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There’s nothing like colorful watercolor painting to brighten up a boring day indoors. And It doesn’t get much brighter or more fun than this easy watercolor butterfly painting for kids!
Fun & Funky Watercolor Butterfly Painting for Kids
Watch your kids’ eyes light up as the watercolor pigment magically mixes with just the dab of a watery paintbrush. And bask in the knowledge that you’re offering them an awesome creative experience to explore their self-expression. Plus, drawing their butterfly and maintaining brush control offer them great hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills practice, too.
So, take a break from your everyday and create something beautiful with your kids: a colorful watercolor butterfly painting!
Kids Watercolor Butterfly Painting Video:
But, before you get started, check out our video tutorial for this watercolor butterfly painting for kids…
Simple Watercolor Butterfly Painting Supplies:
Super fun, right? And it’s an easy art project for younger kids and beginners, too. So, let’s get started.
All you need is some basic kids art supplies; things that you probably already have on hand: some watercolor paints, watercolor paper (or other thick white paper), a black crayon (or black oil pastel), and markers.
You can use any brand of watercolor, I’ve loved Prang watercolors since my art teaching days. They’re AP certified non-toxic, so they’re great for kids of all ages. And, I love how the intense wax-free pigment lays down such vibrant color on the paper. No blah washed-out colors here!
Easy Watercolor Butterfly Painting Instructions:
Now, to start your kids watercolor butterfly painting, you simply use a black crayon to draw a big butterfly shape on your watercolor paper. I added antennae and black stripes to my butterfly’s body, but you should let your kids be creative with their butterfly drawing. There’s no wrong way to draw the butterfly, but the bigger the better.
Then, use the black crayon to add some swirly, curvy black lines inside each butterfly wing. The goal of this is to break the wings up into funky abstract shapes.
Now, for the fun part! Grab your watercolor paints and paintbrush, a cup of water and some paper towels, and paint a bright color in each shape inside the butterfly wings. You’ll discover that the waxy crayon lines act as barriers that the watercolor paint can’t cross, which keeps paint colors from mixing and getting “muddy.”
I stuck with four different colors for inside my butterfly: red, orange, yellow, and purple. I left blue and green to use in my background. But it really doesn’t matter which colors you use, just try not to have the same color in shapes that touch one another.
Next, you’ll use the wet-on-wet watercolor technique to paint the background. To do this, paint large sections of the background with clean water, then touch a color-filled watercolor brush lightly onto the still-wet paper. Watch the kid’s eyes light up when they see the rich colors expand and bleed into one another!
When you’re all done painting, allow your butterfly watercolor painting to dry fully. The next steps would be good for more kids art fun the following day.
Drawing Patterns on Your Butterfly Painting
With your butterfly art dry, it’s time to move on to adding patterns. Use markers to draw a different pattern in each of the shapes inside the butterfly wings. It’s okay if you repeat patterns but try not to have the same pattern next to another shape with that pattern.
Again, you can use any brand of washable markers, but I love Prang brand art markers. The colors are really bright, and they won’t dry out even if the cap is left off for over 24 hours!
I decided to use specific marker colors for each shape color (all yellow shapes had purple marker patterns, all orange shapes had red marker patterns, etc.). I also used markers to add some rainbow striped to my butterfly’s body. But, of course, always choose creativity over rules and let the kids make their own creative choices!
That’s it! Your budding artist has painted a brilliant butterfly. And hopefully, you’ve found some happiness and joy while doing it with your kids, too.
Our Beautiful Watercolor Butterfly Painting Masterpieces
I didn’t want to bug my kids too much while they were creating, but I did get one photo of Priscilla painting her butterfly.
J.C. had fun doing this easy watercolor painting project, too! His painting is the bottom one in the photo below. Priscilla’s finished masterpiece is the top one.
Learning Extensions for this Watercolor Butterfly Painting for Kids:
- Add some art history by showing your kids examples of Pop Art by Romero Britto, Roy Lichtenstein, and Keith Haring.
- Use this watercolor painting as a warm vs. cool colors art lesson. Have the kids use only warm colors in the butterfly and cool colors in the background. Or vice versa.
- Talk about the use of the element of line for making patterns. Practice using lines to make patterns before adding them to the butterfly wings.
- Try a different subject matter! You could use basic shapes instead of a butterfly shape for preschoolers learning their shapes.
Full Watercolor Butterfly Painting Tutorial:
Fun & Funky Watercolor Butterfly Painting for Kids
- Use a black crayon to draw a big butterfly shape on a piece of watercolor paper.
- Use black crayon to draw swirly, curvy lines inside the wings, breaking them up into abstract shapes.
- Use watercolor paints to paint a bright color in each shape inside the wings. Repeat colors, if desired, but try not to paint a color next to the same color.
- Use the wet-on-wet watercolor technique to paint the background: paint the background with clean water, then touch a color-filled watercolor brush onto the still-wet paper and watch the color spread and bleed. Repeat, with different colors if desired, until entire background is painted.
- Once the painting is dry, use washable markers to draw different patterns inside each shape inside the wings. Repeat patterns if desired, but try not to draw a pattern next to the same pattern.
Kids Watercolor Butterfly Painting Supplies on Amazon:
Get everything you need for your own colorful watercolor butterfly painting right on Amazon…
Plus, find all of our favorite art supplies for kids in B-Inspired Mama’s Amazon Shop: Awesome Kids Art and Craft Supplies
Like this Kids Butterfly Painting Idea? Save It & Share It!
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More Fun Art Projects and Painting Ideas for Kids:
- Exploring Complementary Colors with a “Magic Colors” Kids Art Project
- Fingerprint Pointillism Painting for Kids — Inspired by Seurat
- Silly Sensory Ball Kids Painting
- 7 STEAM Art Activities Your Kids Will Love