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Art Studio P A L E T T E
Lesson #1

Graphic drawing "Butterfly"

Since an early age, the bright, surprisingly beautiful form of the butterfly attracts children's imagination. Not thinking about correctness of form, a child sees the main thing - colored wings, and it draws them, sometimes, even without a trunk. Although it seems that the butterfly has a simple form, the children visualize it incorrectly, and therefore have difficulties to portray its image even at the older age.
Preparation for work:
Pencil, paper, some photos of various butterflies and choice of one of them for the sample.
Let's study the form:
So, any picture begins not only with a pencil and a paper, but also with studying a structure of the form of the represented object. For a start it is preferable to use a relatively flat form. The butterfly is the ideal symmetrically constructed form for it. If we look closely at the photos of the butterfly, we will see two pairs of wings and a body consisting of three parts:
  1. A head with big eyes and distinct antennas
  2. A trunk with two pairs of wings attached to it
  3. An extended tail
The form of wings varies in different types, but always, the pair located on top has distinct differences in comparison with the pair located on bottom.
Now we are going to make a composition on paper:
Let's take a look at the form as a whole, without going into details. By making imaginary lines on the edges of the spread out butterfly, we are going to put it in a simple geometrical form which in the end will resemble a trapezoid. We are going to place that trapezoid on the paper. The position of the sheet of paper will depend on whether the dimensions of the trapezoid are horizontal or vertical. Therefore it is more convenient to allocate more space for wings and to arrange the sheet of paper horizontally. Then draw a vertical line in the middle of the paper to divide it into two equal parts, as the form of the butterfly is symmetric. Let's find a proper correlation of a spot on the trapezoid to the size of the paper, not too big and not too small, but normal by dimensions. Pic.1
Lesson 1. Graphic drawing Butterfly. Pic. 1
Now let's start to draw:
We will start with the placement of the body on the vertical axis the size of which depends on where we place the entire trunk in correlation to the wings. Make a drawing of the head, trunk and tail. We will divide the trapezoid by drawing a horizontal line in the middle of the trunk, and by doing that we will have four parts and define a place for the top and bottom wings. Starting with the left top wing, we draw a line from the trunk up to the end of the top line of the trapezoid. Then, in "mirror reflection" the same line, for the right wing. As you can see, step by step we carry out an outlining in the form of the wings. We should use only simple expressive line such as wavy, smooth, equal and etc. Make sure the remaining corners in the trapezoid are of equal size, as if we are cutting out the shape of the butterfly in it. By doing that we help ourselves to create the symmetric form. Pic.2
Lesson 1. Graphic drawing Butterfly. Pic. 2
Creation of the art image:
Let's take a good look at the pattern on wings of the butterfly, how interestingly nature has placed the lines. Try to imagine, how we can draw them without copying the natural form, but creating a unique image instead by using different kind of lines, texture, spots, strokes and dots. Here are some interesting images, created by my students after just the first few lessons. Isn't it true how good they are even without color.
Lesson 1. Graphic drawing Butterfly. Pic. 3 Lesson 1. Graphic drawing Butterfly. Pic. 4 Lesson 1. Graphic drawing Butterfly. Pic. 5 Lesson 1. Graphic drawing Butterfly. Pic. 6 Lesson 1. Graphic drawing Butterfly. Pic. 7