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Arthropod illustrations

Last Sunday I was trying to figure out which pest our Monstera had, and looking through dozens of images of various insects, I realised how few insects I knew about. I’ve come to this realisation before, but it’s always amazing, the diversity out there. Looking at so many arthropods got me inspidered to do some arthropod illustrating, so I sat down to experiment with some new media (I got for my birthday).

The image up top is the male scale (which I never knew was a meaningful distinction). It is drawn with a felt tip and then coloured with water soluble coloured pencils. The image below that is a ladybird spider (or mushroom spider or Parasect), drawn only with coloured pencils.

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The image up top is a net-winged beetle larva, drawn in the style that I feel most comfortable with, stippling. The image below that, is an adult psyllid drawn with sepia pencils.

I drew all four in one sitting. And since it was a Sunday evening, I was having a drink throughout the whole process. Strangely, the quality got better with each drink. I drew the psyllid first, which I’m unimpressed with, it looks very 2D, no depth. I drew the scale second – also 2D and kind of muddy.

The ladybird spider was next. And by this point, the page had taken a number of sploshes of cider. My final drawing was the beetle larva, which was the most taxing in a number of ways (it was late evening by this point). But, it is definitely the style that resonates the most with me.

Aside from the psyllid, all of the images were based off photographs by Melvyn Yeo.