How To Draw A Monarch Butterfly

This tutorial will teach you how to draw a monarch butterfly!

Monarch butterflies are easily the most widely recognized of their species. They are well known for their striking orange and black wings as well as the incredible mass migration that takes place every year bringing millions of them into Mexico and the southern US.

how to draw butterfly

The origin of the name monarch is somewhat disputed. It may have been given it’s name because of it’s regal appearance. The butterflies may also have been named after King William III of England. Before becoming king he was called Prince William of Orange. Orange refers to the Principality of Orange in what is today southern France.

From their infancy as caterpillars throughout their life as butterflies monarchs eat milkweed plants exclusively. This diet makes monarchs poisonous to potential predators. The bright color the butterflies are known for is actually a warning to potential predators indicating they are both foul-tasting and poisonous. While other insects and animals may seek camouflage to hide from danger monarch butterflies stand out to let other know not to mess with them.

Step 1

Draw the very outer edges of the wings.

The wings of the butterfly actually consist of two separate sets of wings. One above and larger than the other.


Step 2

The designs on the monarch butterfly wings seems complicated at first but we will we be building them step by step. They are simpler than they first appear.

Draw the edges of the parts that are colored orange.


Step 3

These are the black lines on the wings (they are colored red here to help you see them).

You can draw the lines on your butterfly just like the ones pictured here. That will make it look more accurate and more like real monarch butterfly. You can of course make your own designs and patterns though. It’s your drawing so feel free to experiment.


Step 4

Draw shapes on the wings. These will later be colored orange.


Step 5

These lines will indicate the white parts of the wings.

Draw curved shapes running along the edges of the wings. Sketch circles above each of them.


Step 6

Up until this point your butterfly may have looked like just a bunch of random lines and blobs. Color the area around the lines and blobs black. Now our butterfly drawing is really beginning to come to life!


Step 7

Of course those wings have to attached to something. Draw the butterflies body and it’s antenna.

butterfly line drawing

Step 8

That’s it!. Now it’s time to color your butterfly wings. Choose whatever medium you like best whether it’s colored pencils, water colors, or digital painting. Those vibrant orange shades are what will really make your drawing pop.

butterfly drawing

Congratulations on finishing the How To Draw A Monarch Butterfly tutorial!

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