In this free tutorial we are going to paint a beetle. The longhorn beetle. They come in many colors and sizes, so be sure to pick the ones you like to use, or pick the ones I chose.
This Longhorn beetle tutorial is with photo explanation.
- Watercolor paper
- Round brush size 2 or thinner (0 – 000)
- SAKURA Pigma Micron fineliner size 003
- SAKURA Gelly-Roll 10 (Gel pen) or white gouache
- Pencil and eraser
- Clean cloth to clean your brush
If you use another fineliner, at least make sure it is waterproof. Instead of the white gel pen, you can also use white gouache.
The paints I used to create this longhorn beetle tutorial:
- Ivory Black from Winsor & Newton
- G409 (Burnt umber) from Van Gogh
- G633 (Permanent Yellow Green) from Van Gogh
- G662 (Permanent Green) from Van Gogh
- G506 (Ultramarine Dark) from Van Gogh
- G570 (Phthalo blue) from Van Gogh
- G254 (Perm. lemon yellow) from Van Gogh
Paper I used:
For this tutorial, I used a cheap watercolor paper. I knew beforehand that I wouldn’t be using that much water.
About the Longhorn beetle
he scientific name of the species is Cerambycidae and this name comes from Greek mythology: after a quarrel with nymphs, the shepherd Cerambus was changed into a large beetle with horns.
With more than 35,000 described species, the longhorn beetle family can be called large! Most species are characterized by extremely long antennae, which are often as long as or longer than the beetle’s body.
Below is the tutorial explained step by step. Have fun!
Tips before you start
- Every time you use a new coat of paint, clean your brush with clean water. Pat it dry, and then pick up your paint with your brush.
- Rather work with a few more layers than too few. You can use wet-on-wet technique which allows the paint to easily run into each other, or wet-on-dry. Then you let the layer dry completely before painting the new layer.
- Always work from light to dark.
- There is no right or wrong! Have fun and if something goes a little differently than you wanted: embrace it with love! Everything is a learning process.
Step 1: Create your outline with pencil
See how you want the beetle to look and draw it with pencil first. You can either draw the example below, or use the outline I made for you.
Step 2: Trace your outline with fineliner
Trace the lines you want to keep. Erase mistakes or lines that turn out to be unnecessary later on.
Step 3: Apply details and erase pencil lines
If necessary, you can add some details afterwards. This is not a must, but it can help you with orientation for applying the highlights and lowlights with watercolor.
Step 4: The fun part!
Now the fun work can begin. Grab the paint because we are going to start with the first layer. As you’ve read, we work from light to dark with watercolor. The first layer will be yellow. Use in ratio 2/3 water to paint.
Je kunt links wat meer geel doen, en het rechts uit laten lopen in donkergroen. Je wacht niet tot de lagen droog zijn, gebruik nat-op-nat techniek.
Next, at the edges, mix in some brown. If the brown is not dark enough, mix a very small amount of black as well. After that you can apply some light green.
Now it’s time to work on the rest of the body. For this, use blue and black. The first layer of blue you do very lightly. 2/3 water to paint. After that you can take some more paint and less water to create shadows. Finally you can use black for the eyes, and dot (don’t smudge!) your some blue paint on some places to create some more differences.
Now you can make the highlights more yellow. When it comes into contact with blue it runs out into green. This is not a bad thing!
The next step is optional. Now you can use white gouache to dot some more highlights (don’t smudge!) It doesn’t matter if your paint isn’t completely dry yet. If you use a white gel pen instead of white gouache, do wait until the paint is completely dry.
Step 5: Apply details with fineliner
With your fineliner you can now add details. Experiment with dots and dashes. On the legs you can draw hairs if you want.
Step 6: Do it all over again!
Yes! You’re done!
Make this beetle as many times as you want with different colors and patterns!
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
I’m really curious to see how your longhorn beetle turned out! Will you show it to me?
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