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How to Paint a Ladybug in 10 Easy Steps with Acrylic Paint

Acrylic painting how to paint Insects Ladybug

These Ladybugs are so easy to paint. Great for adding life and personality to your floral paintings. 10 Easy Steps to beautiful Ladybugs.

Paint colours used: Permanent Orange, Napthol Red Light, Permanent Alizarine, Pthalo Green, Ultramarine Blue  You don't need to use the exact red I used any bright red will do.

Step 1 Setting the scene 

First paint the picture that you want the ladybugs on. Find or take some reference photos to study.

Step 2: Position and size ladybugs 

Figure out where you are going to put the Ladybugs and what size they are going to be. Paint them in with white paint. The reason we do this is so the red will pop. If you just try to paint the Ladybugs over the background without painting them white you will have a hard time getting your reds to show bright enough. Unless of cause you want a subtle Ladybug.

Step 3: Lightest colour first.

Put in your orange this will be your highlight colour.

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Step 4: Put in the first black

Next mix a Dark using Pthalo green and Alizraine. Paint in the head, underbelly and legs. Also any black parts under the red wing case that shows on your Ladybug.

Step 5: First red layer

Using your brightest red paint over the orange areas leaving some orange showing on the area that are on the top of the body or will show a strong highlight.

Step 6: Shadow red

Using some Alizarine mix with your red to make it darker or just use on it's own if you find it's the right shade already. Paint the shadows on the Ladybug to give it shape. Thinking about the form of the Ladybug and where the darkest areas will be. Check your reference but also keep in mind where the light source is coming from on your picture.

You may notice that the ladybugs from now on are looking a little different from the last photo and that's because I decided they were to big for the flowers and I needed to make them smaller. My background was well dry( It had been painted two weeks prior to doing the Ladybugs.) so I just washed off the Previous Ladybugs with a brush with water and gently wiped with a paper towel then stared back at step 1. I did a little touching  up on the background but it needed very little done to it. This is one of the reasons I love the Atelier Acrylic paints. This would not have been possible with other acrylic paints as any layers on the ladybugs that had dried would not of washed off. If I had of sealed the painting before starting the ladybugs the background would not have shifted at all and would have made it super easy to wash off those ladybugs. Oh well with hindsight and all that.

 Photo of adjusted Ladybugs

Step 7: Put in the black dots

Using the same dark you mixed for the head and legs study your reference and paint in the black dots approximately where they should be. About there, is close enough. You don't have to be exact.



Step 8: Shadows

Put the shadows in under the Ladybugs remembering where your light is coming from. Add a little blue to your dark you mixed earlier to get a dark purple, you may need to use a little more red as well. You will only need a little of this as we water it right down with clear painting medium or water so it is like a wash.


Step 9: Highlights

Using some of your tinting white, put in your first highlights. Remember less is more with these finial highlights so don't get to carried away here. Think about where your light would hit the ladybug and also paint in any white parts on their body. Some of them do have white bits so study your reference.

Step 10: Finial highlights

Put in the finial tiny highlights with your Titanium White    


And that's it you are done, Another great little insect to add into your painting tool box.

Let me know if there is something you would really like to learn how to paint from nature and then we can do it together on this blog.                                             

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