I am doing some more work on my Bombus hypnorum. The pretty Tree Bumblebee who is quite new to the UK. I will paint the one I saw at Easton in May who was busy on the cherry blossom. I looked through my photos again and see I have photographed both male and female over the last few months. They are very similar but the male has a ginger section on the abdomen and a top knot of ginger hairs. They are really quite delightfully hairy with long silky hair and their wings seem quite long when compared with other bumble bees. They are certainly spreading throughout the country now, its ten years since the first records, and it seems they are a benign invader.
The sketches are useful just to get re-acquainted with the bee.
I think I have finally decided on the position of the bee on the page and its size. It is vital to get all this sorted out now as changes are not really possible…well, not once you have put the first layer of paint down. I am using my rather blurred photo for the pose inspirations, and I do have a little model which I can use when I paint the final piece. It’s taken me two hours just playing around with various possibilities.
I think I will be painting this later in August. At Nature in Art I hope to be sketching and making studies from their lovely garden.
Grafham Water Tower
The local Post Office is in the next village and I had a couple of things to post so cycled over there. On the way you pass the water tower which comes as a bit of a surprise as you round a corner. It stands in its own neglected and weedy plot of land and there are dire warnings of DANGER and risk of “Non Ionising Radiation”. I am fascinated by water towers. In Lincs you can orient yourself by their positions on the skyline. They are strange, blank looking edifices. They seem silent and tight lipped as if they hold a private secret. I have to admit I have never seen inside one.
I made a little thumbnail sketch then started a larger one. It was cold today and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to stay out for long. I took a snap of the pencil stage. I don’t usually use do pencil prelim when I am out sketching as I feel it makes me too fussy but drawing buildings makes me nervous. I feel I need to work it all out before committing to pen. Silly really! I just need more practice! Maybe the Church tomorrow.. well maybe just a bit of it!
I like the tinted paper because you have a mid tone already there for you! I might add a bit of sky to this …but no more time today.