How to Draw a Monarch Butterfly

Easy, step by step Monarch Butterfly drawing tutorial
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According to National Geographic, "The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable and well-studied butterflies on the planet." It is famous for its epic seasonal migration, in which "millions of monarchs migrate from the United States and Canada south to California and Mexico for the winter." Monarch butterflies also live in Europe, Australia, and several Pacific islands.

Each butterfly begins its life as a caterpillar. Caterpillars hatch from eggs and feed on the milkweed plant - the only plant which these young butterflies can eat. After a few weeks, the caterpillars encase themselves in a chrysalis. Their bodies practically dissolve and reform into that of the adult butterfly.

Did you know? Milkweed gives monarch butterflies a special defense. The butterfly stores toxins from the plant in its body. This makes them taste bad and even poisonous to birds.

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Butterflies have long been seen in artwork. Some of the oldest dates from 3,500 years ago. In many cultures, the butterfly symbolized the soul. Today, butterflies are still a common motif in jewelry, clothing, décor, and other items.

Butterflies are also seen in animation. In Disney's A Bug's Life, Heimlich the caterpillar dreams of becoming a butterfly. When he finally does, his wings are tiny compared to his large body.

Would you like to draw a cartoon of a regal monarch butterfly? This easy, step-by-step cartoon butterfly drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper. You'll likely want to color your creation, so have some crayons, markers, or colored pencils handy.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Butterfly in Cartoon Style, Cute Caterpillar, and Flower Garden.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly drawing - step 1
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing the basic shapes of the butterfly's body. Draw a circle for the head, an oval for the thorax or midsection, and a long narrow oval for the abdomen. Each of the shapes should overlap the ones beside it.

Monarch Butterfly drawing - step 2
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly: Step 2

2.Erase overlapping lines from the head and thorax. Then, extend two long curved lines from the head to form the antennae. From each side of the thorax, extend a long curved line and double it back upon itself to form the wing.

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Monarch Butterfly drawing - step 3
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly: Step 3

3. Extend a long curved line from the bottom of each wing and double it back to attach to the abdomen. This encloses the remaining wings.

Monarch Butterfly drawing - step 4
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly: Step 4

4. Band the abdomen with short curved lines.

Monarch Butterfly drawing - step 5
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly: Step 5

5. Detail the forewings of the butterfly. Within each wing, extend a pair of curved lines from the thorax, and let them meet at a point. Then, draw teardrop shapes near the top of the wing and ovals along its side.

Monarch Butterfly drawing - step 6
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly: Step 6

6. Detail the hindwings. Within each wing, draw a curved line roughly parallel to the outline of the wing. Then, draw teardrop shapes and ovals along the edge of the wing.

Monarch Butterfly drawing - step 7
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly: Step 7

7. Add further detail to the forewings. Draw curved horizontal lines from the thorax to the edge of the wing section. Then, draw curved lines between them.

Monarch Butterfly drawing - step 8
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly: Step 8

8. Detail the hindwings. Extend a curved line into the inner section of the hindwing. Double it back upon itself. Then, draw curved lines from this shape to the edge of the inner section.

Monarch Butterfly drawing - step 9
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly: Step 9

9. Detail the head and thorax of the butterfly. Enclose a wavy shape between the antennae to indicate the proboscis or mouth. Enclose ovals overlapping the sides of the head to form the eyes. Erase as necessary. Then, draw small ovals and teardrop shapes on the butterfly's back.

Complete Monarch Butterfly drawing
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly: Step 10

Color your cartoon monarch butterfly. This beautiful species is orange, black, and white.

Give your butterfly a safe place to live - learn to draw a butterfly garden.

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The Complete Monarch Butterfly Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Monarch Butterfly - all drawing steps
How to Draw Monarch Butterfly

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