Monarch Butterfly Oil Painting
Flutter into spring with a colorful butterfly painting! Use Utrecht Artists’ Oil Paints to glaze and layer, then add palette knife techniques to create a uniquely textured piece. Learn important concepts like managing paint drying times, sketching with charcoal, and more, in this seasonally-inspired...
1. Print monarch butterfly reference image.
2. Attach palette cup to glass palette. Pour Utrecht Classic Oil Painting Medium on one side, and Galkyd Medium in the other. Pour Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits into Silicoil container until it covers the coils.
3. Arrange oil paint colors on a glass palette with cool colors on the left, warm colors on the right, white at the top center, and black at the bottom center to assist with blending analogous colors.
4. Use painter’s rags and a hazmat waste container for cleaning paint off of brushes and properly disposing of any hazardous waste materials.
1. Optional: Paint 1-2 coats of acrylic gesso using a gesso brush on pre-primed canvas to allow for extra tension. Allow to dry prior to sketching.
2. Sketch from observation using a charcoal pencil.
3. Start by painting “lean” layers, made from oil paint combined with oil painting medium. Layer “fat” layers as you work by adding less medium to the oil paint mixture. Remember to clean paintbrushes between colors by applying pressure on the coils in the Silicoil container, then cleaning off on a painter’s rag.
4. Paint a lean layer by combining a small amount of oil painting medium with Galkyd. Blend Viridian, Yellow Green and Greenish Umber with small amounts of White and paint a background around the butterfly and cone flower outline.
5. Paint a lean layer using a smaller paintbrush. Combine small amounts of oil painting mediums with Alizarin Crimson and a small amount of White, then paint the cone flower petals. Vary shading by using more or less white, or add black, depending on where the highlights and shadows are in the reference image.
6. Paint a lean layer on the cone flower seeds using Venetian Red and Cadmium-Free Yellow Deep, Cadmium-Free Orange, and Naphthol Red Light combined with a small amount of oil painting medium.
7. Paint a lean layer on the cone flower stem using Black combined with oil painting medium.
8. Paint a lean layer on the monarch butterfly using Cadmium-Free Yellow Deep, Cadmium-Free Orange, and Naphthol Red Light combined with small amounts of White and oil painting mediums.
9. Allow lean layer to dry for a couple hours up to a couple of days.
10. Paint fatty layers on top of your underpainting using combined paintbrush and palette knife painting techniques.