by Jenny Musker RMS MASF BA(Hons)

I always start with being inspired by nature, so I take a walk and see what’s springing into life. For this piece the inspiration came from the Salix Catkins opening up and attracting the bees, and a butterfly at rest near by. I sketched the Salix, then sketched in bees and butterfly from photographs I had taken.

The base for this piece is Polymin. 

Polymin is a synthetic material with a very smooth surface which will take all paint types and wipe off – handy if you make a mistake!

After producing a few sketches, I take my final composition and then redraw it onto tracing paper. It’s then transferred onto the Polymin using a graphite trace down paper, which gives a faint outline. I start by painting the catkins first as I have the plant in front of me for colour reference.

Painting from life is always best where you can. When painting one area, I then cover the other areas of the Polymin with acid free tissue paper. This protects the surface from accidental smudges or water droplets.

Preliminary Sketch

From my own photographs I now paint in the butterfly and bees. 

For my Miniature Paintings I use Windsor & Newton Professional Watercolours. 

To produce the fine detail I have used pure Sable Series 96 Brushes. 

Brush Size 1 is good for base washes and the stippling and small lines are done with the finer brushes; 0 And 2/0. I also prefer painting in natural daylight and using a small magnifying glass, in winter a daylight bulb helps extend my painting hours.

The finished professionally framed and mounted Miniature is called  ‘Sitting In The Salix’ 

(3.5cm X 6cm and with the frame 8cm X 10cm).

Polymin can be purchased at:

Brushes used are from Rosemary & Co: