January 22 nd, 2014

You might wonder: ‘What are these monsters?! What happened to the cute, lovely bees!?!’

Well, they are still in the planning but I had to do these first. These are Phasmatodea,
commonly known as stick insects, walking sticks or stick-bugs. This particular kind is
Heteropteryx Dilatata PSG 18. They were part of a terrarium that was getting

For me this was a very good lesson in getting over my fear of insects. As you probably know
insects usually fold their legs across their body when they die. So first thing I had to do before
drawing was wait for them to defrost, then very carefully bend their little legs back to positions
that would look natural and leave them to dry (out). I have to confess I used tweezers. I got
the Phasmatodea through my friend and fellow artist Katja Berkenbosch. She makes wonderful
aper art and often uses butterflies in her artwork.

While drawing the Phasmatodea I completely fell in love with their ‘armour’ and despite of it
would find the same vulnerability I found in the bumblebee, moths and flowers. Especially
when I realized that the biggest specimen I had (5 cm) was starting to develop wings. Wings
that would never grow and take it anywhere. Next to that I realized I had drawn it as big as it
could have gotten had it reached adulthood.

Still pondering colour...