The lovely lady to the left is Cycloneda sanguinea, the Spotless Lady Beetle, the first drawing I tackled for Project LBB. (Actually the lovely lady is a male – notice the white vertical line at the center of the black-and-white pronotum.) I started with a 5″ long 84% oval that my husband printed out for me, drew the not-exactly-oval parts on top of it, and then transferred the outline to drawing paper. I probably should’ve used something with less tooth, because I was burnishing for a LONG time to get the beetle to look so smooth!
There are, of course, many lady beetles with an 84% ratio, and I took another 5″ oval and outlined this odd-looking beast, Azya orbigera, the Globe-marked Lady Beetle. Yes, it really is metallic blue and fuzzy! For this version, I incised the lines for the hairs into the paper before applying the color; I’m not sure how well it worked out. I’m going to do another version too, in which I’ll color the beetle first and then use white paint and a fine-tipped brush to add the hairs.
The third 84% beetle (I only had three printed ovals) is the gloriously-named Twice-stabbed Lady Beetle, Chilocorus stigma. I went through a LOT of black pencil on this one! “Black with two red spots” is a remarkably common pattern in lady beetles, and I am going to stock up on black pencils…it is sometimes frowned upon to use actual black pencils to draw something black, and usually I’ll build up black with combinations of dark pencils like ultramarine, deep green, and dark red, but there really is no undertone to a Chilocorus lady beetle. That black really is black!