Dragonfly Specimen – Learning a Lesson

I said I would work on the dragonfly specimen painting this past week. I started with getting the model set in front of my gessoed board and doing a quick silver point drawing.

I had to make the long wings shorter to fit onto the board. I am not so sure it didn’t lose some of it’s dragonglyness with this this adjustment.

I did not have another large gessoed board to use and I knew that I could get this into the frame size I wanted to use. All I needed to do was get all those tiny vein lines in the fragile leaves and capture the the parts that make up his body. It seemed to take forever and the results were better than I had hoped. I do wish there was a small roller ball pen with a very light walnut color. The ones I bought in Australia and here are just too dark….too intense.

But here it is just after a quick spray with a UV protective spray.

The mat is an eleven by fourteen size with the opening cut to fit the subject. I let it sit there for a bit before anchoring the dragonfly onto another piece of book board cut to 11 x 14 inches in just the right position.

The next day I decided that my darks needed to be a bit darker. So I went over them. Then to protect those I gave it a quick shot of the UV protective spray. I did this in a hurry and left the studio.

When I returned the surface of my dragonfly now had a soft misty white film over the surface.

I had to redo the entire dragonfly and noticed that it was much harder to get crisp lines. All edges seemed blurred to me. Here is a detail of my starting to go over those vein lines.

It is now finished and will go into the frame this morning. Its first incarnation was better but this one will do nicely with the rest of the series. What I learned is that when it says to hold the can so many inches away from the subject when spraying, there is a reason. And I think there must be a limit on how many layers can be added to the surface. Certainly the odd surface of a powdery gessoed board.

So here it is before I clean and insert the glass.

I will show it to my art group tomorrow and the now encased Santuaries. I love the feedback from those who have watched and listened to my trials in the studio and the parts of my life that play so much a part of what I am doing. Two friends join us and stay over a couple of days to work in the studio. I am looking forward to that and getting back to the last two specimens that have been made up.

Be back next week.