This quilled 3D bumble bee was the first bee I made, but will definitely not be the last. I have a special affinity for pollinators and since I take a ton of bee pictures during the spring and summer, I have a ton of reference material.
This guy was a ton of fun to make. He presented a lot of unique challenges and I felt like working on him allowed me to feel out some new techniques that I hadn’t tried before. One of them being the lattice-work of edgework for the wings, another being creating 3D scaffolding to bring the art up off the paper.
This bee is mounted on an 8″ x 10″ sheet of watercolor paper. Please note that watercolor paper will yellow over time – I did not know this when I began using it. Which is why I tend to put my more elaborate pieces on fiber-infused artboard now.
All the paper used for the bee was 1/4″ standard weight. I outlined the wings first then the body and legs. I wanted him to have a 3D look and feel so I created tubes from yellow and black strips and then cut them in half so they created a dome on the background. After the tubes dried, I applied fringed strips to them to simulate hair.
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