Total Pageviews

Friday, 21 September 2012

A Butterfly theme

Peacock Butterfly WOW

Red Admiral, who wouldn't open those beautiful wings for me!

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly
Hi there blog friends, the post today has a theme of butterflies running through it. They seem to have been in my garden, in my thoughts and in my artwork, so here goes......Above, those in the garden recently, attracted by the Buddleia flowers. My Buddleia flowers later in the season than most, and the last of the summer sun has brought these beautiful butterflies in, what a delight!  I've been a relaxed sort of busy recently, trying to do some paid work...,going on days out walking,.... doing some spec work and on a teeny tiny screen print course for half a day.  
Screen for hand screen printing
 The screenprint course was at the 'Art House' in my home town. It involved printing using simple stencils that were cut out of newsprint. I had to quickly come up with an idea the night before the course, and Butterflies popped into my head. I have to admit I had not envisaged these colours, I would have gone for something less garish and more toned, but we were working in pairs, so colours had to suit both people. It was all a bit manic again, I think 4 colours was a little ambitious in the short time we had, as we printed 8 pieces each. The time just flew by, and we had to work like crazy. It was just a great experience discovering what can be done, with such simple equipment. My image turned out OK. But I played safe and didn't overlap colours, so registration was fairly easy. There were some excellent prints produced once again, unfortunately I didn't get any photos, as time was so tight.One girl did a Rob Ryan style design, and as you have to cut the paper stencils out, it made total sense and turned out so well, it was of some birdies in a tree. (should have got a photo).
Paper stencil for each colour, it's those butterflies again!

3 colours printed here

Final colour added.
 I would definitely like to do some more of this kind of screen printing at home. I will have to get myself a screen! The possibilities are endless for this technique. Excellent course all for £7 !!!

My indulgent project at home has been a large watercolour of Cottage Garden flowers. I try and think of subjects that might work well on Greeting Cards, but that I like too. Below is my process of working, starting with sketch ideas, using my own photos if I can, the one below was from Sark, some Hollyhocks that were beautiful. The idea was to have a white picket fence with flowers typical of a cottage garden.
First stage of artwork, the Hollyhocks.
 I decided to paint all the flowers first, then masked out the white picket fence in order to paint in some of the greenery below.

Masking fluid going on.

Greenery washed in over the masked out fence.
At this point, when I'd washed in the green, I decided that I didn't like the regimented line up of the flowers. So I (very bravely for me) started to paint in some feint loose flowers in between those already painted. I was really quite pleased with how they turned out! Just off the cuff, making it up as I went along!!
Finished piece, complete with 'Painted Lady' butterfly!
This artwork is about A3 in size. I needed to work a bit bigger than normal to get some of the loose watercolour effects in, it's not easy to do if they are so small.
I hope you've enjoyed my butterfly ramblings, we've had some colder weather today, it's feeling much more like Autumn, which I believe officially starts tomorrow? I've been planting out 100 tiny pansies, something I don't normally do at this time of year. I have bulbs ready to put in also, all with the promise of some delightful flowers in the spring and hopefully through the winter too! See you all again soon.


  1. Hi Julie! is this your head banner new - or did i just noctice it? - i am unsure, but it is GORGEOUS! you have such patience with this painting, i love your floral work, oh those red poppies… just divine. Would love a garden like that.

  2. Thanks Sandra, my header banner is new, I've just got round to doing it! It did take some patience to do the painting, and with each flower,I just hoped nothing went wrong, I'd like a garden like that too, maybe one day??

  3. I noticed the banner too. Is this in readiness for Christmas? :O

    I love your flower garden. It is good to see how you came to create it with your thought-processes and ideas.

  4. Thanks Bella, that banner is an old Christmas artwork that I did about 4 years ago, it's been in print as a Christmas card. It's always good to see how artists work, although I use that term loosely :)

  5. And now, a hello from "your" side of Blogger! I realized I hadn't sat down with others works for a few weeks, and am mising out on such fine thought and image. Your blog is always so rewarding. I gobbled up about 6 entries in one sitting!

    First of all, I hope your eye is better- how frightening (the shingles condition, not your brave face in the shared photo, ohhhh!). Vitamin Chocolate from Brugge is good medicine!

    Second- fabu butterfly screen-print post. We have a course offered locally and again, you inspire me here. I love your workshop piece- it reminds me of confetti'd hand made paper. Looking forward to your future experimentations!

    Third- lovely book on Sark. I like the way it was designed, with all the different media to pour over.

    Fourth- really enjoyed your fence and flower illo walk through. I'm glad to hear how your thoughts throughout your process, being scared at some stages and excited at others. I only recently discoverd I actually talk to my illustrations as I work! I don't think I knew I did that- but I suspect others of us do, too!

    Finally, nice Three Kings banner. Christmas is never far away when you are an illustrator, even when the leaves are only just golden outside:)

  6. Oh thanks Claudia, I love to get comments, sometimes it feels like your talking to yourself, something I do often, although I do converse with the dog too and so long as he has a treat he will listen :)Glad to see you've caught up on me, I love to see your work too!

  7. I really enjoyed seeing the development of your flower and fence painting. Thank you for sharing this and the finished painting is lovely.

  8. the flowers turned out beautifully, and I like that you added more poking out.

    and screen printing can be fun and stressful at the same time.
    looking forward to your next pieces...

  9. I love butterflies,too! Your paintings are lovely F.


Thank-you for leaving your comment, it is much appreciated.