Aug 14, 2011

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.

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