How to paint a butterfly in loose watercolour

The pretty markings on butterflies sometimes look as though they’ve been painted on. 

Which makes butterflies really fun subjects for paintings. 

I like to paint butterflies in my realistic watercolour style, capturing every tiny detail and working big so I can create a lifelike result. 

With their painterly appearance, butterflies lend themselves to being painted in a loose style too. 

So in this mini class, my friend Jennifer Rose is back in my studio to show us the process she followed to paint a Tortoiseshell butterfly in her loose watercolour style.

I hope this mini class has inspired you to paint butterflies using these loose watercolour techniques too.

If you’d like to paint butterflies in a more detailed, realistic style, you can find this butterfly mini class where I show you how.

If you try it, Jennifer and I would love to hear how you get on, so let us know in the comments below. And do leave a message if you enjoyed the video. We love to read them!

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  1. John on February 1, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    Thank You so much. At 75 years young, I just started watercolor painting about 4 months ago, and I’m hooked. I mostly do flowers, but for some reason, I always include a butterfly. Thanks again, I really appreciate your videos.

  2. Denise M on February 1, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    Delightful! Thanks so much for sharing your talents!

  3. Michelle on February 2, 2022 at 4:57 am

    Not for me. Too loose.

  4. Barbara Kieker on February 3, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    Very fun to paint! Love trying different styles. Thank you so much

  5. Elzbieta on February 3, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    I love this style of painting. Thank you for this picture

  6. Patricia on February 13, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    lindo ,obrigada

  7. Susan on April 3, 2022 at 3:09 pm


  8. Loose bee painting - Nature Studio on June 20, 2023 at 4:22 pm

    […] If you enjoy this mini class, be sure to sign up for the full version for free. And check out these other mini classes where you can paint other garden visitors in a loose style: there’s a sweet blue tit bird, and a pretty butterfly. […]

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  10. How to stop paints muddying - Nature Studio on October 24, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    […] And if you want to put Jennifer’s tips into action on some more loose watercolor subjects and practice these techniques on how to stop paints muddying, try her free mini classes where she shows you how to paint a vibrant poppy flower and colourful tortoiseshell butterfly. […]

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