Speckled Wood Butterfly

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.

As circles feature on my page, I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie who is hosting the “Circles” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

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
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36 thoughts on “Speckled Wood Butterfly

  1. beautiful page-and loved knowing more about the speckled wood butterfly- that is neat that it is doing so well and spreading through a wider territory-happy friday! Kathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating as the lovely buttelfly itself is your wonderful page to celebrate your amazing discovery Jo!
    I am so happy that you join Art Journal Joureny again with such a beautiful entry!
    Thanks so much! ♥
    I wish you a great enjoyable weekend!
    oxo Susi

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a wonderful discovery and I enjoyed creating a page to celebrate this lovely butterfly! Thanks so much for stopping by and your kind comments 😀. Happy Friday and wishing you a great weekend too! J 😊

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  3. So the speckled wood butterfly is great for plants since it feeds on aphids. It’s a beauty and I am glad you shared the photos and facts. And what a cool page you made. I love the lacy butterflies. They are really unique and look like the wing pattern of the speckled wood. Thanks for visiting my blog and hope you have a fantastic weekend. Hugs erika

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a beautiful page. The photo of the butterfly is incredible. I thought two butterflies fluttering as a type of dance, but maybe not, after reading about it. Thanks for sharing your art and a little about the Speckled Wood Butterfly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so much cooler today here as we have had rain all morning, although it’s still not and humid in the south of England. The butterfly was a great find, I love the colours and markings 😀. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and sending hugs too! J 😊

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  5. What an amazing journal page. I simply ADORE that background and how you created it. I’ve not seen a label holder before, and I really like how you used them. Great job stamping, too.

    The butterfly is stunning. Of course, I’ve never seen one since I gather it is native to England. I had no idea the males were so territorial and the females mate only once in their lifetime.

    This was an incredible page.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much! This butterfly is native to England, I remember also reading this species occur in Europe as well as wider afield in North Africa and parts of Asia 😀. It was a fun page to create and the label holders were on sale so I thought I’d give them a try. Have a lovely weekend! J 😊

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  6. Your butterfly inspired page is so beautiful Jo and the colours match perfectly your fantastic photo. The additional info about the butterfly was really interesting as well – thanks for sharing that..
    Hope you’ve had a good day and the weather perfect for one of your walks.
    Thanks for your lovely message too – the only holiday we have are at ‘stop-at-home-on-sea’ but that’s fine 🙂
    We had about 30 seconds of rain yesterday so it didn’t cool things down or do anything to fill up the empty water butts… Its 27.2c inside right now and really humid 😦 roll on winter! ha ha
    Hope you have a great weekend…. Gill xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the type of holiday I love, perfect 😀. It’s a lot cooler here today, we had rain this morning so I spent most of the day baking and cleaning – maybe you should come and stay with us until the temperature has cooled there … lol! We have more rain forecast for tomorrow, no worries though we had a lovely long walk yesterday with one of our friends which was great fun 😁. Thanks so much and I hope the weather cools for you, have a great weekend too! J 😊

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  7. Oh WOW, this is a stunning page Jo. The texture and colours of the background do so reflect the area, where you saw the beautiful butterfly. It is a lovely photo . I have never seen one like that it before, Cabbage Whites and Red Admirals are the only visitors that we seem to get to the garden here. The white lace butterflies you added looked lovely as well.
    Have a good weekend.
    Yvonne xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Jo what a wonderful page in that brown Colors and with These nice Lace Butterflies.
    Wow, I Love it. Great composition in harmony.
    The real Butterfly looks also very nice. I have never seen such butterfly. I am waiting for the blooming of our butterfly lilac. If he blooms lots of butterflies come to him.
    Dear Greetings
    Sabine

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  9. This is such a lovely subject for an art journal page. The butterfly is very beautiful (but what butterfly isn’t?). I especially like this one with its patterns and subtle dusky colours. That’s a great photo, it’s difficult to photo a butterfly. It’s got a lovely name too. Thanks for the information about it, you do put such a lot of effort and talent into your blogposts.
    These Distress Colour names are pure poetry and the inks themselves are perfect for the butterfly colours. I like the label holders showing the words in an innovative way.
    I think your descriptions of the way you make each piece are art lessons in themselves. If you ever decide to give workshops you’ve got all the ingredients and lessons right there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much Sheila, you are too kind! I loved this butterfly’s colouring and markings and was amazed how it sat still while we took photos … lol 😁. I’m so pleased you enjoyed reading about it too, I always like to find out more and share what I’ve learned. Have fun and wishing you a wonderful week! J 😊

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