'Bee' Happy

'Bee' Happy

Many of you already know I love painting bees, in fact I think there is already a blog post on here about bees but I wanted to share with you an enjoyable Saturday here in mid Devon. I wandered up the lane earlier today and was so happy to see many bees on the hogweed buzzing away oblivious to me taking as many photos as I could manage.

They are wonderful creatures and so important to our planet.

Now how to paint this little marvel ?

First of all I I do a simple sketch

I want to convey the essence of this bee buzzing around in the new undergrowth, collecting nectar. I don't want to copy the bee exactly. 

They are very fluffy and intricate beings and I always start with the eye ( if that is what it is called)

Then I want to capture his fluffy body. I use small brushes and lots of water. I use paynes grey to create the black fluffy parts of the bee, I also need to paint the legs with all their joins and fluffy knees, lots to do in miniature....

I also have to paint the yellow parts of the bee. I need to show the subtle colour changes I use Windsor yellow and add touches of red to get the orange under belly. All very delicate as I also want the black to merge with the yellow, so it looks like one body.

Finally I have to give an idea of the hogweed. I am not a botanical artist ( much as I utterly admire them) I just want to add a touch of the plant the bee is walking over. I want the watercolour to work it's magic letting the colours merge and dance on the paper.

I am nearly done and I want to add some splashes and spots. I like the viewer to make up some of the painting, Today was a day to 'Bee' happy and the more I paint bees the happier I become.


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1 comment

Thank you. I’ve been painting bees lately with mixed results! I love the way you have placed the bee on the plant. I find this very difficult to do convincingly – some of mine look very odd just sort of ‘perched’ on top rather like a cut-out. Ah well practise, practise practise.


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