I love dragonflies and wanted to add some to the frieze. We have many varieties of dragonflies here, but I think the most beautiful are the widow skimmers.
If I had wanted generic decorative dragonflies, I could have used a stamp or stencil. But, I wanted widow skimmers!
These are the tools I took up the ladder with me.
The paints are:
Plaid FolkArt Light Blue #402
Plaid FolkArt Artists Pigment Burnt Umber #462
Plaid FolkArt Metallic Silver Sterlling #662
Plaid FolkArt Metallic Pearl White # 659
I have 4 brushes:
1/4 Royal Aqualon Whisp
First I transfer the dragonfly outline to the wall. I have a photograph of the dragonfly printed out on plain printer paper. I taped the photograph to the wall. I slipped a plain piece of paper under the photo, and a piece of graphite paper under the plain paper. This give me a 'sandwich' of photo/plain paper/graphite paper/wall. The slip of plain paper keeps my impression from being quite so dark and difficult to cover. Using a fine tip pen or pencil, trace over the main lines of the dragonfly.
Next, paint the wing tips and slight colorless bands between the blue and brown sections. I used silver paint and the filbert brush.
Here I have painted the head with burnt umber (a dark, reddish brown). The tail has been painted light blue. I used the #3 brush here. Both the silver and light blue have now been over-painted with the metallic pearl white, using the filbert brush.
The light blue and burnt umber have been added to the wings, using the filbert brush. Immediately after applying paint to each section, I blended it with the Wisp brush.
A fine umber line has been added to the tail, and the blue spots added to the head. Both were done using the #3 sable brush.
This is the finished dragonfly. I cleaned up the wing edges by trimming around them with the 5/0 brush loaded with wall paint. I applied a tiny bit of the umber to the wing tips with the Wisp brush, but it does not show in this photo. It does show up in the photo at the top of the page.