Butterfly Paintings

butterflies are so awesome!


One of my great joys is doing butterfly paintings!

Now that I am retired, there is more time for gardening.  I plant flowers especially for the butterflies. When I see these gorgeous creatures, I snap photos for reference material for more paintings.

Lots of fun - enjoy my paintings!

Buckeye painting Art by Carol MayBuckeye Butterfly

The "Buckeye Butterfly" is a dark colored butterfly with its big eye-spots. It is a frequent visitor to many yards.

I photographed it when I saw it on my white daisy Chrysanthemums. It made such a beautiful contrast that I wanted to do this butterfly painting.

It is painted with the mixed media method I explained on the how to make Awesome Paintings page.

The original painting is on a sturdy 11x14" archival Aquabord manufactured by Ampersand. When the painting was thoroughly dry I sprayed it with a UV resistant coating that seals the watercolor paint.

Traditional watercolor paintings on paper have to be matted and framed under glass. This painting can be framed without any glass. The original painting is available.

Get various sized prints from Fine Art America.

Butterfly Paintings by carol may

Butterfly Paintings by Carol May, Monarch On DaisiesMonarch On Daisies

The Monarch Butterfly is the most well-known butterfly in the United States.

Daisies have been my favorite flower ever since I was a child. 

It was a joy putting these two lovely things together in "Monarch On Daisies".

I had the privilege of seeing large numbers of the Monarchs in Mexico on their migration route. They have an amazing life cycle for such delicate looking creatures.

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


Large Tree Nymphs painting by Carol MayLarge Tree Nymphs

I saw these "Large Tree Nymphs" butterflies at the Butterfly Rainforest in Gainesville, Florida.

They were feeding on False Hydrangea flowers. They are from SE Asia.

I painted some of the leaves flying to mimic the flight of the butterflies.

Is is lots of fun as well as educational to go to butterfly gardens.

If you have a butterfly garden near you, I recommend a visit.


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 Blues are only about three-quarter to one inch wide.

So I thought why not put them on some lilac flowers.

"Little Blue Butterflies"

This oil painting is on gallery-wrap canvas.


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

I always keep my eyes out for butterflies.

I had the privilege of seeing the "Red Admiral Butterfly" a couple of times.

Their color is stunning.

Both times I saw it on the ground among the leaves and grass.

So I painted it on some fall leaves to complement its red bands.


Giant Swallowtail Butterfly by Carol MayGiant Swallowtail

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

If you see the different sides of its wings at different times, it is hard to realize that it is the same butterfly. The underside is mostly pale and more yellow looking. The topside has brilliant black and yellow, very stunning.

I did this butterfly painting in watercolor with him sitting on my favorite butterfly flower, which is Lantana.


watercolor Longwing Butterfly painted by Carol MayLongwing Butterfly

A lovely painting of a Longwing Butterfly on a Butterfly Bush flower.

I saw these striking butterflies at the butterfly garden.

I have Butterfly Bushes in my flower bed and they attract a wide variety of butterflies.

I took photos while I did this painting and explained step-by-step How to Paint Watercolor.

Check it out - you can do it, too.


Black-veined-butterflies by artist Carol MayBlack-veined-butterflies

"Black-veined Butterflies" don't live in the United States. So I have never seen them in person. They live in Europe and Africa.

But when I saw some photographs of them I was enthralled. I think they are absolutely beautiful.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

There is a how-to page of painting these butterflies.

Follow me step-by-step, Painting Butterflies.


painting of a Great Southern White butterfly artist Carol MaySouthern White

I saw these lively little "Southern White Butterflies" flitting around the roadside daisies, the Spanish Nettle or sometimes called Beggar's Weed because the seeds stick to your socks.

It was on a cold January day in Florida. It surprised me to see them when it was so cold.

They were on daisies which is one of my favorite flowers.

Daisies are a favorite of butterflies, too. They provide them with plenty of food. And they have a landing pad to sit down while they eat.


painting painting-Tiger-Swallowtail-open butterfly art by Carol MayTiger Swallowtail

The "Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly" is the next best known butterfly besides the Monarch.

It lives over a large area of the United States.

I saw one early one spring on Carolina Jasmine vines in my back yard.

I just had to paint it. They are so big and so beautiful.

I painted the Jasmine vine outside. Then I came into the studio to paint the butterfly.

I really enjoy butterfly paintings. I am always on the lookout for new butterflies.


Spicebrush Swallowtail butterfly painting by Carol MaySpicebrush Swallowtails

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

They were "Spicebrush Swallowtail" butterflies.

This painting is done with Casein paints.

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

It is a joy doing butterfly paintings.

I hope that they bring joy to your life, too.



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

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

They ship all over the world. Check it out. You are sure to find something that you would love to have in your home.


What's New

  1. Original Paintings on Sale for the Holidays

    Nov 23, 18 07:54 AM

    Glazing With Watercolor

    Awesome Holiday Sale of Original Painting by Carol May Fifteen original paintings are on sale. Each original painting is priced under $100 with the shipping included.

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  2. Glazing with Watercolor

    Nov 20, 18 10:44 AM

    Glazing With Watercolor

    Glazing with watercolor is where a transparent wash of color is painted over a previous dry layer of paint. The viewer sees both layers of paint and their eye visually mixes the color. Glazing produ…

    Read More

  3. What Did That Artist Say?

    Nov 19, 18 03:20 PM

    Artist Glossary by Carol May

    What did that artist say? What did they mean? This artist glossary has painting terms commonly used by artists. Included are the art definitions of what these terms mean.

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  4. How To Mix Paint Colors

    Nov 10, 18 07:36 PM

    Make your paintings sing when you know how to mix paint colors. The color wheel is your key to understanding how to use paint colors. Mix warm colors, cool colors, greens and your own blacks with ease…

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  5. How To Choose Painting Colors for your individual paintings

    Nov 09, 18 09:44 AM

    How do the professionals choose colors for their paintings? What colors will look best in your paintings? Learn how to choose painting colors. You can create beautiful, harmonious paintings with only…

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