For my first butterfly painting, I decided to paint this longwing beauty. I took the left and upper right photo at the Butterfly Pavilion at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. I believe it is a Tiger Longwing. On Monday (Day 5), I will tell you a bit more about this particular species. The bottom right photo was taken in Alabama by a stream. I thought the heart shapes and scale would work well in the composition with the long variegated leaves.
When using my photos as inspiration, I often use Photoshop to isolate the shapes as linework, (below.) This typically involves the use of Find Edges>Convert to Black & White and some adjustment to the contrast and brightness.
I use graphite transfer paper to transfer images onto the watercolor paper. Arches cold press or rough is my favorite. For this challenge I am using the 140#.
As you can see, if you look closely. I first put the closed butterfly just above the right wing of the open one. I decided that it pulled the eye out of the composition, so I erased and placed it in the upper left.
Come back tomorrow to see the first wash, complete with masking, intentional splatters and effects!