Friday, March 21, 2014

A Study in Real and Paper Butterflies

I have been fascinated with the butterflies by Hip and Clavicle on Etsy.  They are so beautiful.
I have been studying how they are made.  Maybe you're curious too?
The first thing I noticed is that the body is attached to the upper wings.  The lower wings are connected to each other, but they are a separate piece from the body-upper wings ensemble.
When the butterfly is put together, the upper wings are laid on top of the lower wings.
In Nature, you will find the same thing.  The upper wings are on top of the lower wings.
Except from the underside view which is seen when the wings are held upright.
Another I have noticed is that the upper wings are bent so that there is space between the upper and lower wings.
There is a gap.
Notice how there is a gap between the upper and lower wings here.
Even on side view it is visible.  The upper wings are not flush with the lower wings.
Note also that the wings often overlap each other.
Another thing you will notice is that the wings are articulated/bent so that there are facets that reflect the light and create shadows.
Real wings have veins and reflective powders (scales) on them that catch the light.  
And you will notice that the wings do seem to have bends in them.  The wings are not perfectly flat.
You can see how the upper wings have a bit of curve to them.  Some it just looks curved due to the shape of the wing.
You can see the rippled look of the lower wings.
In this close up you can see actual waves in the wings created by the veins and the thin wing membrane in between.
In this close up you can see how the wing is not flat.  You can also see the tiny coloured scales that cover the surface of the wing.
If you were to touch the wing, the scales would come off like powder.
Now when you look at a butterfly, you will know all these new things.
Their wings are not quite as wavy as these butterflies, but the bending does simulate veins.
So the next time you see a butterfly, take a closer look.
They are so beautiful.
Maybe see if you can make a realistic butterfly of your own.
You can use these images for inspiration.
I think David Attenborough got a bit too close.  What do you think?

Have a happy day!

1 comment:

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