"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626


I've relocated the blog to https://pencilandleaf.valerielittlewood.uk/
Please come and join my constant struggle with all things creative :)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Four More of the Big Six bees…

If the recent wet and cold weather has done one good thing it has kept me indoors at the drawing board and able to complete the Big 6 commission. No time to blog about them individually but here are some rather basic scans of the last four paintings.

Bombus hortorum The Garden Bumble Bee

Hortorum bg

Bombus lucorum the White Tailed Bumble bee

 white tailed bg

Bombus pascuorum The Common Carder Bee

pasc bg

And the gorgeous big Bombus lapidarius, The Redtailed Bumble Bee..almost everyone’s favourite bumble bee.

lap bg

All painted on Fabriano HP in watercolour approx 9 x 9 inches.

I think I have mentioned before that I use Graham paints which are just fab for what I need for the bees. I work with quite thick paint and like to be able to push it around quite a bit and of course they use honey as a humectant which is not only very apt but also keeps them moist.

I did a little more work on some of them after these scans but didn’t update the images. It’s such a nuisance as they don’t fit on the scanner in one go and after spending so many hours on each one I am always worried about carelessly damaging them so I keep scanning to a minimum. My very cheap all singing all dancing multifunction scanner/printer/fax/copier etc is a crude tool and loses all the subtlety of the originals but at least it’s a record of a month’s hard work.

These bees have been with me now for so long that it’s very hard to see them go. I do get ridiculously attached to each one, probably because I have worked so hard trying to bring them to life.. but I do have 3 more commissions to come!

Also I have some very exciting bee sighting news! I have seen my first snail shell bee in action…! More of that later …


Ellen Rathbone said...

Sigh - I just love your bees. I have yet to unpack and hang the one you sent me - it's still in a box somewhere, along with most of my belongings.

And while your artwork (and my research) has led me to a better appreciation for bees, I must say that when a bumblebee stung me last week on the back of my leg, I was feeling a little less than charitable toward their kind. :)

Dan said...

Hi Val
Oh my goodness these are amazing! The white-tailed bumblebee looks like you've placed a real bee on top of the flowers.

Sarah Wooller said...

These are really very beautiful. I love watching the bees in my garden and enjoy taking photographs of them but inevitably the beauty of the flowers gets in the way. By reducing them to a mere pencil sketch you've really added something wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I had not thought about how you were able to show your work, magic. It is lovely. Your bees are so alive. Thank you for taking me (us) on your journey.