I’m super fascinated with butterfly wings, even dragonflies, actually I can say bugs/insect wings. The patterns, textures, colours, shades, I think is all too pretty.
I had seen this butterfly wing image on Pinterest and felt an urge to try it out myself. As I’m writing this blog post I looked up for the source of the image, I now found the artist name. Too bad I didn’t look up earlier because the artist Katrina Crouch has a YouTube video with a wonderful, detailed tutorial for this butterfly wing painting, you must check it out.
Since I’m trying to use watercolours and practice as and when I can, I decided to give it a try using my watercolours – I did not know about the above mentioned YouTube video then. Since I had a reference image, I roughly sketched out outline and started to paint. It is nothing like Katrina’s process of course, but then I’m only practicing with her work as a reference. And since I did not follow the tutorial, I’m going to mention here how and what steps I followed for this practice painting – my version of the original painting.
I used wet-on-wet watercolour technique, for which I loaded the paintbrush with some clean water and spread it across the butterfly wing pencil sketch. The video (at the end of this post) is sped up just because I take my own sweet time while painting, though I wasn’t using the proper watercolour sheet and had to work a bit faster as the non-watercolour paper dries out faster.
After glossing up the sheet, next I loaded the paintbrush with very thin consistency of crimson pigment and went about the outlines of each section of the butterfly wing. Since the sheet was still wet, the colour bled around slowly and softly. I let it dry for some time before using a thin consistency of purple colour – as I wasn’t too happy with how the first colour looked after drying, and also because I wanted to use a slightly different colour to give the wing another shade. After all the butterfly wings are so pretty with multiple hues, right?
Next, to make the outlines of each section stand out a bit (as it was all smudged into same colour & shade) I used a slightly thicker consistency of crimson to paint them. I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the final look and decided to use my micron pen to give it a doodle-kind of look. I drew along the lines, roughly and loosely as I like these kind of imperfections in my pieces. Another thing I absolutely love and almost always do, is the colour splatter, I feel it just changes the look and feel of the whole painting.
That was the whole process explained in words. But if you are someone who enjoys watching the process (like me) then please do check the video.