This weeks subject at Avon Valley Artists was Birds and Butterflies.
I have a book of butterfly photos and on browsing through it, came across a photo of a huge swarm of Monarch butterflies, sunning themselves on some warm rocks.
I thought it might make a lovely pattern painting.
From 'Butterflies' By David Badger and Brian Kenny
I had no intention of making exact drawings of each butterfly, and was not even concerned about them being true monarchs. I just wanted to have a go at producing a fresh attractive painting where the subject was obviously butterflies, but nothing specific.
I liked the way there were lots of different shapes, plenty of white and that lovely rich orange colour. I instantly thought of using Transparent Orange and Pthalo and Cobalt Teal blues for the background.
The process was simple. I drew out the shapes using first a pencil and then a fine black liner pen. I then washed over the shapes with the Transparent Orange, leaving plenty of white. Large areas of black were painted in Indian Ink.
I used the two blues and some Quinachridone Rust for the background, and that was about all. Two points to make:
1. It took ages to do the drawings and I was quite bored with the whole thing by the time I got to the end of the pen drawing, and in places I got quite careless. It needs patience!
2. I had various pens on the table at the time, and did not realise that I had picked up a non permanent one for a small part of the drawing and so when I added the wash, the black lines bled into the wet paint.I need to be more careful!
'Butterflies' (unknown paper)