Painting Swallowtail or Monarch butterflies
This is a beautiful project for summer! Kids love all types of butterflies with their bright colorful wings.
Materials: heavyweight paper (letter size), pencils, erasers, watercolors, soft brushes, black permanent marker, white marker.
First, tell students about symmetry and show examples. Point out that butterfly has symmetrical wings (shape) and symmetrical patterns.
Second, tell kids about butterfly’s body parts. Note that upper wings are bigger than lower wings. Point out that the body is much smaller than wings.
Third, tell kids about composition. The butterfly should be placed in the center of the paper. The butterfly should be really big to fit all the details.
Now let’s get started!
2. Draw the head, thorax (the chest), and abdomen (the tail end) along the vertical guideline. Begin with the chest, then add abdomen and head. Add antennas.
3. Draw upper edges of the top wings. The lines should be wide and curved. Make sure they are symmetrical. Take time to draw them nice. Remember not to press on a pencil too hard to be able to erase it in case of a mistake.
4. Add bottom edges of the top wings. Use horizontal guideline to make it easier. Make sure both bottom edges are same length.
5. Connect top and bottom edges. You may draw straight or a waved line.
6. Add smaller lower wings. If you are making a swallowtail make it waved and keep space for “tails”.
7. Draw “tails” as two symmetrical drops.
8. Start adding the patterns. Begin with a top middle drops. Then add a bottom drops. Make sure the drops begin from the chest.
9. Next add a bigger drops around the previous ones.
10. Add veins in the middle of small and large drops. The veins can have “branches”.
11. Repeat the veins at the lower wings. The drawing is completed! You can erase the guidelines now.
12. Outline your drawing with a permanent marker (black or darker shade of the bright color of the wings).
13. Paint the background with watercolors.
14. Now paint the bright part of the wings. Use any bright color you like (yellow, orange, pink, light blue). Remember that it is always better to start with lighter colors to keep the brush and the painting clean. Start from the body of the butterfly. While the watercolor is still wet use a darker shade of the same color to make a gradient on the wings.
15. Paint the body with gray.
16. Paint the outer parts of the wings with black.
17. After the painting is completely dry you can add white veins on black with a white marker.