How to Draw a Moth

Easy, step by step Moth drawing tutorial
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There are about 160,000 species of moths - nocturnal winged insects that resemble butterflies. They range in size from tiny jewels one-quarter of an inch (4 millimeters) wide to enormous moths with 1-foot-wide (30 centimeter) wingspans.

How can you tell a moth and a butterfly apart? First, butterflies are active during the day, and moths are active at night. You'll often find moths fluttering around lights.

A second way to distinguish these bugs is that moths have furry bodies, while butterflies have smooth bodies. Finally, most butterflies have smooth club-shaped antennae, while many moths have thick or feather-shaped antennae.

The moth in this drawing guide resembles the Cecropia moth, the largest in North America with a seven inch (18 centimeter) wingspan.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

Did you know? Most moths don't eat! The caterpillars - young wingless moths - gorge themselves on leaves. The adult moths have only the goal of producing the next generation.

In the case of the Cecropia moth, this sometimes results in his becoming a spider's meal. The bolas spider secretes a scent like that of the female moth. This attracts the male, which he catches by throwing a sticky blob of his web!

Would you like to draw a realistic cartoon of a moth? This simple, step-by-step cartoon animal drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pen, pencil, or marker and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Butterfly in Cartoon Style, Cute Caterpillar, and Monarch Butterfly.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Moth

Moth drawing - step 1
How to Draw a Moth Step 01

1. Begin by drawing a circle. This will form the moth's thorax, or midsection. From the thorax, extend a long curved line. Double it back upon itself to outline the abdomen.

Moth drawing - step 2
How to Draw a Moth Step 02

2. Outline a half circle on top of the thorax, forming the head. Draw two curved lines across it to outline the eyes. Next, draw two long curved lines from the head, forming the center of the antennae. Draw curved lines on each side of the antennae, meeting at a point at the end. This outlines the featherlike antennae, called bipectinate antennae.

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Moth drawing - step 3
How to Draw a Moth Step 03

3. Draw curved lines between the centers of the antennae and the edges, completing the featherlike appearance.

Moth drawing - step 4
How to Draw a Moth Step 04

4. Extend a long curved line from the side of the thorax, and double it back upon itself to outline the forewing. Repeat this process to form a mirror image on the opposite side.

Moth drawing - step 5
How to Draw a Moth Step 05

5. Outline the hindwings using long curved lines.

Moth drawing - step 6
How to Draw a Moth Step 06

6. Begin detailing the forewings. Draw curved, wavy, and jagged lines across each wing. Then, draw an oval within an oval. These are called eyespots; they protect the moth by camouflaging him as the face of a bigger creature with large eyes.

Moth drawing - step 7
How to Draw a Moth Step 07

7. Detail the lower wings. Draw a pair of curved lines near the base of each wing, and a jagged series of lines near its edge. On each wing, draw an oval within an oval to form the eyespot.

Moth drawing - step 8
How to Draw a Moth Step 08

8. Texture the abdomen by drawing horizontal curved lines across it.

Moth drawing - step 9
How to Draw a Moth Step 09

9. Moths have furry bodies. Texture your moth with short curved lines across the center and bottom of each segment.

Complete Moth drawing
How to Draw a Moth Step 10

Color your cartoon moth. Moths like this one are often shaded in cream, white, brown, and dark red.

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The Complete Moth Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Moth - all drawing steps
How to Draw a Moth Step by Step Tutorial Image

Printable Drawing Tutorial

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