Saturday, April 21, 2012

(G2,G3) Butterflies, a Mixed-Media Project (Part I)

I am always looking for themes where students will get the opportunity to practice their drawing skills.
Learning how to draw butterflies offers such an opportunity. We looked at pictures of butterflies in the book ''Waiting for Wings'' by Lois Ehlert. We discussed the variety of patterns, colors, and lines found in the butterflies. We decided to do a number of studies before attempting to draw the final version in our water color paper. I explained to the students that this will be a mixed-media project where they will be able to incorporate a variety of materials. My students love mixed-media projects and with great excitement started working on their drawings.

This student was happy with this butterfly study.
This was his first and final version; he added more details on his water color paper.

Using a black sharpie to complete the design.

I explained to the students that as important as it was to
examine the details in the butterflies in Lois Ehlert's book, it was even more important to incorporate
their own ideas into the design. 

It was very interesting to watch how the students hesitated at first to create their drawing.
They were slowly developing confidence as they saw the lines and patterns emerging in front of their eyes. 

These are some of my sample drawings.
Our motto is: ''We look, we examine, and then we create our own.''

This student decided to draw a profile view of a butterfly.

She did a number of studies where one could see the changes of the lines and patterns.

It was interesting to watch the students create their own unique patterns.

Difficulty drawing the lower part of the butterfly.
A lot of erasing went on before the student was happy with the results.

This student had great difficulty drawing the body of the butterfly. 
First, the scale of the drawing was small, then she was not happy about the shape.
Student comment: ''It looks like a rocket. It is impossible to draw the body.''
After a little encouragement the next version made the student really happy.

Struggling with the lower part of the butterfly, working on multiple sheets of paper...
and voila!

I was really impressed by the complexity of her line design on the butterfly's body. 
This student learned that there is not such thing as it ''is impossible'' in art.
A big smile and eyes sparkling with confidence was a great reward for me.


  1. Beautiful detailed work!I adore the black and white butterfly with the blue and green painted background! Your students did such a great job with their observations.

  2. You are a great art teacher! I can say that because I have been teaching art for 36 years and I know a good one when I see one. Your approach to the lesson (I LOVE Lois Ehlert's books!), your encouraging students to explore many options, and the way you allow them the time to refine their drawings is really great. Each one is unique and exciting and you and your kids have a lot to be proud of.

  3. These butterflies promise a magnificent end. I look forward to the finished and colorful. A hug and see you soon.

  4. A project interessandte and fun, the results are always very beautiful.

  5. What a lovely subject and as alway some very creative results !

  6. I love this work on butterflies. I'll remember that as my son begins this week to work this wonderful insect.
    Thank you for your creativity.

  7. Very creative!!!
    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  8. Wow! Love that last one especially. Great process.

  9. Thanks for always being a faithful commenter and wishing me a good week.

    By the way, these butterflies are so intricately beautiful.

    I looked to see if your name is someone on this blog but I couldn't find it, so I wish you the best week as well my art friend. ;)

  10. What a successful project. The butterflies are beautiful and imaginatively created, I do love the one drawn in profile:)
    Brilliant work and congratulations to your clever students!

  11. Un buen delineado en el dibujo de la mariposa, muy creativo y didáctico, va un cordial saludo en la distancia, Rodisi

  12. Thank you everyone for the nice comments.
    I have to give credit to my students for always trying their best.
    I am very happy with the results also.

  13. Ηello... very creative children you have.. interesting pictures!!!

  14. Wonderful, I wish I'd been to your classes!

  15. Encantadora forma de acercarse al arte, las mariposas son todo un mundo por descubrir, siempre me apasionaron...

    Sigo creyendo que este es uno de los espacios más creativos y con iniciativa, de veras...

    Un fuerte abrazo,


  16. Very beautiful butterflies!!! Congratulations to all of you!!!kisses from Greece. ΥΠΕΡΟΧΑ!!!