The Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera melifera) or “European” Honey Bee colored pencil portrait is complete. This tiny colonial animal provides us with roughly one third of the food we eat. Without these marvelous animals, much of the food the world enjoys would not be available. They also make honey, which is pretty amazing in itself.
I made a little progress on the Western Honey Bee portrait tonight. Shown here is the “under painting” of colored pencil. Details and darker shadows will be added later. I’m having fun with this.
My friend keeps bees. He’s given me some wonderful honey from his hive. So I thought maybe I’d try to draw one of his workers, a female Western Honey Bee. Much work ahead, but the proportions are set and the general pose complete. It will be fun to mix fuzzy and shiny effects.
The forth, and final, Texas-lifer portrait—Yellow-throated Vireo. I wanted to show how this bird sneaks, and can totally disappear into the foliage… while also showing it’s features clearly. Big challenge! I’m thinking Vireos are pretty cool all around. Perhaps I’ll work on some local representatives soon.
Working on the fourth, and last Texas lifer portrait. We actually had 5 lifers, but the Mexican Whip-poor-will was a heard-only kind of thing. So the Yellow-throated Vireo was the last “seen” lifer of our trip. It’s been through several revisions. This represents a complete redraw from the last post, with with almost no graphite being used. Much work still to do, and I guess I’m feeling like including some foliage again.
Starting the fourth Texas lifer, the Yellow-throated Vireo. This bird was harder for us to find because it moved rather slowly through the branches, often singing from a secluded perch. I wanted to represent it as if it were sneaking between the leaves. We eventually found it by zeroing in on its song, which isn’t terribly different from our local Cassin’s Vireo. Anyway, there’s much more work to to, but I’m happy with the first few lines.
Colima Warbler completed. The portrait was completely redrawn to eliminate the dark graphite initial work. Little from the composition changed, but softer color and more refined edges were substituted in. I also decided to include some context in the composition. This was a difficult project because of the subtle gradients and color layering.