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Beetle Invasion - Deere Homestead magazine

“If you have experienced a home invasion by Asian Lady Beetles, you may find it hard to believe these are beneficial insects”

My rough sketches for this article spoke to me. But there was something about the simplicity of the insect shapes that lead to childlike drawings. They begged for a direct application of watercolor.

I had experienced the frustration of trying to recreate the fresh quality of my initial sketches before (or after) adding watercolors. The work invariably became stiff and rehearsed. If the watercolors were fresh, the drawing over the top ruined it. If the drawing was fresh, the watercolor went flat. I spent hours and hours completing pieces that looked so simple to do!

So this time, I did the watercolor as a separate layer. I painted multiple versions of the color layer until I was happy. Next, I scanned the original sketch and my favorite watercolor layer and combined them in Photoshop. That digital flexibility allowed me to marry the best of both worlds...

Paul Lange
Illustrator Orion, IL