In recognition of Moth Week (July 18-26, 2015) I painted this Crescent Moon Moth. The Latin name is Epiphora rectifascia. It is a Giant African Silk Moth and is part of the The family Saturniidae. This one comes from Africa. I was lucky enough to see this very large moth in a live exhibit at the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, FL. The Saturniidae family has always fascinated me. They are huge, and have complex markings. As caterpillars they are voracious eaters. They devour their host plants, consuming as much of it as possible before they pupate. The Saturniidae caterpillar pupates by producing silk. The caterpillar is protected inside its silk cocoon until it emerges as an adult. The adult moth is transformed without a mouth. They live up to 2 weeks and their sole purpose is to mate, find a host plant to lay the eggs on. Once this is accomplished, they die. There is no time for eating. The caterpillar does all the eating early on so it will have enough energy to transform itself into an adult and find a mate.
My technique: For this painting I ripped a scrap of Fabriano 300lb Soft Press Fabriano Artistic watercolor paper. I then soaked it in hot coffee grounds. Once the paper was dry I transferred the pencil drawing onto the paper. I then painted a thick medium brown layer of gouache (opaque watercolor). Once this was dry I did the details in colored pencil. The colored pencil was easy to use and gave me the stippled effect of the speckled look on the wings. I am experimenting and having fun!
Lovely, as always.
Your work is beautiful!
Thanks Chet for stopping by and leaving me this nice comment. You made my day!!!! Cheers, Mindy
Thank you for sharing your technique on this Mindy. It just opens up a world of possibilities as I progress in learning from you.
My pleasure Sandy! If you have any questions….don’t hesitate to ask.
I love your moth. Your idea of soaking the paper in hot coffee grounds is amazing. Have you ever soaked the paper in black coffee or tea? I’d like to draw on good quality paper (like the Fabriano) that has some color for the background, but I don’t know how to do it. I may try what you did. Thank you for letting us in on the ways you are experimenting and coming up with such beautiful results.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I had a lot of fun experimenting with the coffee. It can also be done with tea bags. You can simply het up the water and then submerge the tea bag. Then you blog the hot tea bag into moist paper. I would moisten the paper first and then blot the tea bag. Be careful not to burn your fingers. I think the main thing is to have the heat to get the best saturation of color. I used coffee grinds from the coffee maker but the result was not as good as the press grounds. Good luck! Enjoy experimenting…… it is only paper. Let me know how you make out. Looking forward to hearing from you again with feedback! Cheers, Mindy