Bee- utiful

Bee- utiful

Hi another Thursday so another blog. One of the great things about living in the UK is the ever changing weather, and our ability to talk about it. Today it seems as though normal service has been resumed, summer in England. A mixture of sunshine and showers and an abundance of flowers. The intense heat of last week has gone and I am constantly checking the skies to make sure my washing stays dry!! However my garden is changing daily too, no sooner does one bloom die back than another grabs my attention. Today the agapanthus are making there presence known, along with beautiful bright pink roses, and my lovely red geraniums. 

This time of lockdown has made me see things much more intensely and appreciate small things in my garden much more. I have a woodpecker who visits me daily and my vegetable plot is getting tended better than ever before. I do hope that appreciating the small things is something that will stay with me. I think we have all come to realise how vulnerable and small we are in this big wide world, but by living in the present and enjoying a cup of tea or a glorious sunset we can put our minds at ease.

I keep coming back to a favourite poem 'The peace of wild things' by Wendell Berry, these lines stay with me  especially 

I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
so with this in mind I thought I would show you again how I paint a bumble bee. I love to watch them buzzing around, resting on a flower then moving to the next. I add them to so many paintings and they give me peace.
First I draw them , and mark the yellow from the black bits.
make sure you are using good quality brushes that come to a good point.
I like to use Indian yellow for the yellow parts of the bee, and then I darken one side , with a touch of cadmium orange and burnt sienna.
Can you see i have gone over the lines ...here is where you have to be in control of the amount of water. I want the back parts of the bee to merge with the yellow, giving that fuzzy look.
I am using paynes grey for the black, with cerulean blue for the highlights.
There is a spot on the bee where the sunlight hits it.
Now  I carefully add some shadow to the white at the end of the buff tailed bumble bee, and carefully add a head and some antennae. 
The wings are done on this bee with Yellow ochre and a dry brush. I also add some detail with some burnt sienna
I also carefully paint the little legs.
Finally, when it is dry  i rub out the pencil lines and add some varnish for the wings and some gold ink for the pollen
i love watching bees, and I love painting them. i hope you can find some beauty in the world around you this week , and may even be inspired to get some of it down on paper

3 comments

  • Helena

    Lovely painting and thank you for sharing your painting process. Best wishes Helena

  • Mike Nelson Pedde

    Lovely! If you’re interested:

    https://www.bumblebeewatch.org/

    Hugs,
    M&M

  • Carole Gremillion

    Thank you for such a great bee painting tutorial! When you mention using varnish I’m wondering what product you use.

    I look forward to these Thursday blog posts so very much! Thank you:)

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