Under the Porch Light

(Work in progress.) I started this page several weeks ago after we left our porch light on all night. In the morning, a treasure trove of moths clung to the walls of the house. Little by little, I’ve added to the collection. Cooler temperatures have slowed the show, but the giant crane fly was a nice find. There’s room for more…we’ll see what September brings. Click on the image to view larger.

Tips & Techniques– I started with a light pencil outline and then painted a miniature variegated wash on each moth to establish a ground color. Once that dried, I added several rounds of details, working from light to dark. The white moths needed a pale shadow to bring them out of the white paper. Although I started with a size 6 brush, it definitely helped to have some very small brushes in my arsenal. I finished these with a size 1 and 0.

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25 thoughts on “Under the Porch Light

  1. I Love your concept of creating a subject page, and letting it evolve as your collection grows over time – your work always inspires me!!

    • It’s just starting with one color and then varying it with another color or two to get variation in the color and tone. You’ve probably done it for landscapes or skies or other subjects on a larger scale– or maybe you call it something different.

    • I do have a magnifying glass, but I didn’t need it for these because I was able to get up really close. They hung on to the porch walls for awhile. But I have also used my phone to snap a photo, which I can then enlarge to see details. I didn’t want to get too fussy with these, but it’s hard not to with moths, given the level of detail.

    • Thanks Diana- me too! The page just sort of grows over time and there’s room to keep adding. I think the crane fly brings a fun element to the page, too. It’s less “formal” somehow. There have been a couple more I could have added today, but didn’t have painting time. Looking forward to more!

  2. you make such beauty out of ‘ordinary’ things..I sit and stare at spiders and their webs, transfixed..the crane fly (?) is magnificent..as are they all…

  3. What a great idea – you have gotten some beauties, too! I think we’ve had the same one, or one very similar, as the topmost moth. And we’ve had some really small pale green ones, too. These studies are beautiful, and good idea to let the page grow. Now I will wish for you a Luna moth! 😉

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