Swallowtail Butterfly – The End of the Palette

Swallowtail Butterfly.   Watercolor by Michele Clamp.  11″x14″ on 200lb Bockingford rough.

I still haven’t moved over to the new palette as I’m trying to use up all the paint in the old one (amazing how long it lasts).    I’m left with a lot of orange, red and pthalo blue so colorful butterflies came to mind.

 It was good fun to use some bright colors for a change and he came out fairly loose.  Pretty happy I think.

I did a quick sketch in the small 5×7 sketchbook :


This actually came out cleaner which is often the way.   Easier on a smaller scale though.

For completeness here is it part way through when the initial orange washes went on :


The Moleskine Journey – lightbulb moment


Something clicked here (even though there are proportion problems with the drawing).  This is almost entirely done with quinacridone gold and a mixture of ultramarine and burnt sienna for the darks.

The secret –  plenty of water and plenty of paint.   Let the stuff puddle on the surface of the paper and it will move around (or let you move it around) for a fair while.  

For the first time this felt closer to painting than fighting.