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How to Draw a Cartoon Butterfly

Easy, step by step Cartoon Butterfly drawing tutorial
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You can learn how to draw a cartoon butterfly that is beautiful and realistic. How? With the help of this cartoon drawing guide!

Butterflies are insects found around the world. In fact, there are about 17,500 different butterfly species. They have large wings made colorful by tiny scales. Butterflies undergo a complete metamorphosis; their life cycle includes egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

Did you know? Butterflies taste with their feet and drink from mud puddles to get essential minerals. Here are some more interesting butterfly facts:

  • Why are there no butterflies in winter? One reason is that their primary food source, flowers, are not blooming. Another is that they can't fly at temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When a butterfly is born, its straw-like mouth, called a proboscis, is in two pieces. You might see a newly hatched butterfly curling and uncurling its straw as it works the pieces into a single tube.
  • Butterflies only eat liquid. This can include flower nectar, mud, and occasionally juices from a dead animal!
  • Butterflies begin life as caterpillars. While inside the chrysalis, the components of the caterpillar's body liquefy and are rebuilt into the butterfly body!
  • Most butterflies live only a few weeks. Some, like the monarch butterfly, live for nine months and make one of the most amazing migrations on the planet.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Praying Mantis, Moth, and Mosquito.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Cartoon Butterfly

Cartoon Butterfly drawing - step 1
cartoon butterfly step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 01

1. Begin by drawing the butterfly's head. First, draw an oval to form the large compound eye. Enclose another, larger oval partially hidden by the first to form the head.

Use a curved line to enclose another partial oval on the opposite side of the head, indicating the remaining eye. Then, extend a series of short curved lines that meet at jagged points to begin sketching the butterfly's thorax or midsection.

Cartoon Butterfly drawing - step 2
cartoon butterfly step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 02

2. Continue to outline the oval-shaped thorax using a series of curved lines that meet at jagged points. From the back of the thorax, extend a long curved line and double it back upon itself to form the abdomen.

Cartoon Butterfly drawing - step 3
cartoon butterfly step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 03

3. Next, draw the butterfly's antennae. Extend two long curved lines from the head, and draw a small oval at the end of each.

Draw the first of the butterfly's legs using two narrowly spaced "L" shaped lines. Finally, band the abdomen with curved lines.

Cartoon Butterfly drawing - step 4
cartoon butterfly step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 04

4. Draw more legs, erasing as necessary. Again, use two "L" shaped lines for each leg. Connect the lines with curved lines where they meet the body. From the tip of each leg, extend a curved line and double it back upon itself to form the foot.

Cartoon Butterfly drawing - step 5
cartoon butterfly step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 05

5. Continue drawing the butterfly's legs. Use "L" shaped lines for each leg, with curved lines at the top and to form the foot.

Cartoon Butterfly drawing - step 6
cartoon butterfly step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 06

6. Draw the final leg in the same manner as the previous. Butterflies have a total of six legs. Then, begin to sketch the delicate wing. Extend a long curved line from the back of the head. Double it back upon itself at the top, and extend it outward to trace the wavy edge of the wing.

Cartoon Butterfly drawing - step 7
cartoon butterfly step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 07

7. Draw the remaining forewing. Extend a long curved line from the back of the thorax. Double it back upon itself, noting the wavy edge. Then, use another curved line to enclose the rear wing.

Cartoon Butterfly drawing - step 8
cartoon butterfly step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 08

8. Add details to the wings. Use connected "U" shaped lines.

Cartoon Butterfly drawing - step 9
cartoon butterfly step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 09

9. Add even more detail to the wings. Draw large teardrop shapes near the edges.

Complete Cartoon Butterfly drawing
cartoon butterfly step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 10

Color your butterfly. Create your own unique pattern, or look up real butterfly species and match their colors.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

The Complete Cartoon Butterfly Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Cartoon Butterfly - all drawing steps
how to draw a cartoon butterfly step by step tutorial image

Printable Drawing Tutorial

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