David Maddison

Development of Dicaelus purpuratus drawing

Herewith a visual history of the development of my drawing of Dicaelus purpuratus, a carabid beetle. The drawing is done with pencil, colored pencil, and inks. The colored pencils include Laurentian / Venus Spectracolor (as this is the best black), Prismacolor (especially their excellent grays, some browns), Faber Castell (mainly the purples, some black), and Derwent (includling orange). The inks include black Pelikan ink and FW Acrylic Artists' Ink (white, black, yellow, brown, red, blue).


24 April 2006

I started out with a photograph of the beetle, which I printed on several sheets of paper.

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I then used a soft pencil on the back of the printed sheets to form a home-made carbon paper.

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I then placed the printed sheets right-side up on top of a sheet of 140 pound hotpress Arches watercolor paper. With a sharp, hard (7H) pencil, I traced the outline of the beetle on the printed sheets. This caused a bit of carbon from back of sheets to transfer to the watercolor paper, and allowed me to have a crude outline. The printed sheets were then removed, and the crude pencil outline was reworked as I looked at the specimen under a microscope.


14 May 2006

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Pencil outline is now done on the watercolor paper. I've put another sheet of paper on top of this, cut out to reveal the beetle on the underlying watercolor paper. The point of this extra paper is to protect the watercolor paper, as it is easy to dirty it.


17 May 2006

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Outlines of two legs are inked, rough initial color of these is done. The extra sheet of paper is now taped down to prevent little flakes of colored pencil from going between the two sheets of paper.


21 May 2006, 1 pm

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21 May 2006, 5 pm

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21 May 2006, 6pm

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23 May 2006, 8:30 am

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23 May 2006, 9:30 am

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First full layer of colored pencil is now done.


24 May 2006, 5 pm

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More refinements to the pencil crayon layer, especially on the pronotum and elytra. No ink yet.


28 May 2006, 1 pm

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The ink on the pronotum is now basically done. Next, on to the elytra.


29 May 2006, 12 noon

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The front part of the elytra is now inked; the colored pencil on head is now more complete


29 May 2006, 5 pm

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First pass of elytral ink now complete. Here's a closeup of part of the drawing:

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Next, inking of the head.


30 May 2006, 1pm

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Inking of the head capsule is done. Remaining is the inking of the appendages.


31 May 2006, 8am

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Inking done; setae added; mask removed; signed. It's done!

©2006 David R. Maddison