Monday, March 23, 2009

mourning cloak

mourning cloak study
pastel on uart 800 paper 5.5"x9"

A few days ago, in the middle of the night, or very early morning I woke up with this picture in my head. No idea where it came from. It's not what I usually paint although I had been thinking about beetles. So, after a few more days, I decided I better arrange some pigment on paper to resemble the picture in my head. The one in my head is better, so I'll call this one a "study" and hopefully try again later.

Mourning Cloak butterfly has ragged wings and is often the first butterfly seen during the year. It overwinters as an adult, and can be seen on warm days as early as January. (from Illinois Insects and Spiders by Peggy Macnamara)

I found the Uart 800 to be too fine. It doesn't hold any pastel at all. It would be useful I suppose if you only worked in hard pastels or pastel pencil.


  1. I love this! I love the colors of the butterfly against the light color of the sky. The branches are a nice contrast. I would like to see it in person (very soon)!

  2. Beautiful.

    Any book called "Insects and Spiders" is something you'd read to me at bedtime if you wanted to give me serious nightmares.