There’s something truly special about a watercolor butterfly painting. It draws you in as both an artist and the appreciative onlooker.
Perhaps because the same is true in nature. If you let yourself, it’s a bit hard to ignore one of these beautiful flying insects when one crosses your path.
Their intrigue grabs our gaze whether we see them fluttering about across a light breeze or landing on a plant, limb or flower and ever so slowly opening and closing their delicate butterfly wings before taking flight again.
As a real-world subject, these guys can be a color overload in the springtime if you’re on the lookout.
The water and paper medium lets you distill things down a bit if you want. Or, you can capture the intensity of mother nature’s vibrant color pallet using watercolor paints right on your paper.
Below are a variety of designs you can use to spark your creativity or give you an idea of what’s possible should you want to paint these subjects yourself or with your kids, or simply find a print for your decor at home or at your office.
Our Favorite Watercolor Butterfly Painting Collection
This painting offers a soft, indiscernible background with a subtle but eye-grabbing blue and golden-brown touch to a rounded winged butterfly.
Carefully dotted lines are dashed out with the tip of a thin brush to create the antennae.
There’s something interesting about this almost ice cold and winter-feeling palette that makes you wonder if winter has begun, and this guy or gal missed the call to migration.
A semi-whimsical flavor with a dark blue butterfly and unique details blend with similar surrounding colors.
A fun design where a more thick watercolor painting approach can almost mimic other types of painting techniques.
Fluttering just above one of nature’s masterpieces, cherry blossoms sweep under this magnificent winged creature.
This would look good in just about any home decor style, wouldn’t it?
Blending into it’s environment (but in a way not blending), this example mixes two different patterns to create the perfect kind of chaos right before your eyes.
It’s reminiscent of a musical playlist that has order but is upbeat and labeled as “focus work” music.
Invite a childlike minimalist style, and you end up with this three-color beauty that captivates and beckons you to smile and lets you feel just plain…good.
Deep pastels grab this subject with a protruding stem for it to land on so it can take a momentary pause in its busy day.
When you look at this guy (or gal), you can’t help but join in and let your glance linger as you take your own break.
Two glowing orange, colorful butterflies are painted against deep and vibrant contrasting greens in the background.
As these beautiful insects pollinate, they also spread pollen of happiness into your mind.
A more traditional scene, our subject seems to rest its light-colored butterfly body on the thin, spreading layers of colored water.
A lovely gentle approach to this subject with almost looks moth-like here.
Multiple eyes on this full wing-spread creature look back at you as you both share in each other’s natural wonder.
This is actually an amazing group of colors, coordinated brilliantly using lovely details. A black oil pastel can be used to attain a deeper black.
What do these deep, blue hues remind you of?
This beauty shows off power and intrigue as it rests its sweet, butterfly body following perhaps light spring rain.
A masterful swallowtail butterfly painted on a sea of colorful paints.
This rendition seems to encapsulate the life of a butterfly – soaring through all the beauty that our world has to offer, if only for a brief moment.
Lavender grows high in late spring as a matching friend soars confidently above.
Together these two subjects create a picturesque scene that any watercolor artist would be proud to paint.
Pencil out the details first, then grab your brushes and water!
How many faces to you see on these tomato red wings?
This one is definitely an eye-grabber (literally), whether in nature or as framed artwork brightening up your home.
I want to step into this image or print, breathe in the refreshing air, touch the cool green stems and just hang out with this pretty specimen.
Breaking all of the color mixing rules, this approach lands in that unique bucket.
Using the full canvas, it’s both bold and tantalizing. Glide over with oil pastels as a finishing touch and for a special effect.
Perfect for farmhouse decor, this washed out painting reminds you of days gone by.
The Monarch butterfly is always spectacular no matter the style.
Using colors you might find in a Japanese painting, these liquid watercolors give this simple scene life: A young pollinator doing its work on the extended branch filled with sweet tasting blossoms.
I could stare at this for a long time and just think…
Sometimes you just use your favorite colors and create a piece of art that shines out to the world and just represents who YOU are.
I love how the purple paints bleed a bit together in the complimentary background.
Fading pinks and a soft, yellow winged swallowtail try not to steal the show but capture a calming beauty nonetheless among the paints.
It’s probably one of the very few times that you don’t mind your view of a pretty flower close-up being blocked.
This one reaches for the sky with tiny hands imprinted on its beautiful butterfly wings that seem to also be reaching.
And see, you don’t always need flower petals, trees or plants in the scene!
Donning silky black, this bold beauty dives deep into a cloudy background of redness, which feels warm and inviting despite its intensity.
You could almost isolate the dark subject and use it to create a butterfly tattoo that would never be missed (IF that’s your thing).
Two pals discuss the day’s topics as they share a drink of nectar in these small golden-yellow flowers painted on top of fuzzy, green lines.
If you wanted even more yellow here, you could put these two subjects near a group of watercolor sunflowers. It would be spectacular!
An almost blue-green Monarch is painted in perfect action as it lands for a drink on pretty white flowers.
I hope you found some inspiration with these watercolor butterfly images. As with any art, color choices truly have no limits and provide no boundaries in how you can use them.
Watercolor is just that – the combination of any and all colors in a medium that lets you mix and blend to your heart’s content.
Butterflies are an amazing subject because they, themselves, seemingly have no end to the kinds and numbers of colors and patterns they present to us if we’re lucky enough to see one fluttering about outdoors.
If you love these guys, then you’ll certainly want to check out our watercolor hummingbird collection!
It’s no wonder we want to both paint them and adorn our homes with their undeniable enchantment.