I recently painted this stag beetle commission. It's huge by my standards - 40cm from mandible tips to hind tarsi. I used a reference photo to block in a thin ink outline, and then layered many shades of black gouache to render its form. I also added a few white highlights and white washes for reflected light. It took 21 hours, with The Shins on repeat, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The stag's new owners have him mounted over their fireplace - perfect!!
Science and nature illustration, from a garden studio.
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