L is for Lepidoptera!


…which is what happens when you really wanna paint a butterfly, cause it’s cool and you’ve never done it before, except the letter L is next up, so…you improvise. And become a wordsmith. Thus, lepidoptera! 🙂

Someone whose work really inspires me is Alison Fennell.  You can find her post and YouTube tutorial here.   This is really an excellent tutorial, explained in Alison’s low-key, patient style, of how to paint butterflies in watercolor without being too fiddly.  I tend to overfiddle, and so I tried to take Alison’s advice to heart, but I have a feeling I put one too many layers on this one.   I’m not sure.  I’m very new to watercolor (who am I kidding, I’m new to all of this art business, as my daughter would say), so tell me what you think.  Alison also has a beautiful Etsy shop, which I encourage you to visit, as her work is so lovely and delicate and beautiful, as is Alison herself.    I hope you enjoy my little painting, and if you’re interested in painting butterflies, check out Alison’s tutorial.  You’ll be glad you did!

Back to my little butterfly, I happened to have a scrap of batik fabric on my table, and decided rather impulsively to trim it up and glue it on as the butterfly’s body at the end.  The white dots?  White Crayola crayon.  Which resisted most of the paint, but not all.  Hey, what did I expect?  I’ll try it again, though; I enjoyed that quick and easy wax resist!

I drew and painted most of this while eating dinner (yet again), so it worked well for a quick and dirty, no-fuss butterfly look without all the fiddling and fandangling.  Alison will show you how to make your painting look much more like a butterfly than this one; I took a shortcut.  (Actually, I was trying to get the blue and yellow to blend together on their own to make green to finish up Irish week….but it didn’t quite work out that way.  My watercolors rarely ever work out exactly the way I thought they would, though.)

I’ll be working today, so who knows what might be coming up for the letter M tomorrow.  I hope you’ll visit again and see.  Happy Saturday!  Don’t forget to feed your soul, I think it’s getting hungry.

(Colors used:  cobalt blue, azo yellow (M. Graham watercolor paint) and a touch of sky blue Inktense pencil for the background.)

28 thoughts on “L is for Lepidoptera!

    1. Thank you. I seem to feel that so many things improve if I add just a bit of fabric to the mix. I don’t think the color was perfect, but I liked the texture. So, in it went. I’m looking forward to more butterflies in the future.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Sharon! We all should have freedom in our artwork. I’m determined not to be constrained. Sometimes I really have to fight with myself. The blog is helping because I have to make something with limited time, so … I usually just say heck with it, and do it. Thanks for your comment, and for reading.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Thanks Laura for the link to Alison’s tutorial on painting butterflies! Looks like fun! I have found that having professional grade watercolor paints do make a difference. I realize they are a bit spendy so I buy them online at Dick Blick. I like your sweet butterfly! I started studying butterflies last year and I’m amazed on the varieties and colors! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love butterflies! I also like the idea of combining different mediums. It sounds fun and, judging from your blog’s content, can create some really cool effects.

    Anyway, this is nice! I really like Alison’s butterflies too. Thanks for the link to the images and tutorial.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your butterfly. It couldn’t come at a better time….SPRINGTIME! I really enjoy your journey and thought process of each project you share. You are really educating me. Working with watercolors must be a real lesson in patience, waiting for each color to dry before applying the next color. Let me know if you need a hair dryer to expedite the process. Ha ha. It might make your paper pucker or bubble, which could lead to a new technique to share with your devoted followers. Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. I was not blessed with patience, and watercolor does require lots of it, as you say. Without a hair dryer, I’d probably go crazy waiting. It’s very useful. Sometimes it’s nice to have a painting on the kitchen table, do a bit here or there, go back to what you were doing, and by the time you revisit, it’s ready to roll. Air dried paint looks much brighter than hair dried, in my experience. The hair dryer can flatten and dull the look of the paints. I’ve found putting it on low heat and holding it away from the painting can minimize that. There’s so much more to learn. For me, it’s never ending, and it’s probably why the medium, and art in general, fascinates me so much. Thanks for reading and commenting!


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