Teach students how to draw a butterfly with an easy to teach, step-by-step lesson. Kindergarten and primary kids love directed drawings!
How to Draw a Butterfly: 6 Kid-Friendly Steps
This spring butterfly directed drawing creates a beautiful result and perfect for your spring lessons.
Materials for How to Draw a Butterfly
This directed drawing can be adapted for any primary classroom or completed at home with a few simple materials. You will need white art paper, pencils, erasers, fine black markers or Sharpie pens, and watercolor paints. I recommend proper paper meant for art because it can handle the water and paint and shouldn’t tear the paper if used properly.
When teaching this art lesson to a class I recommend standing front and center and using a large easel and chart paper to draw on. Students can sit at their desks with their supplies. I take things slow and draw each step and give each instruction one at a time. I give my students plenty of time to follow along and ask questions. You will have the most success if you model the lesson this way and take your time.
Directions for How to Draw a Butterfly
Below are all the steps for how to draw a butterfly.
Place a large white piece of art paper in landscape orientation. Starting in the middle of the page draw a small circle. Add an oval going down from the circle and another smaller oval from the bottom. This is the 3 parts of a butterflies’ body (head, thorax, and abdomen).
To draw large upper wings, start on one side first and then the other. Draw a curved wing shape starting below the head up, around, and then connect it at the bottom of the thorax (middle body). Repeat on the other side.
To create the smaller lower wings, start at the outer corner of the top wing and draw a curved wing shape down and back up connecting with the bottom of the abdomen (lower body). Repeat on the other side.
Now add the designs to the butterfly’s wings. You can let children to get creative here and give them some examples or they can follow the steps.
Start by drawing a curved line along the inside of each lower wing. Follow that with a scalloped line inside. Finish with a circle in the center of the leftover space.
For the upper wings, start again with a curved line inside of each upper wing. Follow that with a scalloped line inside that. Draw a curved line from each inner point of the scalloped line to the thorax (upper body). Repeat on both sides.
Draw 2 antennae from the center of the head going out in different directions. Draw a swirl or circle at the end.
Adding details to the face is optional and would not take away any beauty if left blank. To add the details for the eyes, draw two circles at the top of the head. Draw small curves at the top for eyelids. Add 3 small eyelashes. Draw and color in pupils, leaving a small spot of white in each eye. Add a small smile and a tiny heart-shaped nose, if you wish.
Use a fine point black marker or Sharpie pen to trace all the lines of your spring butterfly directed drawing. Erase the pencil lines with a good white eraser.
I usually complete the activity over two days or periods of time. On day one we complete the drawing and the tracing with a black marker. One day two we paint. If your class hasn’t used watercolour paints before, you should demonstrate how to make proper brush strokes with a paintbrush and the water to paint ratio. I usually use larger paintbrushes instead of the small ones that are normally included with watercolour paint sets.
Use watercolour paints to paint the body of the butterfly first, starting in the center and working your way outward. I used black for the entire body, being careful to not let it run anywhere or in the eyes.
Paint different parts of the butterfly’s wings in different bright colours (yellow, pink, green, blue, purple). Use one colour completely before moving on to the next colour.
You could continue to paint the background a different colour or leave it as is. The butterfly really pops when left against a white background. You could also cut the butterflies out and glue onto construction or other special paper.
Once everyone completes their spring butterfly directed drawing, they place them somewhere to dry completely. Don’t make the mistake to hang them or place them upright. Paint and water would drip down onto the butterflies. Once dry, I recommend hanging them up or creating a fun bulletin board display for spring.
You can download and print the instructions for how to draw a butterfly to use in your classroom during your art lesson HERE.
Directed Drawing Mats
Add directed drawings to your weekly lesson plans to help children follow directions and build drawing skills. There are 5 different directed drawings included each month of Drawing Mats!
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