Drawing a butterfly

Learn how to draw a butterfly in this step by step drawing tutorial for kids.

The trickiest part of drawing a butterfly is getting its wins to look symmetrical or equal on both sides.

To make it easier to eyeball the wings symmetry we’re going to draw both wings together in unison. It’s much easier that way.

Butterflies are some of the most magical creatures of the animal kingdom. Their whimsical nature and the beautiful, ornate patterns that adorn their wings have fascinated humans since the dawn of time. 

Butterflies appeared in art as early as 3500 years ago, and to this day, butterfly drawings and butterfly art remain as popular as ever. If you’ve ever wondered how to draw a butterfly, read on for basic techniques you can put into practice that will make you a butterfly line drawing expert in no time.

It’s not too hard to understand why so many children AND adults are fascinated with butterflies. Their color and delicate beauty make them endlessly fun to look at.

Many internet tutorials for learning how to draw them, however, I found to be overly simple (as in wings with a few circles) or overly complex (complete monarchs with dozens of shapes).

Let’s get to it and draw a beautiful butterfly!

Butterfly Drawing Step by Step

  • Draw the butterfly’s head thorax and abdomen. This trick will centre the butterfly in the middle of your paper. The body is made of the head (a circle), a middle thorax (oval), and abdomen (oblong oval), 2 eyes (semi-circles on either side of the head) and 2 antennae.
  • So Draw 2 curved lines from the top of part of body (on either side). Try to make these lines equal in length and arch.
  • After Draw 2 straight lines from the center of the body (on either side). Make the lines equal in length.
  • Then Draw a squiggly line to connect the top of the wing to the middle (horizontal) line. Do this for both sides of the wing.
  • before Final Draw 7 straight lines in each wing quadrant (from the tear drop shape to the outer edge).
  • Fill in the body, and you’re done!

Add black pencil coloring over the basic dark brown layer. Do not push the black color pencil too much.

If you are not sure about which colors to mix, make tests on a separate paper. Make as many tests as necessary. It is a usual technique and commonly used among artists.

If you decided to draw a butterfly-like this and spend your time with it, and I suppose you would like to make it as nice as possible then by all means make these color tests on separate paper.

It is only necessary for the beginning. Once you know which color pencils to mix then no more tests are necessary.

While coloring, I would advise you to color (fill in) both front wings first. While coloring you are going more visual and your work suddenly start to emerge from a previously obscure sketch.

The symmetry on the wings will be even more visible now, so it is good to draw the front wigs first and the hind wings second.

Some butterfly Drawing Pictures

The best way to get students off to a good start to any drawing project is to show them how a couple of guides can really help as reference points.

For instance, as seen in Step 1 below, the butterfly body needs to begin in the center of the paper. The top wings then fill the top half of the paper.

Drawing skills are all about seeing where to place one’s lines, so having some visual reference point to get started, will always help anyone learn how to be a little more accurate.

Does that mean then that students need to draw a big fat lines down the center of their paper before they start? Goodness no, please don’t! That will most likely be hard to erase and distract from any finished art. No, simply fold the paper in half both ways, make a crease, and unfold. The beauty is that by the time the drawing is done and colored in, the creases will disappear.

Color the hind wings of the butterfly similarly to the front wings. The process is the same.

Notice however that there are such cloudy whiter spots on hind wings. These aren’t present on front wings.

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