There are few things in this world as beautiful and fascinating as a butterfly. These small insects are seen as a sign of beauty and delicate life, and as such are one of the foremost images of art. All throughout history there have been famous depictions of butterflies because of their ethereal beauty. Learning to create basic butterfly drawings is much easier than you may think. We're partnered with Veidekonge to bring you this tutorial, and if you follow the steps below you'll be drawing and coloring a stunning butterfly in no time!
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Let's get started!
When you look at a butterfly you are aware of two separate parts of this creature, which are the body and the wings. Starting with the body, you’ll want to draw it in two parts. You first have the head and the abdomen. With the abdomen you will draw two ovals layered on top of each other, with the bigger section taking up most of the body, and the smaller section taking up the tail. The head of the butterfly will be a circle, and you have two circles for the eyes. Once you have drawn all of the pieces of the body you will want to draw the antenna. These two antenna should be centered between the two eyes, and flow up and out to either side of the butterfly’s future head.
Once you have your body drawn you can shift your focus to the wings. The first two shapes you start with are the upper half of the wings, which are going to be bigger than the bottom of the wings. To draw the smaller half of the wings, you’ll want to make sure that the shapes are uniform because butterflies are supposed to be symmetrical if they are cut down the middle. Now you can add small circles to the bottom of each wing because some butterflies have a false set of eyes.
NOTE: You can replace this with any pattern you want. Look up some reference pictures to get the best effect.
Lastly, you want to add the detail of veins on your wings. Now that you have finished all of your details you can erase any lines that you do not need. This is the image of a butterfly who is facing you with their wings behind them.
Adding Color To Your Butterfly Drawing
Choose two colors that you would like to color your butterfly and begin on your wings. In this design we used a burnt orange color for the top and a lighter orange for the bottom. We colored the body a dark brown and traced this color out to the veins. Once you color your wings you can take your darkest color, the brown, and shade the outside of your butterfly’s wings. Once you have shaded your wings, with the lightest color toward the inside of the abdomen, you can start to thicken lines on your wings. Take the brown and make sure that you clearly define all of the veins in the butterfly’s wings. Once you are done drawing all of your veins you can add white accents in the middle of the circles so that they appear as eyes. We also put some additional circles on the tips of the wings to add designs. Just remember, whatever you do to one side of your butterfly you have to do to the other.
Drawing a Side Facing Butterfly Drawing
First you will start with the abdomen, and like the original design, you will draw two ovals and the body and a circle with only one circle as the eye. Don’t forget that you also need to add the antenna to your butterfly, and you can still draw two in the center of the head because they will both still be visible. Since you are looking at this butterfly from the side one of your eyes will be invisible and the wings will be viewed from a different angle. When you start to draw the wings you make the top sections larger than the bottom, and make sure that you are keeping your wings uniform size. Once you add both sections of your wings you will now draw your veins. Finally, you will add the circle at the bottom to symbolize the eye, and erase any extra lines that you don’t need. Remember, you are looking at this butterfly from the side, so you will not be able to clearly see all of the second wing that is in the background of the image.
Coloring the Side Butterfly
When you color this butterfly, much like the butterfly above, you will pick three different colors. We went ahead and colored the body of the butterfly a dark brown toward the top of the body and a lighter brown towards the bottom. We did the same thing with the wing color and kept the darker orange at the top and filled the lower half with a lighter color. Then, we took the brown and shaded the edges of the wings, body, and they were the wings met. Once we finished shading we drew out all of the veins, with additional details, and added white accents all over the body of the butterfly. We made small white circles all over the body and the arms of the wings. Lastly, we filled in the middle of the circle and added white circles on the tips.
This is a great butterfly for artists of all levels to attempt to draw. Even though there are a lot of steps, you can choose exactly the design that you would like your butterfly to have. Choose whatever color you like, and add additional details to the wings as long as they are uniform. If you make sure that your butterfly is identical across the left and right side, you are doing a good job. There are many fun things to draw, and a butterfly is one of the most exciting. Take your time with this project, and by the end you will have a beautiful masterpiece of butterfly that displays fairy tale beauty.
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Now it's your turn. What are some of your favorite things to draw? What do you want to see us create next? Tell us in the comments below!