Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Butterfly project

It all started when I stumbled upon an excellent book on butterflies one weekend. I was so inspired by the loveliness of these creatures in the glossy pages of the book that I thought it would be fun to do a painting with a hundred butterflies on the canvas. However I did not want to copy paint from the pictures in the book even though that would be the easiest thing to do.

For a start, I want to paint butterflies that I have seen and photographed at random and so I dug into my collection of photos going back a few years. I found one set of butterfly photos taken at a park by the beach and tried to identify the specie from the book on butterflies. Initially I thought it was the Monarch Butterfly and later discovered that it was a local breed called Danaus chrysippus chrysippus or Plain Tiger.Monarch butterfly featured in the book "The Complete Encyclopedia of butterflies by Wijbren Landman.

Before I start to paint, I need to study the patterns on this butterfly to get the feel of what the Plain Tiger butterfly is about. In an afternoon, I did 4 drawings from the photos I have taken. It was tedious but worthwhile as I am now more ready to pick up the brushes confident that I will not just paint mechanically.

This last drawing was made using pencil. I seldom draw using pencils as ink is my preferred medium. Having done this, I can see that I am lacking in skill where shading and tones are concerned. Nevertheless I enjoyed this exercise as I had the advantage of correcting the drawing till I am satisfied. Ink drawings are less forgiving and I have to be very careful there.

Reference for Plain Tiger Butterfly.

Most recent butterfly drawings on 19 Oct 2007 - the first was drawn from a photo taken of a photo exhibit at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on Butterflies. The second was referenced from a photo from those taken at East Coast Park near the MacDonalds.

Black Veined Tiger ButterflyPlain Tiger Butterfly

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