Inspiration journal: How to paint a loose watercolour bumblebee

Inspiration journal: How to paint a loose watercolour bumblebee

When the sound of the BUZZY bees is the voice of the garden, I know that summer has arrived!

Bees have much to teach us, they fascinate us, they are beautiful, and their importance to mankind is beyond measure. Their distinctive colour, and FUZZY appearance is so captivating. I find myself just watching them in and amongst the haze of picturesque flowers going about their day.

They give me so much motivation and are often a reason I pick up my paint brush.

When I focus on a bumble bee, I really notice their distinctive orangey yellowy hues. There is an iridescent burnt orange hue when you really look close up amongst their lightest yellow tones. An important part of painting in loose watercolour, is matching the different shades together as closely as you can; this will help create a more realistic impression.

My good friend Kara (and neighbour) kindly supplied me with a beautiful bumble bee photo she had taken. I couldn’t resist using it for this sketchbook tutorial as it shows off the bee’s form, colour and fuzziness. The inclusion of the lavender flower with reflective purple hues compliments perfectly.

You can use this photo too, or use my painting stages as your reference when

you follow the steps I took to paint my Bumble Bee in this free step-by-step guide.

 I have worked very closely to capture the hues and fuzzy texture with my paintbrush. With this study, I layered frequently using yellow and orange hues to match the tones across this Bumble Bee’s body. I kept some white areas within my painting to form the transparent wing, while lifting and placing various hues to the legs and antenna.

I loved every moment creating this pretty bee using the vibrant orangey yellow hues and accentuating the bees form with dark hues. The additional loosely painted lavender flower brought my bee to life even more with the beautiful contrasting purple hue. Here’s how it turned out:

What do you think?

Do Bumble Bees make you think of Summer too? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Summer!

Jennifer Rose xx

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