Limenitis astyanax, the Red-spotted Purple by Pete Janes

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Limenitis astyanax, the Red-spotted Purple by 

Daniel Smith watercolor on Arches 140lb cold press.
Among drawers-full of specimens in some dusty University corridor, the vivid crimson, orange, and deep turquoise contrast of this butterfly leaped at me. Rusty wingtips and high-contrast wing edging full of busy detail made this specimen one I had to capture, especially because it was so small and complex.
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Organic produce slinger by day. Automatic Scribbler and Deliberate Renderer by night.

“Pete Janes entertains the macro insect crowd with meticulous gouache and watercolor specimen pieces, while his more imaginary illustrations seem to be glimpses into faraway realities.”—noted art critic and Portland bum R. Terialspray

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  • Lynda Robinson
    Lynda Robinsonabout 5 years ago

    CONGRATULATIONS! – This work has been featured in ‘Art Up Close’

  • Pete Janes
    Pete Janesabout 5 years ago

    Woo Hoo! Thank you!

  • Angela Palibrk
    Angela Palibrkabout 5 years ago

    Nice work Pete, as always.
    Congratulations of this work being featured.

  • Pete Janes
    Pete Janesabout 5 years ago

    Thanks Angela! I’ve finally met up with a large-format scanner, so expect more soon!

  • redladyart2
    redladyart2about 5 years ago

    This is wonderfully detailed watercolor painting Pete. :)

  • Lynne Kells (earthangel)
    Lynne Kells (e...about 5 years ago

    Pete your work is exquisite in it’s detail! Wow I’m blown away! The colouring of this reminds me of the beautiful old scientific/botanical books. The light- luminosity/refraction (not the right term) you have created is incredible.
    Is this an American butterfly?

  • Yes, Earthangel. Found all over the continent, but often missed because it’s so small. I like to bring the small ones up to size!

    – Pete Janes

  • vampvamp
    vampvampabout 5 years ago


  • James  Guinnevan Seymour
    James Guinnev...about 5 years ago

    great colours you have a real talent with this medium

  • Thank you Siren! I like watercolors because the results can be sublime but the medium is unforgiving!

    – Pete Janes

  • James  Guinnevan Seymour
    James Guinnev...about 5 years ago

    definetly they can a mind of their own sometimes

  • James  Guinnevan Seymour
    James Guinnev...about 5 years ago

    have a mind ….sorry

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