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Digital Subscriptions > Leisure Painter > Apr-18 > Beautiful bugs

Beautiful bugs

Part 2 Having practised a variety of techniques last month, put them all together to paint a dragonfly, with Liz Chaderton

Line and wash


First steps in line and wash

Ideas to make a lively drawing

Further ideas for practising line and wash techniques

Did you know that fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to 60cm and that there are more than 5,000 known species today? They come in a rainbow of colours and make a wonderful subject for quick studies, which can capture the energy and movement of the insect.

I found this reference photo (right) on Pixabay (, which has over 2000 dragonfly photos to choose from. All can be used without attribution, however this one was taken by Georges Vial, to whom I am grateful. I liked it simply because the hand shows the scale and my imagination had been fired by those fossilised giants.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the April issue of Leisure Painter. Aimed at beginners and amateur painters, it is packed with practical advice, step-by-step demonstrations, illustrated techniques and tutorials to help you draw and paint successfully. David Bellamy introduces his sketchbook secrets and launches the first of two new painting competitions: Your sketchbook challenge. For watercolourists, we continue our year-long back-to-basics series – this month the wet-in-wet technique – along with watercolour still lifes, a rainy day crowd scene and tonal painting. Learn a five-stage acrylic painting process for landscapes, practise line and wash techniques, mix watercolour with pastels, and put down your brushes to try the 'pour' technique for acrylics. Enjoy another creative month with the UK's best-selling learn-to-paint magazine.