Monday, November 22, 2021

Watercolor Scarabs by Kate Yetter

Hello! Kate here today and I am excited to share with you a project that challenged me. I am one of those artists that gets bored rather quickly. I know I am not the only one, right? I am a creative, always in need of something to create but once boredom hits, I need to switch creative outlets. Hence I have an entire craft room filled to the brim of various materials that I have dabbled in. 

Recently, after 12 years, I decided to pick up watercolor again. It has been quite the challenge and I almost gave up. It is harder than I remembered and has made me question whether or not I ever had control of the medium. Not only is controlling the paint a challenge but the various topics require different techniques. I am finding that this medium could potentially cure my boredom. All I need to do is change the topic of focus.

Lately, I have been inspired by all the watercolorist out there that focus on botanicals. When I saw these Scarab Beetles, I knew I wanted to try them in watercolor.

I started out by measuring and tracing my stenciled images onto watercolor paper.

As you can see, I tried a dry-on-dry technique. The result: there isn't much depth. I was very disappointed with the outcome.

Here is a close-up. Unfortunately, the colors didn't blend smoothly. Needing more instruction, I went online and watched several video on YouTube. I learned that wet-on-wet is the desired technique for beetles.

Here is my second attempt using wet-on-wet.

I was much more pleased with the outcome. The colors are more vibrant, smoothly blended and there is a sense of dimension. But it still seemed boring. Since this particular species of beetles originates in Egypt, I thought the Egyptian Hieroglyphics stencil would be the perfect background. I have a love of Ancient Egyptian art so this theme was perfect for me.

Lastly, I added gold accents to the beetles with a POSCA paint pen and painted the hieroglyphics with Kurtake gold watercolor paint. I am pleased with the outcome and plan on framing it.

I love the versatility of stencils and that they can be used with any paint medium.
Thanks for joining me today.

Until Next Time,


  1. This came out super Kate. I have those 2 stencils, and they are a lot of fun to use and create with.

  2. Oh my, Kate, these beatles came out so well. I am impressed. Your background is super too. I want both stencils!!!! I like that you showed us how different techniques can totally change the look. I would hate for you to see my processes - lol!

  3. So pretty and normally beetles would creep me out.


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