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Lesson Plans » Butterfly Painting Lesson Plan

Butterfly Painting Lesson Plan

A crayon drawing filled with watercolor shapes


Day One:
  1. Talk about BUTTERFLIES and LEAVES.
    • Using examples show different kinds of butterflies.
    • Emphasize the symmetry of the wings and the different shapes within both the butterflies and the leaves
  2. Show shape sampler.
    • Have students draw their own ideas of shapes for the butterfly and leaves. 
  3. Discuss the art materials.
    • Show how crayon resists watercolor paints. 
  4. Start by making a pencil sketch of the butterfly and leaves.
    • The majority of the space should be filled with the butterfly. 
    • Students may practice on scrap paper. 
  5. Go over the pencil lines with a black crayon.
    • Press down firmly. 
    • Make sure to erase or cover all pencil lines. 
  6. Add shapes on the wings and body.
    • Refer to the pattern sampler. 
  7. Add the leaves.
    • Use examples and books as reference.
Day Two:
  1. Students can begin using watercolors when drawings are done.
    • Start with the background, use ONLY green. 
    • Yellow and blue may be mixed with the green to achieve some variation.
  2. Use bright colors for the butterfly.
    • Avoid using green
    • Fill in the shapes with different colors
    • Each side should be symmetrical.
  3. Add finishing touches such as butterfly detail (facial features & antennae)
    • Make sure that pictures are complete.
    • Students name should be printed on the front, 1″ away from the paper edge.
    • Record the student name, grade/teacher and school, in pencil, on the back of the artwork.
Special thanks to Nancy Murphy, Art Educator @ Alpharetta, GA for this lesson plan!

Age Group

Grades K-1




2-3 Class Sessions


  • 8 1/2″ x 11″ white art paper
  • watercolor paints & brushes
  • black crayons
  • shape sampler
  • books about butterflies
  • examples of butterflies & leaves
  • example of the project
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