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
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. These make up the three 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 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 extra 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 edge to the thorax (upper body). Repeat on both sides.
- Draw two antennae from the center of the head, going out in different directions.
- Draw a swirl or circle at the end.
Adding Details to the Butterfly Drawing
- 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 three 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.
Painting the Butterfly Drawing
I usually complete the activity over two days or periods. 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 watercolor 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 typically included with watercolor paint sets.
Use watercolor 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 not to let it run anywhere or in the eyes.
Paint different parts of the butterfly’s wings in various bright colors (yellow, pink, green, blue, purple). Use one color completely before moving on to the next color.
You could continue to paint the background a different color or leave it as is. The butterfly 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 a mistake and hang them or put 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.
Try the Butterfly Directed Drawing Today!
You can download and print the instructions for how to draw a butterfly to use in your classroom during your art lesson. Download by clicking the image below.
Directed Drawing Mats
Add directed drawings to your weekly lesson plans to help children follow directions and build drawing skills. There are five different directed drawings included each month of Drawing Mats!
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Love your directed drawings. What type of paper do you use? Your mentioned that you use larger paint brushes than what comes with the watercolors. What paint brushes do you use?
Proud to be Primary
Thank you, Molly. I recommend art paper meant for paint rather than regular white paper (computer paper ha!). My paintbrushes are from the dollar store. Nothing special really just larger than the ones that come with the watercolor paint sets. You can find premium paper and paintbrushes at any Michael’s stores.
What kind of water colors do you use? They are so bright, I love them!
Proud to be Primary
Hi Darcie. I use Crayola watercolor paints. I buy the large pack with many colors including those bright pastels.
Is there a link to get the written step by steps to print out?
Proud to be Primary
Hi there! If the click here popup doesn’t work above please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.