Whilst walking along the Lancaster Canal, we saw a Speckled Wood which is a beautiful butterfly we hadn’t seen before. It was a rich dark brown with white spots, which I thought was quite unusual. To celebrate this new discovery I created this page.
To match the colours of the butterfly, I started by applying Hickory Smoke, Brushed Corduroy and Ground Espresso Distress Ink to the page using a blending tool, gradually building up the colour. Next I applied Crackle Glaze over the Ground Espresso Distress Ink with a palette knife using a trellis stencil by Creative Expressions and left it to dry. As it dries the crackle glaze creates a cracked eggshell pattern and allows details and colours to show through. I applied another layer of Ground Espresso ink over the top of the dried crackle glaze to fill in the cracks and intensify the effect, which also gave the glaze a lovely glossy finish. Then I dripped water on the page, left it a few moments and mopped it up with a piece of kitchen towel; this removed some of the ink to give a distressed look. Next I added circles with a Dutch Doobadoo Mask, to depict the butterfly markings, using Liquitex Parchment acrylic paint and a sponge. I emphasised the circle edges and added tiny dots using white and brown Uni Posca paint pens. I stamped some brown paper with the name of the butterfly using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink and edged the papers with Brushed Corduroy and Black Soot Distress Ink. I inserted them into two label holders and stuck them to the page using double-sided tape. Then I continued the circle shapes from the background over the edges of the holders and added some small dots using the white and brown Uni Posca paint pens. To finish, I added two lace butterflies and some heart embellishments.
Here is the pretty butterfly we saw on our walk. As the name suggests the Speckled Wood is primarily found in woodland but can also be found anywhere that provides the shaded conditions that this butterfly favours such as hedgerows. I was fascinated to find out that the butterfly’s appearance changes from the north to the south of England; butterflies in the north are dark brown with white spots, whereas those in more southerly locations are dark brown with orange spots. If you are interested here are some more fun facts about this butterfly:
- Speckled woods are unique among butterflies in that they can spend the winter either as a caterpillar or a chrysalis.
- Female speckled woods are unusually choosy for butterflies and they mate only once in their short lives.
- Males are fiercely territorial and are easily roused by any other male that happens upon its territory. When this occurs, the rivals spin up through the woodland in fluttery combat and the interloper is usually driven away.
- Both sexes feed on honeydew secreted by aphids in the tree tops and are rarely seen feeding on flowers, except early and late in the year when aphid activity is low.
- The Speckled Wood has undergone a major increase in range and population size over the last thirty years and it is thought that eventually it will populate the whole of the UK.
Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.
Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:
- Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
- Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Smoked Hickory, Brushed Corduroy, Ground Espresso, Black Soot)
- Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
- Uni Posca Paint Pen (White, Brown)
- Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
- Dutch Doobadoo Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
- Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
- Docrafts Papermania Mini Cards & Stamp Set (Capsule Geometric Krafts PMA105308)
- Docrafts Papermania Bar Basics (Label Holders PMA174314)
- The Works (Crochet Butterflies)
- Home Bargains Sweet Hearts (Self-Adhesive Button Hearts 22809)
- X-Press It double-sided tape