A Fantasy Firebug

I was looking through Wikipedia at various invertebrates when I came across the Firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus). Here is a link to the page. I really liked it’s striking colours and decided to make a sketch…

At first I planned to use the real bug as a basis for a more fanciful “line and wash” painting. I began this by adding the kind of comb like antennae which are usually found on moths. Once that was done I had a go at adding similar patterned protrusions to parts of the creature’s legs but this seemed to unbalance the picture and I worried that they might reduce the striking nature of the colours later on, so I rubbed them out and just kept the moth antennae.

Next I made a simple ink outline drawing…

After that I went over this in detail as if I were making an ink drawing…

My final step was to paint the wings and body with watercolour and then touch up the black once the paint was dry.

Here’s the final image (I added a shadow in photoshop)…

I like the final picture but feel a bit sad that I didn’t find more fantasy changes to make to my insect. Sometimes I just get caught by the weirdness of reality!

10 thoughts on “A Fantasy Firebug

  1. Absolutely. I think a lot of scientists these days do read beyond their research focus, which wasn’t the case in the 70’s and 80’s. Wider reading gives birth to more ideas about what and how to study the world, but it also makes scientists more moral in their work. In Victorian times we thought nothing of killing and cutting up an animal to learn about it. Now we have laws against this. Every project that uses animals must have a Home Office licence for the project and for each person working on it to make sure they are suitable and will prevent distress in an animal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lovely drawing Jo. You are right in saying that sometimes reality is enough, and changes don’t need to be made. Its amazing how complex each life form on Earth is, and yet still scientists ( and the scientist in our self) are not satisfied, we have to look beyond our own world to try to discover life beyond. I do hope the astrophysicists are collating with geologists, botanists, anthropologists and whoever else, so that once life on other planets is an established fact, they can examine passively so as not to disturb.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.