Coloring a Bug
A few weeks ago I had a chance to color a few projects, one of which was the Medusa which I already showed you. The other project I finished was this giant Green Nymph Stick Insect illustration I drew.
The real bug belongs to someone here in our offices, and as soon as he showed it to me, I told him I wanted to draw it. (This post is getting an advanced label because of all the colors and details I drew in.)
I started by looking at the original photo and drawing it in pencil, then inking over it with a 0.1 mm multiliner. Then I photocopied the outline onto our nice, Sketchbook paper (full sheets that are not bound in a book are from our new Art Paper Pack).
The photograph is pretty dull, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to brighten up the colors a bit, so I chose to color it with a base of YG01. Then, I layered on YG03 and YG61, looking at the color placement on the photograph. However, the photo looks like a dry, dead bug, and I wanted this bug to look a bit more alive, so I rounded my blending a bit more to make it look less flat.
To dull the colors slightly I added whisks of YG91, and deepened shadows with G94, G17, and G28. To really darken shadow areas, I pulled in E49 in the darkest shadow areas.
You'll notice the bottom wings are a slightly different color. I colored those wings with a base of E70 and hints of E74. I smoothed it out with E21, and added the lighter greens to the wingtips.
The darker, orange/browns you see in the veins and on the little spikey bits, I colored with YR27.To make the wings look a bit more transparent, I used the colorless blender to fade them out, and wash out the colors a bit.
Then, although it doesn't show up as well in the original photo, I wanted the wings to look even more transparent, so I lightly drew in where the legs would be, if they were visible. I kept these colors lighter than the greens I used on the legs, and I made the edges soft so it really looks like they are peeking through the wings.
At this point, I really like how the bug is coming along. To keep my colors consistent on the legs, I colored each pair individually, instead of coloring all 6 legs at the same time.
Here is a photo of the stack of colors I used for coloring the bug. Because I drew the bug so large, I have plenty of room to use all these beautiful colors. I love having lots of room for tiny details!
Adding detail with a gray multiliner
The last detail that I really wanted to work in were the beautiful veins on each wing. I didn't want to draw them in with a black pen, as that would have overwhelmed the drawing. But, I also needed to draw them in something that wouldn't run, should I decide later to add more marker details. That ruled out colored pencils. So, I worked with one of our new Warm Gray multiliners.
You can see in this close up how detailed I can get with the 0.1mm Warm gray. I love it! It doesn't overwhelm the colors underneath, merely accents it. On the top wings, where I colored it the lightest, I added fewer veins, I more gave it the suggestion of veins. This heightens the feel of a highlight.
Here is the final bug, complete with Opaque White highlights added to the wings for details (Opaque white with the super-fine brush). I hope you enjoyed this illustration process and got some ideas for your own work.
May you have a blessed Thanksgiving Week!