Art History Lab

Unleash Your Artistic Skills: Drawing a Realistic Monarch Butterfly

Drawing monarch butterflies is an impressive skill that captures a lot of attention and admiration from art lovers. This article aims to guide you through the process of drawing a realistic and detailed monarch butterfly using colored pencils and ballpoint pens.

In this article, you will learn the necessary materials required for this task and how to use them to produce an outstanding piece of artwork. You will also be introduced to the importance and versatility of this skill, giving you an idea of the numerous artwork ideas you can create.

So, let’s start exploring the world of monarch butterfly drawing!

to Drawing a Monarch Butterfly

Importance and versatility of drawing a Monarch Butterfly

Starting with the importance of drawing a monarch butterfly, we can see that this skill is considered a basic artistic ability that can be used in various forms of artwork. The monarch butterfly represents beauty, life, and transformation, making it an attractive choice for creating meaningful artwork.

Additionally, drawing a monarch butterfly helps hone your artistic abilities, allowing you to develop your skills in a new direction. Furthermore, drawing a monarch butterfly may inspire you to create art with themes about nature, conservation, and environmental impact.

You can use the beautiful and intricate patterns on the butterfly’s wings to add your unique style and message to your art.

Tutorial overview and objective

The objective of this tutorial is to teach you how to create a realistic and detailed monarch butterfly using colored pencils and ballpoint pens. The tutorial will guide you through a step-by-step process that will enable you to create a beautiful and captivating piece of artwork.

The main aim of this tutorial is to ensure you understand the process of drawing a monarch butterfly and can apply the same skills to other pieces of art with confidence. The tutorial is designed for both beginners and experienced artists who want to explore new drawing skills that can work with a range of materials.

Necessary Materials for Drawing a Monarch Butterfly

List of Materials Needed

To start drawing a monarch butterfly, you will need the following materials:

– Colored pencils: A set of high-quality colored pencils is necessary for creating bold, striking colors on your butterfly. – Ballpoint pen: A ballpoint pen is ideal for adding fine, intricate details to your drawing, particularly on the butterfly’s wings.

– Micron pen: A micron pen is useful for adding sharper, more intricate details to your artwork. – Eraser: An eraser is necessary to correct any unwanted marks on your drawing.

– Sharpener: A sharpener to create a fine point to your colored pencils. – Paper: The paper you use for your artwork must be of superior quality to make sure your artwork looks its best.

Importance of using recommended materials

It is essential to use all the recommended materials for drawing a monarch butterfly to produce artwork of high quality. In particular, high-quality colored pencils are critical to creating the vibrant and detailed colors of your butterfly.

A sharpener should also be used to provide you with a fine point to your colored pencils. This will enable you to produce fine details on your butterfly’s wings with precision.

Moreover, using the recommended eraser with proper care will keep your artwork clean from any unwanted marks. Finally, choosing the right paper for your artwork is crucial.

High-quality paper creates better results, and the colors stand out more vibrantly compared to lower quality paper. High-quality paper also helps you to be more precise and tidy in your work, leading to a sharper and more defined finished product.


In conclusion, the process of drawing a monarch butterfly is a fascinating skill that requires creativity, precision, and patience. Creating a detailed and realistic monarch butterfly using colored pencils and ballpoint pens requires necessary materials and attention to detail.

Using the recommended materials is an essential step in ensuring your artwork looks its best, and you produce the best results possible. We hope this tutorial has provided you with the information you need to start creating your masterpieces.

Enjoy the process, and we look forward to admiring your artwork created using these skills.

Step-by-Step Guide on Drawing a Monarch Butterfly

Drawing a monarch butterfly can be quite an enjoyable process. From sketching the outline to adding the last layer of color, this step-by-step guide will help you create a beautiful and realistic monarch butterfly drawing.

Sketching the Butterfly Outline

The first step in drawing a monarch butterfly is to sketch its outline. Begin with pencil sketching the upper wings and then the lower wings.

Using a pencil will enable you to make changes if necessary without worrying about ruining your artwork. Include the four wings and the body in your sketch.

Sketching Patterns on the Butterfly Wings

After sketching the outline, the next step is to create the pattern on the butterfly’s wings. Take note that monarch butterfly wings have a complex pattern of black veins and cells that add texture and detail to the butterfly.

Sketch the cells and veins in the upper wings and then lower wings. To create a more symmetrical effect, replicate the pattern of the upper wings in the lower wings.

Adding the First Layer of Color

Now, it’s time to use your colored pencils to add the first layer of color to your monarch butterfly. Begin by coloring the entire butterfly orange.

Add yellow or red to areas where the orange color is lighter or fainter. Make sure to blend the colors as you go to create the desired orange coloration.

As you add the color, also consider leaving some of the cells blank for added texture.

Adding Black to the Upper Wings

To add depth to your monarch butterfly, use a black marker or micron pen to outline the upper wings. You can begin by going over the veins you sketched earlier, then also add stippling marks where the cells meet the veins.

If necessary, darken the outline of the cells. This will add more detail and texture to your butterfly.

Adding Black to the Lower Wings

Next, use the same pen to bring out the textural qualities of the lower wings. Again, outlining the veins on the lower wings and adding stippling marks will help add depth to your artwork.

Adding the Last Layer of Color

Now that you have deepened the darkness of the veins and cells, it’s time to add the last layer of color. In this step, you should deepen the orange color on the body of the butterfly, along the edges of the wings and in the cells of the wings.

Blend multiple oranges and reds to create the desired coloration and depth in your butterfly.

Tips and FAQs for Drawing a Monarch Butterfly

Tips for a Successful Drawing

– Start with a light pencil sketch to avoid making any mistakes that cannot be undone. – Blend colors as you go to create the desired color and texture.

– Draw the butterfly with symmetry in mind. – Leave margin cells blank to create a more textured and complex pattern.

– Use stippling marks to create more texture and depth. – Deepen the colors of the butterfly to create more realistic-looking artwork.

Answering Frequently Asked Questions About Drawing Monarch Butterflies

Question: What are the patterns on a monarch butterfly? Answer: The black patterns on the wings of a monarch butterfly are a complex pattern of veins and cells that add a unique texture and detail to the butterfly.

Question: How should I color my monarch butterfly? Answer: Begin with a first layer of orange and then add yellow or red to areas where the orange color is lighter.

Use the tip of the colored pencil to blend the colors together to create a smooth transition. Question: Why is the monarch butterfly orange?

Answer: The primary colors of a monarch butterfly provide camouflage helping the butterfly blend in with the background while avoiding predators. Question: How do I create the black streaks on a monarch butterfly?

Answer: You can create the dark veins and black streaks on the wings of a monarch butterfly with a fine-tipped marker pen or micron pen. Start on the outer edge of the cells and work toward the middle, playing with varying pressure on the pen to create different widths of lines.

In conclusion, drawing a monarch butterfly requires focus, patience, and attention to detail. With the right materials and techniques, you can create a beautiful and realistic art piece showcasing the complex patterns of the butterfly’s wings.

By following our step-by-step guide, you can create your monarch butterfly and bring your artwork skills to the next level.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on Drawing a Monarch Butterfly

Drawing a monarch butterfly may seem daunting at first, but with the right materials, technique, and practice, it is indeed possible for anyone. The intricate patterns on the butterfly’s wings and its vibrant coloration provide the perfect material to showcase your artistic skills.

Importance of a Well-Drawn Sketch

Having an accurate sketch is crucial in creating a realistic monarch butterfly drawing. As you sketch, ensure that you pay attention to the proportions of the butterfly’s wings, its body, and its posture.

Adequate sketching will give you a direction on which to add patterns, the veins, the cells, and the color. Another critical detail to capture in your sketch is the monarch butterfly’s outline as it appears when flying.

This will help preserve the butterfly’s dynamic and elegant nature, even in visual form.

Final Steps in Creating a Realistic Monarch Butterfly Drawing

The final steps of creating a realistic monarch butterfly involve creating depth and texture on the wings. Using stippling marks and black detailing, you can achieve a translucent quality and add dimension to the butterfly.

To create the black streaks, begin on the outer edge of the cell and drag the pen or pencil inward, thinning the pressure as you approach the middle. This technique will create the illusion of depth and perspective on the butterfly’s wings.

Furthermore, adding some white or yellow at the edges of the butterfly’s wings can give more depth to the translucent quality. Similarly, blending the color hue with colored pencils can deepen the color and create a more vibrant, realistic-looking monarch butterfly.

Try not to overdo the coloration by using too many colors. Instead, layer the colors to create a more subtle, natural appearance.

With these final touches, your beautiful and detailed monarch butterfly drawing is complete. With practice, you can further improve and develop the skills necessary to create stunning art pieces in other areas.


Drawing a monarch butterfly can be a challenging but rewarding activity, especially when you follow the steps outlined in this article. Starting with a light sketch, coloration with colored pencils, and adding the final finishing details, the end result is an eye-catching, detailed, and realistic artwork.

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with the necessary insights on how to create your monarch butterfly drawing accurately and quickly. With the right tools, technique, and practice, you will end up with not only a beautiful piece of art but an important addition to your art collection.

Good luck as you try out these tips and final steps as you take on this artistic endeavor. Drawing a monarch butterfly is an engaging and versatile skill that allows artists to create stunning artwork with intricate patterns and vibrant colors.

This step-by-step guide has provided valuable insights into the necessary materials and techniques needed to create a realistic monarch butterfly drawing. From sketching the outline and patterns to adding color and depth, each step is crucial in capturing the essence and beauty of these enchanting creatures.

By following this guide and practicing these skills, artists can unlock their creativity and create captivating pieces of art that showcase the intricate details and majestic nature of the monarch butterfly. So, pick up your pencils and pens, and let your imagination take flight with the monarch butterfly.

Popular Posts