How to Hand Paint a Butterfly

Can you believe, I actually hand painted something? No, you didn’t miss any videos or sneak peeks of it on my social media because honeslty, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull it off! Believe it or not, I’ve never actually handpainted an object before now.

One thing that is super important in order to grow as an artist is to try things that make you uncomfortable. When I saw this picture, I was SO super inspired–I knew I had to at least try to paint it.

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Material List:

First I needed a good base to trace my butterfly on. I gave the entire piece 2 coats of the color Birchwood. Then I had a little fun and used a silicone paint brush to create a layered look on it. I alternated Terra-Cotta and Stormy Seas. Once it was dry I gave it a paint wash with 1 part Fluff to 4 parts water. I put it on with my synthetic Mini all over. You can see how I did the paint layering here:

I decided to work smarter, not harder. When you were in school, did your teacher ever use an overhead projector? Mine did! As a kid, I played school every. single. day! My whole basement was converted into a classroom. One thing I always wanted in my “classroom” was a projector! Younger me would have been SO excited about this project because I needed really exact lines, so I borrowed my friend Beth’s projector and traced this design on a clear sheet of paper. I just used a sheet protector I had on hand.

Then, I lined it up on my dresser and traced it out.

After that, I just painted it! I started with the darkest color and worked to the lightest. Here are the colors I used:

  1. Black=Caviar
  2. Dark Brown=Coffee Bean
  3. Teal=Stormy Seas
  4. Orange=Tera-cotta
  5. Yellow=Rebel Yellow
  6. Brown=Mud Puddle

I sealed the body  with Clear Satin Topcoat. The top got a coat of Coffee Bean and then it was done! You know, I thought this was going to be super hard, but it was much easier than I had anticipated! Here’s the finished piece:

Would you ever try hand painting something (with or without a projector)? Do you have any other useful tips for drawing out imagines on furniture or canvas? If so, I would love to know! You can contact me on Facebook or Instagram!