Butterfly studies

January 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

I was lucky to get to do some sketching, colour and motion research at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens last week. It’s a pretty magical place, hot and steamy full of tropical plants, parrots squawking, iguanas, tortoises and even flamingos (all rescued or adopted). I got there a little early and two of staff members Kurtis and Justin were releasing about 300 butterflies that had recently hatched.
There is a room where you can watch the butterflies emerge from chrysalises that are hot glued in rows to strips of painters tape in pretty jewel-like rows. (Above & Below White Tree Nymph) I hope to do a more in depth study of the hatching process, it’s pretty amazing to watch.
The next thing you see is a table covered with slices of orange and bananas. Staff members take turns coming up with cool fruit designs, and the effect is striking and attractive to a number of butterflies that feed only on fermenting fruit juices. It’s also a great spot to observe and sketch the butterflies because they’ll sit still for long periods of time. (Below: Brown Clipper on an orange slice)


Here are a few more butterflies that are common at the Gardens. The one with the eyes in the middle is called a “Blue Morpho” and the inside of its wings are a vibrant iridescent blue. The one below was sketched from a photo I took from behind a group doing a tour. She didn’t know she had a little friend on her shoulder, probably having a rest after taking its first flight.
Here are a few more studies. Lots of colour ideas to keep me going for the rest of the winter (From the top Plain Tiger, Blue Morpho, Julia, Blue Frosted Banner, Green Moss Banner).
plain_tigerWEBblue_morphoWEBjulia_butterflyWEB blue_frosted_bannerWEB   green_moss_peacockWEB


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