I like working small, which is I think why insects appeal to me. I created this as a challenge to make something larger than I'm usually comfortable with. It ended up being just a little larger than 12"x12". I started by composing the entire thing in Illustrator and then cutting it from two different pieces of Canson drawing paper. The gray and green are separate pieces glued together.I started this piece with the thought that it would be a wreath. The three dimensional flowers were a bit of an afterthought but combined with the gray frame they give the entire piece a bit of depth. I used clay sculpting tools to shape the flowers.
I intended to add more than one butterfly, but once I'd finished the one I decided that adding more would overwhelm the delicate florals. The wings are a dark gray because black seemed too harsh. The blue was a rich ocean color that I painted with a pearlescent pigment. This painting ended up serving two purposes. First, it created a soft fluttery look that adds realism to the butterfly. Second, the wet technique curled the paper just a bit and gave a realistic dimension to the wings.
The entire wreath is mounted to a piece of birch plywood which I chose for it's lightness in weight and color. Birch plywood has a shimmery quality and it reflects light in an interesting way. I need to find a larger piece of wood to back it with so that I can frame it.