This multi-media work began as my reference photo from Fairchild Tropical Garden in their magical butterfly house. The original artwork has a base of watercolor on handmade rice paper to which the butterfly was added in layers of painting that were then digitally manipulated. The butterfly's head and antennae were added last by dip pen in India ink. It's been my most popular item in my Living Things Gallery for a while but other things are making it a race.
This is also the residence of the conjugal pair of Paperkites on this site in the Living Things Gallery. The Fairy Blue wasn’t as cooperative, flitting here and there, in and out of sunlight. It was so difficult to constantly reframe and refocus, so I decided to paint Fairy Blue against a new background with pigmented watercolor that is opaque more than translucent. In multiple phases and layers I enhanced the wings’ natural sheen and sparkle, then built a more refined head and antennae with India in. So the butterfly looks like a perfect self in a much lovelier original painting. I recommend the watercolor paper for prints because it's so like the original that I can't tell them apart unless I hold them in my hand at the same time (the original is a little softer but just as thick).
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