Monarch Butterflies with Oil Pastel

Every fall, thou­sands of Monarch but­ter­flies con­verge on the euca­lyp­tus grove at a nearby park as they migrate to warmer cli­mates.  What bet­ter way to pre­pare our Kinders for their annual field trip to view this spec­tac­u­lar dis­play than with this col­or­ful Monarch oil pas­tel project!  Fol­low the steps below to make your own mag­nif­i­cent monarch!
1. We used 12x18 black con­struc­tion paper, which I pre-folded in half to give stu­dents a guide­line for draw­ing the body.  Start by sketch­ing a basic but­ter­fly shape using the pink eraser on the end of your pencil:  
First draw a long, skinny oval on the fold line.  Then draw a long hor­i­zon­tal line across the mid­dle of your paper.  Use this line to form two large wings on the top half of your paper.  Add two smaller wings below.  Try to make your wings sym­met­ri­cal (the left side the same as the right side) and don’t for­get the antennae!

2.  Next, trace over your eraser lines with a black oil pas­tel.  Go over these lines to make them nice and thick!

3.  Now, fill in your wings by lay­er­ing orange and yel­low together.  Using the side of a bro­ken oil pas­tel (with the paper removed) makes it easy to fill in large areas quickly.

 4.  Then, add a pat­tern on your wings using a black oil pas­tel.  Remem­ber that but­ter­fly wings are sym­met­ri­cal!   Make sure your design is the same on the left side as it is on the right side!

 5.  Add dots with white, press­ing hard to make them really stand out!

 6.  Fill in your back­ground with lay­ers of blue for the sky, or lay­ers of green for the trees, depend­ing on where your but­ter­fly is!  

 7.  Lay­er­ing your col­ors is the “secret” to mak­ing your oil pas­tel col­ors look vibrant and rich… and a fin­ished project that makes peo­ple say, “WOW!” 

I love how each but­ter­fly is unique and even has it’s own “personality”!

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9 Responses to Monarch Butterflies with Oil Pastel

  1. Shar November 14, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    These are so lovely. I have added to my pin­trest board to remind me to do this when we move onto our minibeast topic. Thank you :)

  2. candice ashment art November 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Oh how beau­ti­ful! I love oil pas­tels too! Thanks for sharing ;)

    cheers,

    Can­dice

  3. candice ashment art November 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    for­got to say, we’re going to try this for a sym­me­try project!
    thanks!

  4. Anya November 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Beau­ti­ful project! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Wendy November 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Why do they all look the same?

  6. TeachKidsArt November 17, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    That’s inter­est­ing, Wendy.… I guess these but­ter­flies each looked unique to me because I could see my stu­dents’ dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties in each one! But it makes sense to me that for some­one who doesn’t know these kids, their but­ter­flies would look really sim­i­lar. Our K classes were prepar­ing for a field trip to see the mon­archs, so that’s why we did a directed draw­ing les­son with such a lim­ited palette. Thanks for point­ing that out! :)

  7. Anonymous November 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    They all look dif­fer­ent to me! What age group?

  8. TeachKidsArt November 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Kinder­garten! :)

  9. Laurel April 2, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    Beau­ti­ful, and a great begin­ning les­son in symmetry!

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