Abstract pattern mandala “Monarch” & “Moth”

Initial thought

In April this year, our city had an exhibition event for local venders and organizations. There was a “Bug guy” who taught kids knowledge of insects. He brought some unharmful bugs for people to touch and I was able to hold one amazing Cecropia Moth. To be honest it was a lot bigger than I anticipated. I absolutely love its pattern and color combination so I want to paint something about it. After trying some sketches, I don’t feel I want to paint its body. The part I like is its pattern and color but not the furry insect’s body. So I decided to draw a mandala instead.

Pattern design

Luckily, all digital drawing software has a function called “symmetry axis” which allows you to draw a mandala pattern efficiently. I use Corel Painter 2021 on my computer. I tried different number of symmetry axis as you can see in the following images. Monarch’s pattern acts like my standard. So if I like the design I made out of Monarch’s color, I can do it with Moth’s color as well. Eventually I choose the design that shows up a pentagram shape.

Once I have the design, I paint them on canvas. To me, nothing replaces the feeling of actual oil paint. However I cannot deny the convenience of digital drawing software. I love them too.🤣

Moth and monarch reference photos

Here are some photos of Cecropia Moth and Monarch butterfly. Nature always has the best reference.

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My paintings are an outlet to express the imagination I have inside my head that I can not put into words. After trying many mediums, I always find myself coming back to paint and brushes. In my current artistic practice, I use oil paint and mainly create portraits of mythical creatures and animals transfixed in the shifting colours of seascapes and landscapes. There is a natural spirit and magic to these creatures and their energy draws me in. Choosing to paint these creatures as real living wildlife rather than abstractions, I use bold and vivid colours to express the imaginary intertwined with reality, finding magic between the seams. Using a saturated colour palette, I create bold and striking imagery, contrasted between foreground and background, subject and landscape, and light and darkness. Weaving their bodies and the surface of the landscape into each other through organic forms and flowing brush strokes, I find beauty, strength and innocence in these creatures that reflect my inner world.