#3: Bee Contrail – 30 paintings in 30 days

This is from a photograph, and is a painting I’ve wanted to do for a while. The content of the photo is a spike of flowers against an out-of-focus green background; the bee at the top made it look like a “bee contrail,” and that will be the title of the full-size painting whenever I do it. 🙂

This is again a small 4″ x 6″ painting, and I have only suggested the details of the flowers. I think it would be worthwhile on the full-size painting to work in the subtle yellows, oranges, and weak greens that are visible in the photo but are only broadly suggested in the painting. It was a good color study for the flowers – I used Cadmium Yellow Light Hue for the rich yellow highlights, and mixed Hansa Yellow Deep to get to the shadowing oranges. Just a touch of Permanent Orange in the deepest shadows at the bottom. The color I chose for the background was Jadeite Green for its heavy sedimentation, but I added Phthalo Yellow Green and Green Apatite for texture and color variations.

I had planned to paint the bee in very broad, wet-on-wet strokes, and finish with a fine pen line, but it actually worked out to paint it solely with a brush. I have an ultra-fine Rosemary & Co. ten-ought (!) brush that does exceptionally fine lines, and it was perfect for getting the feel of hairs on the bee. Highly recommended for your kit. Click image for full size.

Bee contrail (2)

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