"On Angels Wings"
Butterfly in Watercolour
Yesterday was one of those days when the weather was perfect. I couldn't resist taking a walk in the early evening sunshine and decided to take my camera with me in case I saw any wildlife or flowers worth painting, and how lucky I was.
There is a field near our cottage that at the moment is full of ragwort. I know this plant can be seen as a nuisance to some but it does attract so much wildlife. As I wandered through the field I felt a soft touch on my bare arm and was delighted to see it was a white butterfly that had brushed my skin. I followed it with my camera so that I could take photographs as it settled on many of the bright yellow ragwort flowers. I knew I would want to paint it straight away but time was passing and when I did finally return home it was already getting late. But I couldn't get the image of that butterfly out of my mind. I often believe if an image is so strong in your mind it is best to capture it immediately and so I did.
I took an oblong piece of paper that was already covered in green shades and began to paint around the negative shape of the wings of my "treasured sight". Next I added yellow to the top of the existing green section to make the ragwort come alive. By the time I added Cobalt Turquoise behind the butterfly wings and a few extra yellow flowers in the distance the subject was already there.
I love the saying that if you are touched by a butterfly you have been graced by an angel. Hence the title of this painting.
You can see the photograph I took that inspired this painting below. I do believe painting from your own resource photos of things that you have personally seen makes you a far better artist. In this case the inspiration was very high!
The butterfly I saw on my walk.
My own photograph, captured in beautiful early evening light
1) Paint from your own photographs.
2) Go Out! Go somewhere you where will see subjects that appeal to you. Study what they look like in real life.
3) Paint something when the mood takes you. That special moment of enthusiasm is worth capturing while its' fresh and very much alive.