As I was thinking about Amanda, I remembered Job, my brother/Amanda's husband, saying along time ago that Amanda liked fairies. So, as I sat on the porch doodling I sketched some butterfly fairies.
However, I wasn't sure if Amanda's interests had changed, and I chickened out on the fairy idea, but kept the butterflies. I choose to paint the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly since all summer I have been obsessing over it and my Passion-vine (check out the post here.)
The first thing I did was a light sketch of the subject to make sure the balance and composition were good. When I first started painting, I tried to sketch with a pencil, but I had trouble covering the pencil lines up when the background was light-colored for example; the sky. Now, I sketch with the lightest shade of gray paint to get an impression of how the painting will look.
The background was the next thing to be added so you can paint freely, and then get good edges on the things in the foreground.
My paintings often go through an ugly faze. In this case, the background was too busy and dark colored. The movement of the background also distracts from the vine spiral which is the movement that I want your eye to follow.
Ah, that's better.
Ta-dah! The finished Gulf Fritillary painting!