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Under the Microscope: Drawing Butterflies and Moths  

February 23 & 25, 2017  9:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL

One of my favorite things to teach is drawing using the microscope.  Seeing my students’ faces as they view what is “common” turn into amazing, surreal landscapes is always a delight.  Butterflies and moths in particular are beautiful to see under the microscope as the scales on their wings turn into layers and patterns of color, sometimes iridescent.

Come join me as we explore the world of butterflies and moths, magnified and detailed.  We’ll be able to utilize specimens from both the Arboretum and my collections, so you’re sure to find one that you’re curious about seeing up close.  Drawing what you see will help you remember and be able to share what you’ve learned.  If you’ve drawn butterflies in the past, but have never seen them close up, then now’s the perfect time to sign up.  The class is three hours long and you can sign up for one or both of them.

Monarchs and skippers © 2016 Karen A Johnson

Monarchs and skippers
© 2016 Karen A Johnson

When I was preparing for another class, I had sketched  several skippers.  They were so quick that it was difficult to see anything but generalities.  Curious, I put a similar specimen under the microscope and saw that it had iridescent scales that flashed a beautiful rainbow of colors, surprising since it looked a brown color normally.  Seeing an ordinary, small skipper change like that under magnification helped me appreciate once again how wonderful and magnificent our world is.

Skipper magnified © 2016 Karen A Johnson

Skipper magnified
© 2016 Karen A Johnson

If you’re in the area, I hope to see you in class!