Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Borboleta #10 - "88" Diaethria clymena janeira

I hope everyone has had a peaceful and joyful Christmas shared with family and friends !

I'm back to my butterfly/borboleta paintings, with many thanks to my good friend and amazing photographer Hudson Garcia . Hudson has graciously shared some of his photographs of butterflies with me to use as reference. The next in the series is commonly known as "88" because this number seems to appear as part of the wing pattern. I began by doing a detailed drawing on my watercolor paper. Next, I began wet-in-wet background washes, introducing red in the background to suggest flowers. This borboleta has a beautiful bright red stripe on his wing and I wanted to tie the background to the wing pattern. I also want to bring a nice contrast of color to this mostly black and white butterfly, which you'll see as the painting develops.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas from BRAZIL !

In considering a way to send Christmas greetings to our friends in the U.S. and Germany, and of course, our friends here in Brazil, we decided a collage of my Borboleta paintings would be a fun way to wish everyone a Merry Christmas ! Actually, I began by creating a "sticker" in my Zazzle store and included it as the centerpiece of the collage. 

Brazilian Butterfly Christmas Stickers by KHarvillART
Make unique printed stickers from

Next, I used all nine paintings in the series to create a collage "card". Just a little preview of the paintings that will be featured in my 2013 calendar of "Borboletas do Brasil"/"Butterflies of Brazil" !

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and peaceful and prosperous New Year !

Friday, December 21, 2012

Borboleta #9 - Complete !

I completed Borboleta #9 yesterday. After posting, with the butterfly in progress, I continued developing the wings and the body, referring often to my reference photos for the correct structure of both body and wings. It is interesting that each butterfly in this species has the orange and pink markings, but usually the placement differs. That's probably how the name "Variable Beautymark" was chosen for this butterfly.
I am still hoping to complete three more paintings before the end of 2012, still hoping to introduce a calendar for 2013 with this series of Brazilian butterflies !

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Borboleta #9 - The Wings Come to Life

After posting yesterday, I continued to bring detail to the leaves in the background. That is, until, as with the others in this series, I felt it was time to stop until the butterfly is painted. So, these are the first washes of the gorgeous blue in the wings of this fascinating creature.

If all goes according to schedule, I will be posting the finished painting tomorrow. Until then, Happy Painting ! And Happy Holidays !

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Borboleta #9 - Rhetus periander eleusinus

#9 in my series of butterfly/borboleta watercolor paintings is a Rhetus periander eleusinus. A beautiful butterfly that my husband, Christoph, photographed on his recent trip to Iguassu. This butterfly is known in English as the Periander Swordtail, Periander Metalmark or Variable Beautymark. I began this with a detailed drawing, referring to other photos as well as my primary reference to be sure that I'm able to render the details of this borboleta correctly. Next, I masked out a few areas with my masking fluid and after that thoroughly dried, began my large and quite dark green background washes. I mix separate small cups of various greens for the process, so as not to run out of my mixtures, as could easily happen on a palette. One mixture contained Phthalo Green and Quinacridone Rose, next is a Permanent Green Light with a touch of Aureolin Yellow, and the third contained Amazonite Genuine. This photo shows the sheen of the still wet paint, the paint is always magical at this stage.

As the larger washes began to dry, I continued working in other background sections of the painting. It's important to keep an eye on an area that is still wet, as the paint is continuing to move and you don't want to tilt the paper in order to work on a new area until your previous areas are starting to set and stabilize. Some happy accidents are welcomed in watercolor, but not all ! In the photo below, the background is beginning to come together and most of the masking has been removed. I'll continue working with the leaf patterns and shapes before moving on to the star of this painting, the borboleta. Further refinements of the background and supporting players will be analyzed once the butterfly itself is painted.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Continuation - Completion of Borboleta #8

I added more layers of transparent watercolor to build up the colors and definition of the leaf, then I used masking fluid on the white areas/spots on the butterfly wings, and layered the first yellow washes in the wings.

I continued building the yellow color in the wings and adding the black, creating a stained-glass window effect in the wing pattern. By working overall, I darkened the area of the leaf below the butterfly, as well as the area just above the head slightly. I added details of light orange and pink to the yellow sections of the wing, and thin dark lines in the wing pattern. The body is visible through the transparent yellow wing. After many small adjustments, I added my signature - complete !

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Borboleta #8 - Initial Washes

It has been some time since my last post. Between my trips to Clarksville, TN for the museum exhibition and preparing for my return trip to Brazil, I've had a few other things on my schedule. But, I'm back in my Brazilian atelier/studio and have begun my next butterfly in the Borboleta series - #8.
I completed a detailed drawing of this lovely creature yesterday and began the initial washes, which I am continuing today.

The group exhibit at Galeria Trombini in Morretes has been postponed until January - not entirely a bad thing as I hope to complete several more paintings in this series before they go on display. More information will be available as I have more details.

Christmas is just two weeks from today ! I hope everyone is enjoying the season wherever you may be on this beautiful planet !

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