of the after feathers were a little thicker and you could see the pinnate appearance like the veins on a pinnate leaf. If you look closely you will see this. Use a magnifying glass if necessary. You can add some of this with a very fine brush and light pale strokes. Don’t worry about doing all of them, an indication on a few will suffice. This again needs to be done in layering as you’ll need to have different strengths of ‘after feathers’ to give it depth. The bottom of the feather is quite a dark grey so you will need a few layers to achieve this. Try not to go over all of the ‘after feathers’ and you’ll get a nice variation of shades. 

Now for the detail stage. On the red part, I needed to add some very fine darker red lines and some shadowing to the right side. This looked difficult to paint as the lines go straight up from the bottom to the top. If painting a fine line seems almost impossible you need to get the flow of pigment to water just right to achieve this. Use a number 2 pointed full-bodied sable brush, I use a Billy Showell brush for this as it is very versatile and holds water well. Unfortunately, you cannot buy them anymore but she does have a synthetic range. In fact, I use her no. 2 brush for almost everything! Wet your paint and brush. Another method is to make rough lines by spreading the tip of the brush into lots of points. To do this take a little paint into the brush and push it against the palette surface to make a fan shape. Remove excess from the base of the brush near the ferrule on a cloth or kitchen roll. Test it first! Angle the brush as flat as possible then run it across a scrap piece of paper. Hold the brush more upright for thinner lines. You should get multiple rough lines appearing. Here are two little videos to explain. You need to hold the brush almost upright to achieve fine lines!

Once this was done I started to build up the grey area at the bottom and add the finer details. Having finished the detailing I then painted the main rachis (stalk/vein through the centre) and was careful to retain the light on either side of it. Lastly, I ran a thin darker grey line along the right side of the rachis to give it depth.

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For the next feather, I chose a lovely fluffy one with a chevron design in beautiful tan colours. I applied the same principle as above to this feather but at the end I noticed the light catching the after feathers and they were glistening. To achieve this effect I mixed a little white gouache and used a little Daniel Smith Pearlescent White (iridescent paint) to highlight the shiny parts. It’s even good to add shiny areas to the feather strands. You don’t need to buy a whole tube of iridescent paint, you can buy a ‘Dot Card’ online which is enough. You need such a small amount so don’t waste your money on tubes unless you start using them all the time of course!

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See below the iridescent treatment on the after feathers. This is the finished feather with a close up of the iridescent part.

Lastly, I chose a beautiful iridescent emerald green and tan feather. A very flamboyant one with a super curved shape to it. I used the same process to paint the feather and because of its beautiful iridescence, I used Daniel Smith Iridescent Jade and Topaz at the final stage. To achieve a strong emerald green colour I used Winsor Blue (Green Shade), a fabulously rich electric blue, mixed with a little Indanthene Blue, Winsor Lemon (not Lemon yellow) and a touch of Quinacridone Gold. I mixed a dark greyish green for the areas that were darker in shadow, taking great care not to lose my highlights. I build the green up in thin layers to avoid the thickening of the paint on the surface.

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Here is the finished feather and iridescent detail.

Well, that’s the end of my feathery pursuits for now. I’ll be painting some more owl and flamingo feathers next year, so look out for that blog too!

*All photos, content, text and videos are subject to copyright – Jackie Isard Botanicals 2017

Blog 4 – Sketching adventures continued…

Next in my sketch book are two more beautiful wild flowers, Devil’s-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis) and Greater Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa). Devil’s-bit scabious is a cute little plant with leggy stems ending in a pretty little button shaped lilac/blue flowers. Greater Knapweed is a grander and more flamboyant version of Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra). The flower head forms in a thistle-like fashion opening into a beautiful cluster of purple petals with flowing delicate petals beneath which float outwards like exaggerated  ladies’ fingers. (See header picture, taken at Box Farm Meadow)

I chose Devil’s-bit scabious as it is the food plant of the declining Marsh Fritillary butterfly and Greater Knapweed as it is particularly appealing to insect wildlife. Insects including bees and butterflies are very fond of this plant, notably the Marbled White butterfly.

In the spring I planted some of the plants I am studying in my garden with the intention of using them for botanical reference and colour studies. The slugs seemed to love it much to my displeasure! But they grew and I was able to study and dissect them as needed. Later in the Spring I also scattered some wildflower seeds which included Greater Knapweed and to my surprise one healthy plant grew tall and strong. This year I have sown seeds for all 8 plants I want to study for my RHS entry, so let’s hope they all grow for next years additions to my sketch book!

Devil’s-bit scabious Succisa pratensis

The flower head of the Devil’s-bit scabious if a perfect bundle of small flowers packed into a ball shape. The pattern formed by these florets is a fibonacci series, spiralled.

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As the flowers open into their beautiful lilac blossoms the pollen bearing anthers protrude further than the flower forming a little halo of darker pink around the flower head with puffs of yellow/white pollen at their tips. When the plant was young  and partly opened it reminded me of a baby in a pretty lace bonnet! As the flowers fade the petals fall and we are left with a green ball of empty sepals which will then develop and produce the seeds. At this stage I took colour references from my plant and painted them into my sketchbook for future reference.

In my studies I dissected the very small flowers and illustrated the parts of the plant. The seed head has not yet matured so I will need to add this at a later date. I wanted to show the plants structure by breaking it into sections as a memory aid. I selected sections of the plant to show how it changes up the stem as the plant is quite tall.

I used a specimen Marsh Fritillary butterfly to take colour reference and pattern form and added it to my drawing of the opening flower head. As my specimen is set in an open position it is great to work from as all detail can be seen and added to the painting. Little error on my part…..I should have turned the butterfly specimen upsidedown as the potion shows the underside of the wings! I wanted to make the butterfly look like it was landing on the flower so used a photo from the internet as reference for positioning.

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To plan out my sketch book page I wanted to include as many features of the plants as possible together with my colour references. I spent time drawing up my composition on tracing paper and then cut it up  to arrange it on my page. Once I was satisfied I had the best arrangement I traced it all off into my sketch book.

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This is my final sketch using watercolour paint and fine liner. It will serve as a good reminder for when I paint the final painting.

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Where does the plants name come from? The history behind this flowers name is quite interesting. “Scabious flowers were used to treat scabies, and other afflictions of the skin including sores by the Bubonic Plague. The work ‘scabies’ comes from the Latin word ‘Scratch’ (scabere). The short black root was in folk tales bitten off by the devil, angry at the plant’s ability to cure these ailments.” Hence the name Succisa which means cut short in Latin and pratensis means ‘of a meadow’.

Greater Knapweed Centaurea scabiosa

The late flowering Greater Knapweed is the only food plant of the Coleophoridae case bearer moth (Coleophora didymella). Insects including bees and butterflies are very fond of this plant, notably the Marbled White butterfly.

I started by studying the flower head and whole plant as it developed. The flower head resembled Common Knapweed, thistle-like in structure but it is not thorny. The bracts form a fibonacci series pattern on the involucre and have a spidery look to their edges. This involucre encases the seeds which are similar to dandelion seeds. When mature the bracts spring open flat to let the seeds be carried out by the wind. This is as beautiful as the flower head. My plant has not yet matured to reveal this so I have taken my reference from a photograph for the time being.

I began my sketch by breaking the plant into sections and dissecting a flower head, again because it is a very tall plant. The leaves are deeply pinnately lobed and the stems quite hairy. Some areas on the main stems resemble cobwebs. The leaves reduce in size as they go up the plant.

Again I wanted to include as many features of the plants as possible together with my colour references. I spent time drawing up my composition on tracing paper and then cut it up to arrange it on my page as before with the Devil’s-bit scabious then I traced it into my sketch book.

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This is the finished sketch ready to trace into my sketch book. I now took colour references and noted them in my sketchbook.

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I really wanted to add the Marble White butterfly to the main flower head but in a different position to the Marsh Fritillary on the previous sketch. I found an image of one looking like it is coming across the top of a flower and decided this was the position I wanted to use. Again I used my specimen to take the colour reference and patterns from.

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This is the finished piece. Some painted and some outlined in fineliner pen.

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Where does the plants name come from? Centaurea, the genus name, comes from the Centaur Chiron, who used flowers of this genus as a poultice to cover a festering wound made by an arrow dipped in Hydra’s blood. The wound was cured and so, the story goes, cornflowers and knapweeds were given the name Centaurea. Greater knapweed was also used to treat skin conditions and scabies, hence the species name scabiosa.

I’ve now also added ‘Habit’ drawings to my sketchbook of all four sketches done so far. A helpful illustration of the whole plant in reduced scale.

Left to right clockwise – Greater Knapweed, Devil’s-bit scabious, Ragged Robin, Horseshoe Vetch

I’ve decided I’d like to buy a flower press! Any suggestions for a good quality one gratefully accepted. These I tried to press in a heavy book. I would love to do it properly next year with all my chosen wildflower plants.

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Well until next time, I hope you enjoyed this part of my Sketching adventures!

*All photos, content, text and videos are subject to copyright – Jackie Isard Botanicals 2017

Blog 3: RHS sketching adventures…

I decided to use a sketchbook to learn about and paint the plants I may choose to paint for the RHS in 2019.  Firstly I researched wildflower plants which are under threat or declining as I wanted to relate them to my concern for our wildlife and the importance of reinstating meadowland. I discovered that some of the wildflower species were quite well known and many rare insect pollinators really depend on them.

Horseshoe vetch – Hippocrepis comosa

The first wildflower I began to study was Hippocrepis comosa (Horseshoe vetch). To my delight I found it growing in the meadow behind my house. Excitedly I looked it up in my Wildlife Key book only to find that there are many similar vetches and that this one was not Horseshoe vetch! I had found Lotus corniculatus  (Bird’s-foot trefoil).  The differences are quite obvious when you know what you’re looking at and it’s always wise to check your species carefully in a good wildflower book first.

‘The Wildflower Key’ was recommended to me as a good resource book. I also own the ‘Collins Wild Flower Guide’ which has lovely illustrations.

I went walking again in the meadow and discovered another vetch, again excited I checked it in my book but now I had found another vetch called Lotus tenuis (Narrow leaved Bird’s-foot trefoil – picture 4 below). I searched on holiday in Scotland, at other meadows in Bannerdown and Box Farm. Still I could not find Horseshoe vetch! Notice the beautiful red colour in the young flowers in picture 2. I will look again next year but have also planted some seeds in my garden and the back meadow in the hope that one will grow for me to paint.

With a little more research and the help of existing botanical paintings, photographs online and my wildflower key book, I began to compose my page dedicated to Horseshoe vetch. I did not rely on photographs, as they can enhance colours incorrectly, to make my colour swatches but picked a piece of the two vetches I found in our meadow and took references from those. All 3 vetches have very similar colouring.


I included an Polyommatus bellargus (Adonis Blue) in my sketch as this butterfly is in major decline and Horseshoe vetch is an essential plant for both the Chalkhill and Adonis blue butterflies as their caterpillars feed solely on it. I used a set specimen I had bought and photo reference for positioning.

I studied the flower heads and seed pods too. My composition seemed like it was blowing in a summer breeze so I put a couple of meadow grasses in the background to add to this movement.

Now it was painting time! As you know I had taken my colour swatches from some suitable live subjects and so I began to mix up my colours . I placed them on the page together with a note of the colours I had used, this I will use for reference when the time comes to paint the final painting. The wings of an Adonis Blue have an iridescence to them and for this I laid a layer of Daniel Smith Iridescent Lilac over the blue part of the wing. You can just about see it in the photo below.

The final sketch included some pencil and black fine liner pen work as well as watercolour painting.

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Where does the plants name come from? The name Horseshoe vetch is derived from the pea like flowers which are arranged is a horseshoe shape. The seed pods have also been described as resembling a horseshoe shape. In folk law it was said that if a horse trod on it, it would be unshod.

Ragged Robin – Lychnis flos-cuculi

The second plant I chose to study was Lychnis flos-cuculi (Ragged Robin). I chose this plant as it is declining in numbers and for the insect pollinator I chose a Bombus sylvarum (Shrill Carder Bee) which is also becoming rare. For this plant I studied a live specimen because luckily one had grown in my garden this year from seeds planted in the Spring. I was able to study it fully and dissect parts too. (*The photo of Bombus sylvarum was borrowed from Wikipedia as I did not have a specimen. They are slightly darker than this image and 10-15mm in size)

Mixing the pink was very tricky as it is a beautiful pale pink but bright as well. I tried a few mixes and found that Daniel Smith Opera Rose, W&N Permanent Rose and a little bit of Aureolin made the perfect pink. I then took more colour references and placed them onto my sketch page. The composition began to develop showing some of the inner flower detail, seed head and a close up of the hairy stem.

Later in the sketch I decided to study the flower’s internal structure more carefully and did a few diagram style illustrations to show this. This was my final sketch page.

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Where does the plants name come from? Apparently this flower was used as a remedy for jaundice, stomach aches, toothache, headaches and muscular strains. The latin name ‘Lychnis’ comes for the greek work for ‘Lamp’. Flos-cuculi means ‘Cuckoo flower’. This is because it comes into flower when  the cuckoo first starts to call. It has a rather straggly and messy in appearance but don’t get it wrong as it is the food plant of long tongued bees, butterflies love it and several species of moth.

Devil’s-bit Scabious – Succisa pratensis

The next wildflower I plan to study is a Succisa pratensis (Devil’s-bit Scabious) and there’s one in my garden just about to open! I’m really looking forward to studying this beautiful little plant.
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Where does the plants name come from? The history behind this flowers name is quite interesting. “Scabious flowers were used to treat scabies, and other affictions of the skin including sores by the Bubonic Plague. The work ‘scabies’ comes from the Latin word ‘Scratch’ (scabere). The short black root was in folk tales bitten off by the devil, angry at the plant’s ability to cure these ailments.” Hence the name Devil’s-bit Scabious.

Yesterday our beautiful meadow was cut, so until next year I will have to await possible new species growing there, let’s cross our fingers!!

I hope you enjoyed this Blog and look forward to sharing my next one with you very soon!

*All photos, content, text and videos are subject to copyright – Jackie Isard Botanicals 2017

Blog 2: Insect adventures…

Alongside my Meadow wildflower studies I am also studying and painting insect pollinators. Pollinating insects are crucial to the environment. Some meadow plants rely on only one type of insect for pollination and some insects need one type of plant to lay their eggs on. If these plants or insects die out, we not only lose the plant but the insect pollinators too!

This is the reason why I feel so strongly about this subject and have chosen to highlight it for my RHS project…..

Plantlife International’s ‘Save our Magnificent Meadows’ project:

“There were once natural wild flower meadows in every parish – today only 2% of the meadows that existed in the 1930’s remain. Nearly 7.5 million acres of wildflower meadow have been lost so far and they are still being destroyed……… The Save our Magnificent Meadows project will protect, conserve and restore wildflower meadows and other grasslands across the UK, and will focus on the Fermanagh grasslands of Northern Ireland, the pastures of west Wales, Scottish grasslands from Edinburgh to Aberdeenshire, the calaminarian and whin grasslands of Northumberland and traditional meadows and pastures in Southern England.”

Rosie Maple of Avon Wildlife Trust:

“The B-lines (Biodiversity lines) project’s main focus is connectivity of high quality pollinator habitat. Wildflower grasslands and meadows are one of the most biodiverse habitats you can find in the UK. We have lost over 97% of them in the UK since the 1950’s. It’s a pretty staggering figure. Part of the main problem of conserving pollinating insects is that many species are not highly mobile. Many species of bees, butterflies, flies and beetles expend huge amounts of energy on flight and need to have a very efficient foraging strategy in order to ingest enough nectar/pollen to maintain this. So in effect they need to ‘know’ that any journey they make will be rewarded by access to a food source. (I recently learned that a distance between 0.5 – 1km between habitat is about what is required for most insects to disperse). A landscape dominated by arable monocultures and human development does not give them this guarantee. So the aim of B-lines is to restore the bits in between, by connecting up our existing, high quality wildflower habitats, creating green corridors and stepping stones that allow the wildflower and associated invertebrate populations to move freely between areas.”

Studying the insects…

I began by going on a Honey Bee painting course with Cath Hodsman and learned a great deal about the insect, it’s behaviour and how a hive works.  I also studied them under a microscope. My painting of a honey bee is unfinished as yet but here it is so far.

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I then decided to go on Natures Details Butterfly course at the Kingcombe Centre, Dorset, run by Sarah Morrish. I chose to paint a Bedstraw Hawk Moth as it has rather beautiful colours that appeal to me. I have been asked by a couple of facebook followers to describe how I painted it. So, here goes!

I highly recommend the course to any interested in these beautiful insects. You will find details of Sarah’s courses on her website is : http://www.natures-details.com/index.html or on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/NaturesDetailsArt/?fref=ts

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Painting a Bedstraw Hawk Moth

Firstly I drew up some illustrations in my sketchbook. To draw up the main moth on my composition, I drew up one half as accurately as I could with an H pencil. At this point I wanted to enlarge it slightly so I used proportional dividers to do this. My final drawing was x 1.5. I then traced this half and flipped it over to trace the other half of my moth. It’s not cheating! It just makes life easier and the drawing more accurately.

  Watch the curves, it may take a few attempts to get it just right!

  Take care to draw on details such as patterns, hairy parts, veins, eyes

  Check your drawing against the real sample regularly and adjust it as required

  Ensure both sides look as similar as you can get them, nature is not perfect but symmetry is very apparent in Moths and Butterflies

Using a microscope (x30) can help you to view moths/butterflies/bees more closely. When you look at them under a microscope it’s like another world! I saw the scales and hairs clearly and this helped me with my final paintings. I did the same on my honey bee painting above. It’s a great way to get all the information you need to make your painting more realistic. If you don’t have access to a microscope try using a very strong magnifying glass (x20)

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  Look all over the moth/butterfly, it’s very interesting and fascinating to see what the naked eye cannot see

  Look at the eyes and antenna, notice the way the eye is formed, the antenna can be patterned or they may have scales and hairs

I then looked at some books Sarah had left out for us and was particularly drawn to the Beatrix Potter wildlife one. She had painted small microscopic drawings of butterfly scales in her studies and this prompted me to do a series of illustrations showing the chrysalis, caterpillar, closed wing position, open (set) wing position and a microscope close up of the antenna. I took a look at the moths antenna under the microscope, it looked so interesting and completely different to what I had imagined. It reminded me of a hoover brush on one side and it was scaly on the other.

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Using a light pad/box to save time with tracings

Once the drawings were completed and as perfect as I could get them, I began to trace them off carefully with tracing paper using an F pencil (it needs to be a little darker to see the image on the light pad through the watercolour paper). I then cut up the tracings and played with composition arrangements for a little while until deciding on a more scientific arrangement. The microscopic view of the antenna determined this in my mind as I felt a scientific arrangement suited it better. I then stuck the illustrations into position on the light pad with masking tape being careful to watch the size of the gaps between each one. As my illustrations were forming a line vertically I used a long ruler to mark my centre line first. The gaps need to look comfortable and almost the same in size. I then placed my watercolour paper (HP 140lb (not heavier than this) quality watercolour paper) over the tracings on the light pad. I taped the watercolour paper into position so it didn’t move around and began to draw it very carefully with a 2H pencil. It’s good to use a very light pencil as you don’t want it to spoil your painting. This is especially important if you are painting light coloured plants or insects.

Now I’m ready to start mixing my colours and start painting! I always mix up my colours and tones and do test strips, checking the colours as I go. After that I copy them into my sketchbook and make a note of how I mixed the shades. I try to mix enough paint to use for the whole painting where possible. As you paint you may discover other tones that you need and mix them, make sure you put a dab of those in your book too. If you run out then you have a good idea of what colours you used to make them in the first place.

  Mix your colours carefully, match them against your subject

  Always make a note of the colours you’ve used to mix them with

  Use professional quality water colour paints

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I used a mix of warm colours to make up the colours for the Bedstraw Hawk Moth. You will have heard of warm and cool hues I’m sure. You can mix everything from just 3 colours, a red, a blue and a yellow. The colours will vary between warm and cool hues. You can make colour charts too if needed to help you. Many Botanical Artists have blogs explaining how to do this. For some very good examples and help with colour see Dianne Sutherland Ball SBA blogspot at: http://diannesutherland.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/about-watercolour-paint.html

  Try out different mixes of colours so you have a good idea of what mixes what

  These are the colours I used to create my Bedstraw Hawk Moth: French Ultramarine, Indigo, Indanthrene Blue,Alizarin Crimson, Perylene Maroon, Permanent Rose,Violet, Quinacridone Gold, Windsor Lemon Yellow, Aureolin, Burnt Sienna

So now I have all my colours mixed up and I’m ready to start painting. I chose to do the wings first. I painted one part on both sides as I went, don’t be tempted to finish one side first! A few things to remember whilst you’re painting:

  Look at the different textures, some may be dotty, some hairy, some smooth

  Use a fine brush to do the stippling of dotty areas; a cats tongue brush, a spotter brush or I use a No. ‘0’ renaissance sable rigger

  Use a medium sized brush to do the washes, I use a Billy Showell No. 2 brush (there are other types but you need one which will hold the water well and has a fine pointed tip)

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  Build your painting up in thin layers, never put thick colour on to begin with. The colour should increase in strength as you go, building it up layers. At times my brown didn’t look warm enough so I laid a very watered down layer of Quinacridone Gold on top of it to warm it up

  Notice how the colours vary across the insect and try to imitate it, study it well before you start

I decided to look at the eyes more carefully towards the end of my painting and found that they were iridescent. The Bedstraw Hawk Moth has coppery iridescence in its eyes. You can use a little iridescent paint to bring this out. Daniel Smith have a number of these available. Butterflies often have an iridescence on their wings too. My moth antenna close up has iridescence in blues and greens as well as creamy golds!

  Look at the hairyness and where it features on your insect. I found some eyelashes!

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Always take time to paint your Moth or Butterfly as there is so much detail within. The closer you get to the original, the more realistic your painting will look. If you need any further advice please don’t hesitate to contact me at Jackie Isard Botanicals on facebook.

Good luck and I hope this has been useful!

*All photos, content, text and videos are subject to copyright – Jackie Isard Botanicals 2017