How to Paint a Watercolor Butterfly
Has learning to paint what you see in nature been on your list for a while? Today I’m going to show you how to paint watercolor butterfly and moths even if you are the newest beginner. This is one of those projects that looks so hard but is really fun and easy! You might also enjoy the snail tutorial I made for you HERE.
Watercolor is such a great medium because it’s so versatile and dries quickly making it easy to do during nap time or whenever you can sneak some time for yourself. This is one of many tutorials/patterns I’ve made to help you feel more comfortable and confident with this awesome medium.
I designed this project with the busy mama/grandma in mind so I hope it will bring you lots of enjoyment and fun. In fact, it’s the perfect project to invite the kids to join you!
Paint Butterflies With Me
Notice I said paint and not draw? I’m taking the drawing part out of the equation. Let’s not get caught up on the drawing part yet (unless of course, you want to). Just enjoy the watercolor painting process. You will learn so much as you just experiment without the pressure to draw the perfect picture. One skill at a time, I say. So with that out of the way, let’s get started!
Before we get started, I’d like to invite you to join us at the Lily & Thistle Watercolor School! We have bundled all of our watercolor painting courses designed to help you learn the basics FAST so you can quickly become a more confident artist. You will learn the foundational skills you need and continue to grow as you pick and choose from 100+ projects. We breakdown everything in Watercolor School to make it fun and SIMPLE for anyone (ages 5-95!) Find out more about Watercolor School here or click the photo below.
- Winsor Newton 12 pan watercolor set (or whatever you have on hand)
- Watercolor Brush Set that includes Sizes 2 and 6
- 140lb Watercolor Paper
- Printable Pattern (found in the Watercolor School or Nature’s Art Club)
- Graphite Paper or Window, iPad, Lightboard for tracing
- Pencil (don’t press hard when tracing, just lightly)
- A Kneaded Eraser (perfect way to make your lines faint but not too faint that you can’t see them)
- Sharpie No Bleed Pen (optional for outlining after the painting is complete)
1. Print Out Your Watercolor Outline Pattern
If you are already a member of the Lily & Thistle Watercolor School, you can access the pattern in the course content for Watercolor School. Want to find out more about being a member? Check out this page for more information to join us!
We offer several FREE patterns in our Lily and Thistle Resource Library (get your password below).
FREE WATERCOLOR PATTERNS AND PROJECTS!
Subscribe (FREE) and I'll send you a password giving you instant access to all of our Lily and Thistle resources: Courses, templates, patterns, how-to's and more! You will also get my weekly newsletter full of great resources for your art!
2. Trace Your Watercolor Outline Pattern
There are so many ways to trace your pattern. You can use graphite paper, a window, an iPad or you can even purchase an inexpensive light board. I did a post all about tracing HERE.
Just remember not to push down too hard when tracing. You want your lines to be visible enough to guide you as you are painting but not so dark that they distract from your watercolor.
3. Paint Your Butterflies (and Moth)!
Butterflies are my favorites for so many reasons. Mostly because they remind me of potential. When I look at a caterpillar it’s hard to imagine the beautiful butterfly it will eventually become. But through the miracle of metamorphosis, it turns into a completely amazing creature that can fly! As I’ve observed nature on a regular basis, I’ve discovered that the principle of potential is taught over and over again: A small acorn can become a mighty oak, seeds are so tiny but produce flowers, food, and even shelter for us. The principle of potential applies to me and my children and YOU! We all have so much POTENTIAL – that’s the way God made us and I believe He wants us to remember so he shows us this through nature.
Watercolor is so fun and forgiving and gives us a chance to stop, observe, and connect. Just play with the paint! Remember more water equals lighter, pastel-like colors, less water equals darker, more vibrant colors. Have fun and don’t overthink it. For this one, I made you a video. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions! I’m posting to YouTube so if you’d like to be notified of new videos, you can subscribe HERE.
4. Give Your Watercolor Painting to Someone You Love
Now go and give your painting to someone you cherish. Remind them of their potential or hang it in your home to help you remember 🙂 I hope this will be a fun little project and provide many happy memories. Please let me know if you have any questions. I am so happy to help.
And remember, your life is your art.
Your friend in Nature