When I see the awesome butterflies, it makes me do more butterfly paintings

  • One of my great joys is doing butterfly paintings!

America's favorite butterfly, the Monarch is one of my favorite butterflies. It has been the subject in several of my paintings over the years.

What amazes people is how these mighty Monarchs fly from the United States to Mexico and back again each spring. Actually one butterfly does not make the long trip each year, but several generation emerge along the way to make the trip.

They know where to go and how to get back each year, even though they have never been there before. When they are migrating they fly together in large groups. It's amazing to see the large groups of them flying.

Let your imagination fly away as you enjoy these paintings of butterflies.

Large Tree Nymphs on False Hydrangeas, watercolor painting by Carol MayLarge Tree Nymphs

These "Large Tree Nymphs" are from SE Asia and they were feeding on False Hydrangea.

I saw them at the Butterfly Rainforest in Gainesville, Florida.

Its lots of fun as well as educational to go to butterfly gardens. If you have a public butterfly garden near you, go for a visit and snap some photos for painting butterflies.

See the leaves flying in the background of this painting!


Butterfly Paintings by carol may

Many of the flowers in my garden are planted specifically to attract butterflies. The butterflies and I both enjoy the flowers. Include native flowers in your flower garden whenever it's possible.

Monarch on Liatris oil paintingMonarch on Liatris

This butterfly painting is an oil painting of a "Monarch on Liatris" a native wildflower of the eastern United States. It is also known as Blazing Stars or Gayfeather.

Here in the Midwest I include the colorful native Coneflowers (Echinacea) and Liatris in my flower garden. The cultivated varieties of Coneflowers bloom all summer long. They are always busy with butterflies and hummingbirds.



Butterfly Paintings by Carol May, Monarch on DaisiesMonarch on Daisies

Daisies are my favorite flowers and Monarchs are one of my favorites, too. What a joy it was painting these two favorites together in "Monarch on Daisies".

Last year I had lots of Monarch coming to the Butterfly Weeds in my flower garden. The caterpillars ate their fill, metamorphosed and took off on their amazing journey.

It was a privilege to see large numbers of Monarchs in Mexico while they were migrating. How awesome!



Watercolor painting of a White Peacock ButterflyWhite Peacock on Delphinium

A "White Peacock on Delphinium" flowers showing off his delicate beauty.



Casein painting by Carol May of a Gulf Fritillary butterflyGulf Fritillary on Lantana

In Florida my favorite flower that attracted a lot of butterflies was Lantana. Here is a "Gulf Fritillary on Lantana".

Lantana is so easy to grow. The native varieties of Lantana will over-winter in many parts of Florida. It is grown as an annual in other areas of the states.

As artists we sometimes like to try various mediums for our paintings. These two butterfly paintings (above and below) are done with casein.



Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly painting by Carol MaySpicebush Swallowtails

Butterfly paintings keep me on the lookout for new butterflies.

One day my husband and I saw a bunch of these butterflies on the Pickerel flowers beside the boat ramp. They were "Spicebush Swallowtails".

  • Do you see the image of another butterfly in the background?

This painting is done with casein paints. I did a couple of different butterflies with casein. They were not my cup of tea. So I went back to my favorite mediums, watercolor or oil paints.

It's a special joy sharing these butterfly paintings with you!



Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly painting done with oil paintsTiger Swallowtail

The "Tiger Swallowtail" is one of the common Types of Butterflies we often see in our yards.

Here it is painted here on one of its favorite flowers, the butterfly bush. It is quite large. You can't miss it.

The Tiger Swallowtail flies so softly, it looks like it is floating when it's flying.

The eastern version is larger and a western version is a bit smaller, but just as beautiful. Sometimes the females are brown.



Little Blue Butterflies in oil by painting artist Carol MayLittle Blue Butterflies

We all enjoy the springtime after a long winter. My lilacs were blooming and when I walked across the lawn I saw these lovely little Azure Blue Butterflies.

The "Little Blue Butterflies" are only about three-quarter to one inch wide.

Since the lilacs and the butterflies both showed up at the same time, I put them together in the same painting.

Its lots of fun doing butterfly paintings!



watercolor painting of a Red Admiral Butterfly by Carol MayRed Admiral Butterfly

I always keep my eyes out for butterflies. It was a privilege seeing the "Red Admiral Butterfly" a couple of times. Their color is stunning.

Both times I saw them on the ground among the leaves and grass. So this one is painted with some fall leaves on the ground.

The colors of the fall leaves complement the beautiful red bands on the butterfly.



Giant Swallowtail Butterfly by Carol MayGiant Swallowtail

The "Giant Swallowtail Butterfly" is amazing to me not only because it is such a large butterfly, but because of the color change from the top side of the wings to the underside.

If you see the different sides of its wings at different times, it is hard to realize it is the same butterfly.

The underside of the wings are mostly pale yellow with black markings. The wing's topside is a stunning brilliant black and yellow.

This watercolor butterfly painting has him sitting on a Lantana flower.



painting of a Great Southern White butterfly artist Carol MaySouthern White

It was a cold January day in Florida. It was surprising to see these lovely little "Southern White" butterflies flitting around on roadside daisies in the cold weather.

The Spanish Nettle is sometimes called the Beggar's Weed because it makes seeds that stick to your socks.

Daisies are one of my favorite flowers. They are a butterfly favorite, too.

They provide lots of food for the butterflies. They also provide a landing pad for the butterflies to sit down while they are eating.



White Peacock butterfly on a Zinnia flower by Carol MayWhite Peacock Butterfly

What a treat to see the "White Peacock Butterfly".

My husband and I drove to central Florida to see the Whooping Cranes that had arrived for the winter.

While we were out walking around looking for the cranes, we got to see this lovely butterfly.

Learn the how-to technique of this an Awesome Butterfly Painting.



Watercolor painting of Black-viened Butterflies on thistle flowers by Carol MayBlack-veined Butterflies

These "Black-veined Butterflies" are native in Europe. We don't see them in the United States.

However, when I saw some photos of them, they took my breath away! They were so light and airy and beautiful. I just had to paint them.

There is a step-by-step tutorial of how-to paint the butterflies on thistle flowers.



Beautiful Prints by Carol May shipped around the world by FAAPretties

There is nothing prettier than a Monarch visiting a large white Magnolia flowers. They are "Pretties".



Fine Art America makes prints from my original paintings. You may get prints on paper, wood, canvas or even metal.

They also have a variety of phone cases, notebooks, beach towels, etc. with my paintings printed on them.

Check it out. You are sure to find something you would love in your home. They ship the artwork around the world.



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