One little bumble bee.

One little bumble bee.

If you know me then you'll know I love bees. They are starting to return to the hedgerows and flowers of Mid Devon and they are returning to my paintings too. I have been working on a very large piece this week and there are quite a few bumblebees in it. Here is step by step guide to just one little bee

Firstly I make a simple sketch 



Then I paint the tiny eye, leaving a white spot for the light reflected, there is cerulean blue in there too



Once I add a bit more blue for the antennae, and nosey bit. I move onto the yellows . I use Windsor yellow and cad orange and burnt sienna  to add graduation of colour to show light on the bee. I treat each little bee like finished painting in itself.



Then I add the blacks, be careful you remember which is yellow and which is black. I use Paynes grey for the blacks with blues in there too. Leave the yellow wet enough to allow the colours to merge without loosing the definition

i also painted his little legs



I keep going and added the pollen sack too with my lovely Windsor yellow, making sure there is a highlight on there.


Then finally i paint the wing and I add some clear varnish, to make them even more wing like



I hope you all have as much fun painting bumblebees as I do x

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Love your sweet bees. I was wondering what varnish you use and is this used only on the wings painted over them (what kind would that be) or do you spray it on the whole painting thank you.


Hi there,
I followed your step by step guide to this very cute bumblebee and it turned out really well … you made it easy …. thank you so much. I’ve just started painting and I’m getting so much pleasure from it thanks to people like you 😀

Polly wrigley

Thank you for sharing your techniques step by step. It really helps me to develop my painting. Your subjects give me inspiration when I run out of ideas. I tried this lovely bee and the results were amazing. I look forward to more blog inspiration!


I love this especially the tip about using the clear varnish, thank you.

Theresa Fitton

I love your paintings of bumblebees.
As a keen gardener, I plant flowers to attract these special fuzzy insects.


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