Beautiful Birdwing Butterfly

Butterflies are so beautiful – all those colors and different shaped wings! I couldn’t resist painting this birdwing butterfly. What makes these butterflies so impressive are its stunning colors. The black against the yellow, is such a stark contrast in color, but then the bluish green in the wings blends and camouflages among the colors in their surroundings. As the wings flutter against the leaves, the butterfly can get lost amongst the shadows in the trees and the blues in the sky.

There aren’t too many butterflies that have a touch of red on their bodies like the birdwing butterfly. Just one more element that makes them so spectacular. Because of the red and black colors on this butterfly, it inspired me to include a little black and red ladybug in the painting.  The tiny little paper ladybug sitting on the leaf in the upper left corner, creates a three dimensional element to the watercolor painting.

This miniature hand painted watercolor birdwing butterfly is now in available for sale in my shop. The outside frame of the butterfly measures 4.5” x 3.5” x 1.25.”

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Save Your Old Sketch Books

Hold onto all those old sketch books. They are filled with lots of ideas and reference material. I can’t tell you have often I have gone back to look through my sketch books. There are lots of ideas of things I wanted to do, to create and sketches of things I want to transfer into paper sculpture. Even the sketch books from 10 and 20 years ago are helpful. It can spark new ideas. It reminds you of where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. They contain ideas that can spark a new idea. Sometimes it is an idea I had twenty years ago but forgot about it, but now I can now grow upon that thought.

What hidden treasures do you have saved inside your old sketch books?

Last Days of Summer Fun

As we are half way through the month of August, I was thinking about how fast it seemed to go by. The summer will soon be coming to an end and the children will be back at school once again.

Even though I didn’t make it to any of the beaches this season, I was thinking about all of the different beach and ocean related items I have made throughout the years. Watercolors, pen and ink drawings, and paper sculptures. I’ve discovered that one of my favorite things to paper sculpt are beach themed items. But the funny thing is, I prefer to go for long walks in the woods and vacation in the mountains, than swim in the ocean.

There are so many interesting and awesome things to make from the shore and beach. Seashells, fish, coral reefs, crabs, and seahorses to name a few. I like the challenge of recreating all the textures and colors of the objects. Sea creatures are such interesting looking animals.

Sometimes I challenge myself to create photorealistic pieces, like the Paper Shells or Crab On The Beach, pictured here. Other times, it is fun to imagine something very colorful and delightful, like the seahorse among all the different types of coral in Under The Sea.

I hope my beach-themed paper sculptures make you smile. Enjoy the last couple weeks of the summer! Be safe and have some fun!

 

Gerbera Daisy Galore

Last week I mentioned that I was going to make a bunch of paper daisies in a variety of sizes. As I was working on the center of the daisies I remembered how pretty the Gerbera Daisy centers looked and thought they would also be fun to make.

I made a phone call to my local grocery stores’ flower shop, and found out they had some in their store. They had quite a few different colors and varieties of the Gerbera daisies, but I knew I couldn’t buy all of them and decided to narrow it down to two different colors of daisies. It was not an easy decision to only pick two colors out of the whole bunch. They all look so beautiful. But, if I bought more, I wouldn’t be able to make them in paper before they wilted. It is so nice to work form the live flowers instead of working from photographs.

Here are a couple of photos in progress. My favorite one is the photorealistic pink Gerbera Daisy. I liked working out the details of the center of the daisy and figuring out how to replicate it by just using paper and paint.

I also made a variety of different sizes of daisies — purple and yellow and white ones. The yellow daisy is the largest one I made. It was nice to work on something larger than I normally do for a change.

What’s up for next week schedule … three-dimensional paper letters.

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A Little Daisy Will Do

For my next paper sculpture, I am going to make a sign made from 3D paper letters. It is going to be …

… Uh oh, I just got distracted!

Someone brought me a beautiful bouquet of daisies — all vibrant colors! Yellows, greens, oranges, and magenta. They are so pretty.

Now I am inspired to make a couple of different paper sculpture daisies in different colors and different sizes. I want to take advantage of the opportunity to work from the live flowers while they last.

I have three different projects in mind that I can use these flowers for, so I am going to stop working on my other project, so I am clearing off my desk and switching it over to flower sculpting time. This will be fun!

Here are some of my daisy photos. (More info about my sign at a later date!)

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Too Tall Tully

Here’s some photos of my completed paper-sculpted giraffe. He was fun to create. I especially liked making his eyes and the mane of this young giraffe. I exaggerated his mane on top of his head and the ossicones, which I think adds character to his cute little face. I think he looks like a young giraffe just starting to figure out what mischief to get into.

I chose the name Tully (Gaelic origin), because it means peace. I think of giraffes as looking like they are calm and peaceful animals. But, I like to think this young little giraffe named Tully  also has a little bit of a playful spirit in him.

Sketching the Giraffe

I decided I wanted to make a paper sculpture of a giraffe. Before I start my sculptures, I like to draw a lot of sketches. Sketching is all part of my initial planning stage. It really helps me to work through a lot of different types of decisions I need to make before I can even begin the 3D elements of one of my paper sculptures.

How large will the finished paper sculpture be? Will it be photo realistic or more whimsical? Will the giraffe be facing forward or will it be a profile view? Am I going to make his whole entire body? What do I want to focus on and draw attention to? What will the composition of the piece look like?

I like their eyes and their long eyelashes, so that is something I wanted to highlight. I also wanted to show off his mane and his ossicones (horn-like antlers) on the top of his head. After lots of sketching, I decided I would make a 3D portrait of the giraffe instead of showing his whole entire body. And, I wanted to show his face as a profile view and have it look like he is coming out from behind the white mat of the framed picture.

Here are some of the preliminary sketches I drew of my giraffe.

Coming up in my next blog post: the finished giraffe!