Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Butterfly Meadows

Last week in between showers,I drove down to a Plantlife reserve called Cae Blaen Dyffryn,near Lampeter. Its only 9 acres in size on a slope in the midst of farmland,but has been classified as an SSSI due to the rarity of this type of habitat;once widespread in Wales it has dwindled due to agricultural developments.

Its certainly full of wild flowers and life;butterflies were flying all over and the sound of grasshoppers was amazing.There was plenty of cats ear,yellow rattle,common spotted orchids,knapweed and other common meadow plants but also the rarer greater and lesser butterfly orchids.

                 I sat and drew some single orchid flowers before the showers started again!

At home I enlarged the drawings by 2 using a ruler and just doubling the measurements-(Felt like I was back at school-in maths,my worst lesson!). All orchid flowers are so fascinating but small!

A few years ago I drew a butterfly orchid for a painting, from a photograph taken from the same reserve.Here it is cropped down:

The orchid was masked off with masking fluid first then the background painted wet into wet,the orchid flowers are then left as the white paper; its one of the best ways to show off white flowers.
Now I'm back to work and thanks for following x


  1. What a beautiful environment - love the painting Claire and fascinating the process of wet in wet washes while masking the white flower - a great option to try ... it's a beautiful painting

  2. It really looks wonderful. It's not easy to do these background washes. I've seen wonderful paintings turn horrible because the washes of the background look so unnatural and strange. You've done a great job on this one, Claire!

  3. Lovely to see your page of field observations and learn how you work. The butterfly orchid flowers look as much like little old people as butterflies I think. Great stuff.

  4. thanks to all xxx, I think they look like ghosts or vampires (the polinia look like teeth!) but yes old people too with caps on!

  5. Your work is stunning, interesting to hear about your method of keeping the White. Love the finished pink orchid.
    In reply to Etsy, I did have someone help me set it up, seemed a little complicated at first but now seems very user friendly. Lots of help on topics at Etsy,
    Hope you are enjoying this lovely weather.