Butterfly Drawings
(Sketching + Vector)

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Butterfly drawings are fun to make! It's even more fun when you have the opportunity to create a cool-looking character like this one! I have created a simple cartoon character made from basic shapes and ready to be filled with nice colors.

Butterflies are interesting because you can use any color you want. Unlike most animals or insects, there are no obvious rules when selecting colors to fill your character. Just use your imagination and have fun!

Step 1

Butterfly drawings

Of course, before adding colors we need to draw the butterfly! First, draw two small circles to represent the eyes. Then, sketch a long oval shape to illustrate the body.

Step 2

Butterfly drawings

Next, draw four medium rectangles to create the wings. You can also add two lines and two circles on top of the head to form the antennas. 

Step 3

Butterfly drawings

Complete the sketch by adding details like the mouth, the teeth, the pupils and the patterns on the wings. It's now time to replace the pencil by the vector application.

Step 4

Butterfly drawings

You can now create the outlines using simple black lines. I like to select lines that are narrower on both ends. The result is more dynamic and interesting. As you can see, I modified the position of the top wing on the right. Sometimes, part of the butterfly drawings are not accurate enough to be kept.

Step 5

Butterfly drawings

Create new shapes and place them below the lines drawn previously. You can add plain colors to these new shapes. A simple trick to avoid drawing these new shapes from scratch would be to duplicate the lines drawn in the previous step and close these new shapes. Simple, but effective!

Step 6

Butterfly drawings

Complete this step by adding patterns on the wings of the butterfly. Remember that you can select and use any color you think could give a nice result.

Step 7

Butterfly drawings

Now select the gradient tool and apply a second color on all shapes of the butterfly drawings. For each shape, select a similar (but darker) tone of color. Our goal is to create simple shadows that will be enhance later.

Step 8

Butterfly drawings

Create new shapes on the wings, the body and the antennas. Use a plain color to fill each shape. You can also add a small shape on the round patterns on the wings.

Step 9

Butterfly drawings

Use the transparency tool to hide the top part of all shapes created in the previous step. The result should be a smooth and subtle shadow on each element.

Step 10

Butterfly drawings

Now duplicate the body and the inside part of each wing and color these new shapes in white. Once you are finished, scale these new shapes so that they are slightly smaller than the original ones. 

Step 11

Butterfly drawings

Once again, use the transparency tool to hide the bottom part of these new shapes. The goal is to create a subtle reflection on each element of the illustration. I hope you had fun creating this character and don't hesitate to draw as many butterfly drawings as needed to become better at drawing! :)


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