33.1 Bee & Borage – First Colors

I did this first layer of colors in the gloom of the evening, after work.  I was tired but had played out some of the painting earlier in the day in between whatever I was doing.  I used a small brush and deliberately tried – and will continue to try – a delicate approach.  Both the bee and the borage have a lot of fine hairs which I want to express and preserve.  Looking at the scan shows a need for contrast in the center of the flower, along with on the bee’s back, behind the eyes.  In these areas, I will be working on glazes to create better contrast, and I hope a better sense of depth.  As it stands now, the whole painting is rather flat and nondimensional to my eye.

 

33. Bee & Borage – The Sketch

I am trying to do something everyday when it comes to drawing or painting. Some days only allow for morning time, and that is when I did this drawing of a bee in a borage plant. Today, I used a dip pen, my ca. 1810 pewter ink well, and iron gall ink. I have never drawn a bee before, and using a dip pen and focusing on the shapes, rather than what I think I see (thank you, Sharon, for that great advice!), produced fairly decent results. I’m rather afraid to draw anything that requires a bit of realism as I really doubt my abilities to do this. Practice is needed here!

Borage is a lovely plant, covered in fur, with beautiful blue flowers. If I recall, it is an invasive plant, and one best kept contained in a pot. I had some in my dog free zone (DFZ) this summer amongst the lilies.

As an aside, I’m getting used to using a dip pen, which is really a rather nice skill to have as I don’t have the big blobs I used to get; I know when to refill the well and dilute the ink with water. Something we don’t think about in this day and age of non-dip pens.