Project LBB: Drawing workflow

The somewhat disheveled and quite deceased beetle on the left is the original collected type specimen of Hyperaspis troglodytes, well over 100 years old. I obtained the image from the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) entomology type database; the record is here.

Next, I resized it on my computer screen so that it matched my 5″ oval template (I’m still on the 84% batch), and – this is very high-tech, I know – held the template over the screen and traced in the parts of the beetle that didn’t exactly match the perfectly oval template. (This is probably not great for my computer screen, I know…) After that, I firmed up the outline and made the spots more realistically-shaped. When I was satisfied with it, I transferred it to drawing paper by – high-tech method alert again – tracing the outline heavily with a ballpoint pen, so that there was an indentation in the drawing paper beneath.

I didn’t take any photos during the drawing process, so I’m jumping straight to the final illustration – much more vividly colored than the specimen, but a beetle loses a lot of color after 100 years in a museum collection! I added a very fine black outline to the entire drawing so that the yellow spots at the edge of the wings wouldn’t blend into the background too much. (I don’t want to rely too heavily on outlines when the beetles are vividly colored – only when white, yellow, or light brown areas would be hard to distinguish from the white of the paper.)

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