I occasionally paint small mammals, insects and amphibians such as frogs.
I love frogs, as a child my parents garden played host to some of the fattest frogs I have ever seen. In the summer, during a down pour they would leap all over the lawn. I used to run out to catch as many as I could. They're very tricky to catch in torrential rain because they're very slippery and they can move surprisingly quickly as they do not want to be caught by a ham fisted 8 year old. I would put them in my father’s greenhouse so that they would devour the slugs that ate his lettuces. However, on one occasion I had over done it and caught seven of the baddest frogs who behaved like vikings on a raid, they devastated my fathers lettuces and I was ordered to remove them from the greenhouse immediately.
I love to paint butterflies, their colours and vibrancy is amazing. When you examine them closely they have wonderful details like veins and powdery scales, they are also incredibly furry. I collect butterfly bodies to examine....its not as gory as it sounds. Butterflies get trapped indoors and in webs. Two of the schools I have worked in have had huge glass atriums, where butterflies were easily trapped. They exhausted themselves trying to escape. On summer mornings I would often find them lying on the floor.
Jewelled beetles are quite a challenge. My daughter Beth has thrown down the gauntlet. The colours are really incredible and again, under a magnifying glass the detail is breathtaking.