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Hop to it and get painting!

In this new tutorial I will show you how to paint this amazing Poisonous Dart Frog! These incredible, tiny creatures are quite rare and consequently were only discovered in 1969. As with many rainforest creatures, their numbers are declining and can only be found in a few isolated areas of Northern Brazil. They favour damp, wet areas and can be found living under rocks and moss, close to streams. However, they don't actually dwell in the water so they have toes instead of webbed feet.

These 'poisonous' frogs sound really dangerous but they are not venomous ~ it's actually their skin which is toxic, and their bright blue colour gives fair warning to would-be predators looking for some lunch! Weighing in at only 0.3 of an ounce and measuring 2.5-3.8cm, the average frog carries around 200micrograms of poison (which could prove fatal to humans). The indigenous people of the rainforest reportedly used the toxins from the frogs on the tips of their arrows (or darts) to paralyze their prey ~ which is how these frogs got their name.

Although dangerous, these frogs can be found in captivity (where they can live up to 15 years). They are considered a vulnerable species and are being widely bred in zoos as part of a worldwide conservation effort. Even though they are poisonous it is possible to handle them when in captivity, as it has been discovered that their diet in the wild is the source of their toxic skin ~ once fed on a different diet they no longer remain poisonous!

In this project I will show you how to build up the beautiful, bright Azure colour, working from light to dark to achieve a sense of form. The highlights will be reserved with masking fluid to make the skin appear to have a high sheen. This a great opportunity to practise layering colour using a range of blending techniques ~ a skill which is easily transferable to so many other subjects!

Once the main body is complete, you can remove the masking fluid and then work onto dry to add the detail of his markings paying close attention to how their size, shape and colour alter across the body.

Don't worry if you can't get all of his spots completely accurate, as these tiny frogs are all different ~ their markings are actually individual to each frog ~ just like our fingerprints!

To find out more about this project, take a look at the short video below.

I have labeled this one as a medium difficulty as some experience working wet into wet will help you to achieve the transitions of colour from light to dark. But even if you're a beginner, this is a great one to try as it's a fantastic chance to get to grips with this key technique.

Hoppy Painting!!

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