Male Dimorphic Jumping Spider (Dark Phase) Transparent Watercolor & Time Lapse Video

Male Dark Phase Dimorphic Jumping Spider (7x10 in Transparent Watercolor on W&N 140Lb HP Paper)

Male Dark Phase Dimorphic Jumping Spider (7×10-inch Transparent Watercolor on W&N 140Lb HP Paper)

Male Dark Phase Dimorphic Jumping Spider (4.5 x 3 in ch detail from 7x10 in Watercolor)

Male Dark Phase Dimorphic Jumping Spider (4.5 x 3-inch detail from 7×10-inch watercolor)

“My name is Matt, and I like Jumping Spiders.

Typically when people see my photos, sketches or paintings of jumping spiders, I hear the same things: “Yuck!” “The only place I want to see that is on the bottom of my shoe. “Gross! “Creepy. “Scary! I assume they are talking about the spiders, but I suppose they could be talking about me!

It’s okay. Someone needs to paint jumping spiders to show off how amazing they are. These little gems are definitely under-represented in the art world. I love painting birds, but there are tons of bird artists out there. Not many creative types paint insects and arachnids. Sure, butterflies and dragonflies get a bit of attention, but other than an occasional bumble bee or honeybee, the rest are largely ignored.

The lack of a market for finished paintings is probably partly to blame. When the subject matter consists of creatures that seem to serve as a lightning rod of hate, it’s no surprise. Now I’d understand that response if I were rendering the Ebola Virus or Malaria (both of which I’ve done a few times), yet these little creatures are not only harmless but beneficial. On top of that, they have some serious cuteness in a Jim Henson-creation sort of way. The only other artwork of mine that has evoked similar comments of revulsion are illustrations of eye surgery and polycystic kidneys. Now that is bad!

As I paint these little guys, I realize that it’s purely for my own entertainment. If I’m rendering something like a Northern Cardinal, I think to myself, Someone might want this on their wall; yeah… I could see the print or original selling before too long. When I put the same effort into a jumping spider, I think, I’ll be getting some visceral responses relaying people’s complete disgust and fear when this gets posted, and then the painting will spend the rest of its life sitting next to a stack of similar paintings in my son’s closet. 

Who cares—I know it’s cool! I like this spider. I had fun painting it. Good enough for me.

So here it is. This is a dark phase male Dimorphic Jumping Spider. A painting of the other phase can be seen here along with information on the two “flavors they come it. It’s hard to believe these two morphs are the same species.

The time-lapse video compresses 6.5 hours of painting into about 8 minutes.

Prints are available here.

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