Friday, February 10, 2012

Where Research Leads...

Carol Sloan again.

I've been working on a theme piece and doing a lot of research for it.

I drew the Crown Imperial in the last post that I did.
Did you know that the lily is besieged by a tiny bug called "Red Lily Leaf Beetle"?
They are beautiful bugs but oh so hated!
They will literally mow down a lily garden if given the chance.

But they are so beautiful. I love their red color.

My research says that they grow to be about 9mm (roughly 3/8") long.
But quite noticeable because of their color.

I've been drawing them in my sketchbook.
I am thinking of adding a couple of them to a mixed media piece that I am working I draw and paint them in my sketchbook until I feel comfortable enough to draw and paint them on the artwork itself.

Here's a macro view of a couple of them.

These were drawn in pencil first onto a piece of  Fabriano Medioevalis Stationery (landscape 4 1/2" x 6 3/4") (120 gsm).  I keep the pages in a loose pile then stitch them into a book when I'm ready to.
If you want to create a book full of great artwork (instead of one just for playing, etc) this is a great way to do it. You get to pick the sketches that you like the best.

Back to the bugs.

When I was pleased with the drawing, I went over the outline with one of my favorite pens, the Pitt Artist Pen.
The beetle on the right was painted with watercolors.
The one on the lower left was painted with acrylics (with a touch of watercolor applied).
I did the shadowing with a bit of watered down Bone Black and a Pitt Pen.

I mentioned that the adult "Red Lily Leaf Beetles"  are about 9mm long but the pair above measure about 3" long.
Yikes! Imagine the damage one that size could do!


  1. love these~!
    and they happened to remind me of the ladybug that is printed in the "Cricket" children's magazine . . . used to love reading it and watched very carefully for that and other 'drawn' details within the issues.


  2. Interesting study. Good idea to do several bugs in different media on the same page. I like your method for shading.

  3. I've had these little bugs in my lily's. I check them daily and pick off those I find, they can fly from leaf to leaf destroying as they go, they make a noise too. I took some pictures last year, the red looks lovely against the green leaf.

    Love your sketches.

    Jan :)


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