I have always had a soft spot for these insects (along with all the other insects for which I have a soft spot…) and a couple of people have suggested I try painting one, as dragonflies are quite graphic with clearly delineated markings. Having seen photos of broad-bodied chasers proliferating on Instagram, I decided to tackle one.
It took a while to find one in the correct pose – I don’t like painting any insect where symmetry is going to be an issue, which was something I discovered when painting my elephant hawk moth! Too much pressure to get the sides to match. In addition, it has to fit on square paper so oblique angles work better.
I painted the body, which was fine, then got stuck on how to do the wings. I went for a walk with the dog and decided to take the plunge with a black fineliner:
The difficulty is, I’m not very patient (!) and I wanted to make sure that I got the veins in the wings the correct proportion, and vaguely in the correct orientation. Although my paintings are stylised, I am always extremely keen to ensure they are authentic and don’t look too contrived. I made coffee, put on music, and started filling in the wings.
I decided to forgo the legs as when I pencilled them in, it made the painting look cluttered. Again, it is a question of choosing what is right and what looks right, which can pose a dilemma at times.
This chap will be scanned in so I can make some stickers and cards, and I am looking forward to showcasing him at Ink Paper & Print in September.