Drawing Insects

Drawing of an ant.
Drawing of an ant. Drawing by Donna L. Long

Drawing Insects

I confuse an insect’s abdomen and thorax every time. I think it is because my abdomen is in the middle of my body, so I think the middle section of an insect should be an abdomen, too.

I am drawing these three insects in my nature journal to help me remember.

I realized while drawing the ants that I can’t name the ant species that live in my garden. I know there are several species. I see big black ants that I remember following when I was a child. Then there are the tiny brown ones. This sounds like a nature journal project.

drawing of an ant
Drawing of an ant. Drawing by Donna

Where to Find Insects to Draw Anytime of Year

Insects are everywhere. Even in the cool temperatures of December, gnats are gathered in those swarms we often see. See Insects in Winter. Find insects flying in warm weather and also:

  • use a field guide especially one with photographs
  • search for images online
  • under rocks
  • in leaf litter
  • on bare winter branches (egg cases)
  • hibernation cases hanging from trees (bagworm moths)
  • dig just beneath the soil surface
my collection of hand lens
my collection of hand lens

Using a Magnifier or Hand Lens

A bo magnifier helps when drawing insects. A box magnifier is a clear plastic box that you can capture and keep a insect in for a short period of time. Often the bottom of the box has a grid printed on the bottom. The grid enables you to measure the insect’s size.

A hand lens is useful if you are studying a dead insect or the shed skin. Hand lens are high powered lens you hold close to your eye to view fine detail or tiny objects. I have several hand lens. See my post of Choosing a Hand Lens for Nature Study with lens on purchasing one.

Related Posts on Nature Drawing

Nature Activities for Kids and Other Beginners

Best Books for Nature Journal Keeping and Drawing

Simplicity: Basic Equipment for the Naturalist

Choosing a Hand Lens for Nature Study

Drawing Nature in Autumn

An Easier Way to Draw Birds


  1. Very interesting! Love your velvet ant, good artistic choice! Want to study all the noisy insects this summer, and learn to differentiate their songs! Happy Spring!

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