This might not be the ultimate butterfly drawing tutorial on the internet but it will certainly give you a solid foundation upon which to build your skills in drawing butterflies.
We will draw a butterfly with open wings seen from above, a possible starting point for many similar butterfly drawings. The tutorial will also show how easy is to set up the basic construction lines to draw a well proportioned butterfly.
|A butterfly is an insect of the order Lepidoptera. Like all Lepidoptera, butterflies are notable for their unusual life cycle with a larval caterpillar stage, an inactive pupal stage, and a spectacular metamorphosis into a familiar and colourful winged adult form.|
The starting point is drawing a rectangle and dividing it into four parts. You want the upper half to be slightly smaller than the bottom half as indicated in the image above.
|Butterfly larvae, or caterpillars, consume plant leaves and spend practically all of their time in search of food|
In this second step you will have to trace four lines starting from the midpoint of your rectangle and going to the vertices of it. These few lines drawn so far are more than enough to start drawing your butterfly but before finishing a couple of more construction lines must be traced.
The lines I am talking about are two vertical lines passing from the upper vertices of the rectangle and descending to cross the middle points of the emi-halves of the rectangle bottom edge. These two lines will serve the purpose of establishing the angle of the upper and lower wings.
|When the larva is fully grown it stops feeding and begins “wandering” in the quest of a suitable pupation site, often the underside of a leaf. The larva transforms into a pupa (or chrysalis) by anchoring itself to a substrate and moulting for the last time|
All the lines drawn so far will serve as a guide to trace the contour of the butterfly wings. The upper wings, which as the lower ones are symmetrical, have a triangular shape while the lower wings have the shape of a water drop or a tri folium leaf.
However keep in mind that there are many different types of butterfly that can be strikingly different from each other in terms of body shape and wing size and shape.
|The adult, sexually mature, stage of the insect is known as the imago. As Lepidoptera, butterflies have four wings that are covered with tiny scales|
At this point feel free to erase the construction lines and lightly sketch in the body of the butterfly. You butterfly drawing is taking shape! The last touch will be the decoration of the wings. As you’ll see I have chosen not to color it and to use a sober decoration for the wings drawing the tubules where the lymph is pumped and that confer the wings their rigidity.
But it is up to you to follow what I have done and I encourage you to try decorate the butterfly in a different way; Get inspired and do something creative!
This is the final pencil drawing. I have also inked it and posted into the coloring page section of the website. Help yourself and grab it to color or to make it color by your children.
How your butterfly drawing turned out? Why do not you post it here and let me see? I’d love to 🙂