How I painted a bumble bee

How I painted a bumble bee

Here in Devon, in fact I think most of the UK has had some lovely Spring sunshine, enabling us to get out and about , watch the earth begin really getting into it's Spring. Bees are buzzing everywhere, we headed for Rosemoor the RHS garden near us to take in the Spring flowers.

There was a whole new garden to wonder at, and bees were buzzing all over the place.

My mum was down for a few days and it has been a while since we could all be together so shades on and a wander around the garden was just what the doctor ordered.

I love bees and have been painting them for a while, I try to adapt my style, I try to make my paintings the best they can be. However I also get tired, lose concentration and rush things. I can get in a muddle and can't figure out where to go next and  often ruin a piece . So be kind to yourself, paint when you are feeling in the right mood and always stop when you are tired, then return refreshed the next day

So where was I? Oh yes bees, they are returning to Devon, buzzing happily around the garden and I love to paint them. 

With this one I drew a simple outline and the used a few dots of masking fluid to mask out the highlights.

Then I began to look as carefully as I could at the wings.

I paint in the shadows, the veins the lighter parts I leave white, ( or in watercolour I leave the white of the paper. Go careful paint what you see

Then I do what I started doing a few years ago now, I use clear varnish, the type used on wood to create a translucent wing. This has nothing to do with watercolour and is my own invention, you can miss this part out if you'd like or play around with your own ideas. But this one is what I do.

I then leave the wings to dry overnight.

Now I carefully paint in the details

I am only using a few colours, indian yellow, cerulean blue, paynes grey and a red brown, to darken the yellow.

Keep moving with this part as you want it to all be wet in wet.

I wet the back of the bee , the white part and let all the colours merge , and finally I painted the little pollen sacs on the legs


This is a lovely bee to paint as you don't have the legs to deal with, now rub of the masking fluid when the paint is dry and you have a new bee  to admire. 

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Thank you for sharing <3


I loved your blog about the bee, Rachel! Friendly, good tips and well described!


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