Monarch Butterfly on Coneflower watercolor painting

The inspiration for this piece came when I asked my son if there is anything he would like to see me paint, and he immediately informed me he loves monarch butterflies and would love to see what kind of paintings I can do of them.  Of course, he credits the cartoon The Venture Brothers for sparking his interest (there is a comical villain called the Monarch in it, complete with henchmen dressed as butterflies), though the more he learned about the real butterflies, the more he likes them.

I was happy to oblige, as I think monarchs are beautiful butterflies, and wanted to see if I could capture that lovely orange of the sunlight coming through the wings. First thing to do was draw in charcoal, to “get the shapes and shadows” prior to painting in color. I wasn’t particularly interested in making much other than a green blob as the background, mainly because I wanted all the focus to be on the butterfly and the flower. A secondary reason is a bit more pragmatic: it isn’t always easy to do details in watercolor, especially the first decade or so when you begin watercolor painting.

Purchase information for the painting and prints

The original is still available, an 8 by 10 inch watercolor, sealed with Dorland’s wax (that is actually an art medium made for use with oil paint, but heartily adopted by watercolorists for preserving and protecting watercolor art).  A slightly larger range of prints are available at my Pixels store, and a range of accessories are at my RedBubble store for those who are interested.

One of my early watercolor paintings, but still one I enjoy using as an avatar at various platforms, including Anchor/Spotify, Pinterest, and sometimes Facebook. It’s bright and colorful, with enough simplified lines to be easily recognized even when shrunk in size.

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