Painting A Butterfly in Watercolor

I have been experimenting with various ways to paint a butterfly in watercolor. Here is another painting that I completed recently using the same technique of blowing through a straw to move the paint & create the fine lines in the wings.


Butterfly 1a_________________________________________________

I could have left this painting just the way it was after the first step but I decided to add a background.


Butterfly 1b


Now the entire painting was too cool in color.

I needed a color that would neutralize the abundance of purples surrounding the butterfly.

I tested different washes on scrap paper until I found that a warm mix of Raw Sienna & a little Q Gold gave me the results I wanted.

I also overlayed a mask, which I applied with a fine tipped bottle, to save some of the ‘veins’ then I painted the wings closest to the body using a very dark color. I wanted an area of extreme contrast. When completely dried I removed the mask & maintained the lighter color within the wings.


The final step was to paint the insect’s body & antennae.


Butterfly 1c


I’m enjoying the exploration of each butterfly painting knowing  that with each painting I’m discovering new techniques and ideas which bring me closer to the exact results I’m striving for.

You can see my original post on painting transparent butterflies at


Paint with Me



~ by Lorraine Rimmelin on March 19, 2013.

2 Responses to “Painting A Butterfly in Watercolor”

  1. beautiful…very similar to a new artist I have recently discovered..jean haines. love your work and thanks so much for sharing and your inspiration!

  2. Thanks for giving me Jean Haines’ name. I went to her web site and felt so excited to see her amazing paintings…..BEAUTIFUL!

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