A Swallowtail and a Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly

I appreciate the beauty of the last, bright yellow leaves on the garden arches. They add fragility and a sense of impermanence to the brick filled picture.

Blue and yellow are complementary colours: the blue of the bricks and the bluish-grey  large photo of the old gate of this small court, and the yellow leaves go very well together.

Blue and yellow, fragility and impermanence are also to be found in my drawing of a Swallowtail and a Broad-bodied Chaser.

A Swallowtail and a Broad-bodied Chaser, copyright Paula Kuitenbrouwer


Paula Kuitenbrouwer sells exquisite original drawings and paintings, as well as fine art cards of her drawings and reproductions. See Atelier shop in the header. In case you like to commission Paula, contact her at mindfuldrawing@gmail.com

17 thoughts on “A Swallowtail and a Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly

    1. The Swallowtail butterflies I saw in your country, Sybille (in Italy). The Broad-bodied Chaser dragonflies lives in the Netherlands. They look wonderful, as if their blue body shines iridescent bluish light. For the blue and a few other areas, I’ve used Derwent Metallic pencils to add that special shine dragonflies (and many insects) often have. If you try to follow a Broad-bodied Chaser with your eye, you will turn dizzy. They are fast! However, you always find them back, because their remarkable bluish body betrays them.:-)


  1. Blue and yellow are the anchor of most of my paintings. In my watercolor box it is always the lemon yellow and cobalt blue that run out first! The combination just seems to turn a switch in my mind to generate happiness.variations of the colors or even hints of them can be found in almost every painting I do. Ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow shout “look at me!” Prussian blue and yellow ochre are a magical combination. A wash of cobalt over distant scenes pushes them far away, while a wash of lemon yellow brings sunshine into the foreground.


    1. Thank you, Ruth. I would love to see your art work. You have an online album? Are you member of the British Coloured Pencil Society?

      You are so right about yellow and blue generating happiness. Think about the beach: the yellow sand and the blue sky and sea…no child nor adult can’t instantly feel happy and enchanted. Your description over how to work with blue and yellow makes me want to sit down with you and have a long chat about colours. With tea and chocolate, of course. 🙂


  2. Working at a nature center has given me so much ready opportunity to observe and marvel at insects this past year – so I paid much more attention to them this summer than I ever have. When I saw swallowtails this summer, I was mesmerized – almost as if I hadn’t seen them before, which in a way is sort of true. Certainly I hadn’t paid attention to them much before. And I suspect there’s a lot to your notion that blue and yellow are a ‘happy’ combination!

    The butterfly and dragonfly drawing is beautiful – very much full of life, as so much of your work is.


    1. Sid, thank you. Did you see different swallowtails? I noticed two different ones in a garden in Italy. I was confused, because the shape and colour didn’t match the pictures in my reference books 100%. Later I’d learn that there are many slightly different swallowtails. Some have more yellow and some are more black. Their shape difference have (I think) to do with how they sit and how far they unfold their wings. Anyway, you are right; they are mesmerizing.


  3. I love butterflies and dragonflies (we called them darning needles when I was a child) and it is perfect to see them paired in this drawing. The dragonfly is so plump and healthy and the buttefly looks like she is about to share an important message.

    I like the combination of blue and yellow too. I have always yearned for a big old-fashioned country kitchen, which I would decorate in white and lemon yellow with colbalt blue for an accent color.


  4. These are lovely, Paula, very well done. I have thousands of photos on my hard drives of insects and other nature based themes that I have taken over the years with the intent of making myself draw more. I only wish my muse would force me to sit still long enough to do it!


Discussions are welcome. Thanks for your comments. Gracias por tu comentario. Merci pour vos commentaires. Grazie per i vostri commenti. Obrigado pelo seu comentário.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s