Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Illustration Friday: Swarm
When I saw this week's Illustration Friday topic, swarm, I figured that this was a wonderful opportunity to try and draw one of my favorite things...bees! I love bees as a design motif and own lots of things with bees and/or beehives on them. But since I've never tried to draw any insects, I decided to email a beekeeper that lives not far from me, to see if he could provide me with some bee "models". What a treat it was for my husband and me to meet Steve Demkowski of Willow Glen Honey. Besides being a very nice man, he's an amazing wealth of information, and clearly loves what he does, producing local honey, and teaching beekeeping in our community. Thanks, Steve!
I brought home some wonderful specimens (recently deceased) of female honeybees (the males don't appear until springtime, I learned) and it was fascinating to examine them under a magnifying glass. I tried to draw the "pose" that is similar to one that might typically be used in a scientific illustration, and I ended up combining the parts of several bees to get the ideal one. (And yes, I know that one bee isn't exactly a swarm.) A bee expert can probably find many inaccuracies, but it was really, really fun to draw. With their beautiful symmetrical forms, insects feed right into my obsession with patterns and arrangements in nature.
Did you know that honeybees visit approximately 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey? Check out the Willow Glen Honey website for more interesting facts about bees!