In 2006, for George Ball’s 80th birthday, I presented him with a drawing of Dicaelus purpuratus. This was the species that captivated his attention and eventually led to his doing a PhD on the carabid beetle tribe Licinini, of which Dicaelus is a member.
Here’s the final drawing:
Here’s where I did the drawing
I’ve written a post about the drawing method I use, which has varied slightly over the years. For the Dicaelus, I began by enlarging a photograph of the beetle, and printing it on paper.
I then used a soft graphite pencil, and rubbed the back of the paper. That turned it into carbon paper that I could use to transfer some aspects of the photograph onto the Arches Hotpress watercolor paper I use.
I did the transfer by drawing over the photograph using a sharpened 6H pencil. Here’s what was transferred. Note that I have also put a mask over much of the paper.
I then refined the pencil sketch.
The inking started, as well as the colored pencil.
More ink outline, and more colored pencil:
Eventually, once the colored pencil layer was refined, I started adding inks on top of it: