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How to Draw a Butterfly

Learn how to draw a butterfly and you have the perfect place to practice your symmetrical drawing. Break it into simple steps to keep it fun and easy.

A finished butterfly drawing with crayons.
Time lapse of a butterfly drawing.

It’s not too hard to understand why so many children AND adults are fascinated with butterflies. Their color and delicate beauty make them endlessly fun to look at.

Many internet tutorials for learning how to draw them, however, I found to be overly simple (as in wings with a few circles) or overly complex (complete monarchs with dozens of shapes).

This project is intended to land in the middle. The outline of the wings land on the center guides, to help students get started, and there are just enough shapes inside to give a realistic look, without getting forever lost in them.

TIP: Try challenging your students to layer crayon color to jazz up their background. You don’t have to use oil pastels to do it, pressing hard with crayons and laying down lots of waxy color can look amazing too! Scroll down to see this lovely purple coloring option.

Preview of the butterfly step by step tutorial


  • Draw a Butterfly PDF Tutorial (join my email list above to get your own PDF)
  • Drawing paper
  • Black marker
  • Crayons


Time needed: 1 hour.

How to Draw a Butterfly

  1. Draw the body and head on the center line.

  2. Add two symmetrical top wings.

  3. Draw two symmetrical bottom wings.

  4. Start the symmetrical shapes on top.

  5. Finish the symmetrical shapes.

  6. Start the bottom symmetrical shapes.

  7. Add two more shapes on each side.

  8. Finish the bottom shapes and add antennae.

  9. Trace with a marker and color.

Free Butterfly Coloring Pages

butterfly coloring pages
Fancy Butterfly Coloring Page (click to open PDF)
Butterfly with Lines Coloring Page (click to open PDF)
Butterfly with Spots Coloring Page (click to open PDF)

More Fun Insect Drawing Projects

How to Draw a Luna Moth
How to Draw a Chameleon
How to draw a caterpillar
How to Draw a Caterpillar
Crayon drawing with watercolor paint added

Fun ways to decorate with Butterflies

My old art room in Sherman Oaks, California, painted with butterflies!

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