How to Draw a Cartoon Butterfly

Cartoon butterfly drawing

Here in this lesson, let's draw a cute-looking *and very special* cartoon butterfly, one based on the vibrant "blue morpho" butterflies, seen in the rainforests of Central America!

It's true - this lesson *is* a little bit on the difficult side, given the intricate overlapping pattern I designed for the wings.

Really, if it wasn't for the 3D nature in the wings, it would be much simpler. An idea, if it does seem a bit too much, don't worry so much about how the wing pattern comes together - just focus on getting everything in place.

OK - let's begin!

How to Draw a Cartoon Butterfly

Really, butterflies are simple to create.

Their forms can be broken down into just a few simple shapes - and for the purpose of this lesson... I went with ovals.

If you like - to make things easier - try and visualize the butterfly as more of a 2D drawing. Here, I've got mine tilted at a 3/4 angle. See if you can "see" this image - flat, on your paper.

This way, you can put more effort into the creative design part - focusing on the neat wing pattern that makes this butterfly so unique.

Here's the structure...

Framework for drawing a cartoon butterfly


First thing then - begin drawing the face of your cartoon butterfly, and also - sketch in the very first line for the underside of its body.

Like so...

Drawing the body and face of the cartoon butterfly

And next up - fading what we just drew, out to grey...

Complete the face with a few more lines like so - and then move on down to the very bottom, bringing into view *the very first* sections of its wings.

Here's how it looks...

Completing the face of the cartoon butterfly

Moving on up from the first wing sections - in an overlapping fashion, keep right on going with the next couple of areas.

You can use the framework in behind as a guideline *if it helps*. And yes, especially given that balance and symmetry are important to maintain, those faded lines underneath really can help with perspective - as you progress...

Drawing the lower wings of the butterfly

Another "wing layer" to draw - and then, move on up to the upper part of the wings.

Notice how what we see on the left wing - is shorter - than what we see on the right wing? This is because the left side (as seen from the observer - you) is actually tilted slightly, back and away from your eye.

It's not *really* shorter.

It's just that, it would appear so - as we're taking "depth" into account. And yes, even if what I've drawn - isn't AN EXACT PERFECT REPRESENTATION...

We can still trick the brain into accepting this idea, as only a few subtle changes need to be made.

Does this make sense!? I hope so! :-)

Carrying on...

Starting the upper wings of the cartoon butterfly

More layers still - and our cute little cartoon butterfly - Blue Morpho style, of course!...

Is just about complete.

Drawing the upper wings of the cartoon butterfly

OK - here's a few more lines now, two simple curves that bring the top parts and bottom parts of the wings...


Drawing the middle part of the wings of the cartoon butterfly

Losing the framework in behind now, here's what my cartoon butterfly looks - black and white only...

Black and white drawing of a cartoon butterfly

And then of course - best part of all...

Drawing of a cartoon butterfly

Coloring our vibrant blue morpho cartoon butterfly...


And there you have it. What do you think? Did you enjoy this lesson? Well, I hope it was helpful to you.

As always, see you real soon for the next one! :-)