Importance of Natural Resources

How to Paint a Beetle in Watercolor || Tropical Rainforest Insect Painting


Hi everyone! Today I’m painting some insects and plants
in a tropical rainforest. I’ll first talk about the painting and drawing
process and then move on to what’s actually happening in this painting and why I made
it. After planning out the scene in my sketchbook,
I sketched it onto watercolor paper with a colored pencil. I was going to use a watercolor pencil so
that the sketch would eventually just dissolve into the painting, but I forgot and used a
normal colored pencil instead. But it was ok, it erased fine after inking. The beetle I’m drawing is the same shape as
a normal dung beetle, but I’ll be using different colors. You can first sketch out the main oval shape
and then start refining the three parts of the body and adding eyes, tentacles and the
6 legs. There’s also a spider in the corner sitting
on a leaf. Next I’m inking the sketch with a Micron fineliner,
which is waterproof so I can paint over it. This is 250 gsm rough, acid free watercolour
paper in A4 size and I used half of the page and cut it after sketching and inking. After inking I moved onto watercolor. I’m using a Cotman watercolor set. I’ll list my supplies in the description,
if want to check them out. I started with the background just because
I wasn’t sure how I wanted to color the beetle and the spider. I’m laying a light green wash on the background
and red on the hat of the carnivorous plant and green on the bottom. I’m not inking anything in the background,
I’m just painting random leaves using different greens and later on I’ll add some blues as
well. I decided I want the beetle to be a blue and
green metallic color. I modelled the shape and the colors from two
different species so I’m not if a species like this exits or not. I’m painting the beetle in layers starting
from light blue and green and leaving a bit of white for highlights. And building up the color with darker blues
and greens and a bit of yellow as well. Before I add the spider web and finish up
this painting, let’s talk about why I made it and the story of what’s happening in the
picture. Last week I found out about a new YouTube
artist collective called Animal Artists Collective. They’ll paint or draw an animal based on a
theme every two months, make speed painting video and sell the artwork and give at least
50% of the proceeds to animal conservation. You can also take part in the themes unofficially,
which is what I’m doing now. The first theme is tropical rainforests. I had less than a week to come up with an
idea and the painting so I decided to do something simple. I watched the Planet Earth season 1 Jungles
episode for inspiration and got the idea for this painting. The carnivorous plants attract insects in
with the nectar and then the insect falls in, because the sides are slippery. And the insects will drown and dissolve inside
the plant. But there are also spiders who use this trap
to their advantage. So, the spider is lurking in the corner, waiting
for the prey to fall in and drown and then it will use its web as a lifeline and go fetch
the prey from the plant. Realistically, I don’t think a small spider
could carry up the beetle. But that was my idea for this piece. I finally added a spider web in white on top
of the painting. I tried using a metallic marker, a gel pen
and a colored pencil, but the only thing that would work was a correction pen and even that
left puddles of white on the paper. I also added a few highlights on the spider
and the beetle. I’ll link to another beetle painting video,
where I used charcoal and acrylic paint on cardboard. That one is even less realistic, but it was
fun to make. Thank you so much for watching and subscribe
for more art tips and speed paintings! I post a new video every Friday and sometimes
an extra video on Tuesday.


Reader Comments

  1. Here's a playlist of the official Animal Artists Collective speed paintings: https://youtu.be/w3FXpdkRDYg?list=PLGNt_S4mHJEYXkTJ5zWme2zsotZVIb2ch

  2. I'll try to remember to film and record the tape peeling of all watercolor paintings from now on and make an ASMR tape peeling compilation video, when I have a bunch of them.

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