Butterfly Cartoon!

Let’s draw these funky cartoon butterflies! There are two to choose from.

Drawing of two cartoon butterflies

Friends! If you like drawing butterflies, you will love this tutorial on how to draw a cartoon butterfly. I’ve created two different butterflies for you to try.

Drawing cartoons is not as simple as it seems; there are small details that make all the difference when trying to create an iconic character instead of just another realistic illustration. 

However, the best thing about drawing cartoon butterflies is that you can draw them in pretty much any style and it will still look like a butterfly. You can change the shape of the wings, the eyes, make the body fat or thin, change the colors and patterns and people will still know it’s a butterfly. Which means you can have heaps of fun with the patterns!

This step-by-step tutorial will teach you everything you need to know about how to draw butterfly cartoons in no time at all, so grab a pen and paper or your drawing tablet and I’ll break it all down step by step!

I have added some drawing tips and hints on how to make this cartoon into your own style as we go, so let the tutorial begin!

Nicola xx

Ps: Don’t forget all artwork on this site is original art created by me. I’d love you to recreate it and share your stuff on social, just remember to tag me @milansmischief  on Insta or TikTok (and no commercial resale allowed. Thanks!)

Funky Butterfly Cartoon #1

Save our funky cartoon butterfly #1 on Pinterest for later!

How to draw a butterfly Pin

How to Draw a Cartoon Butterfly Step by Step

Funky butterfly cartoon drawing #1 – step by step.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step One: Is That a Peanut?

Uh… sort of… Today we start our drawing with the main body of the butterfly, which looks kind of like a peanut without the wobbles. Maybe it looks more like a goji berry? 

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Two: Add the Antenna

Step two involves drawing our antenna. I’ve gone for pretty straight antenna but try making yours super wide or a bit wonky for extra craziness.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Three: The Eyes Have It!

Another fun step! This is where you get to choose how big or how small your butterfly’s eyes are. I went for HUGE!

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Four: Add Some Attitude

Yet another super fun step my friend! Yep, now we get to decide whether our butterfly is lazy, happy, sad, angry etc… All by adding on a few eyelids. My usual go-to is crazy so I did half a closed eye and the other eye wide open.

PRO TIP: Things don’t have to be symmetrical. It can give your character more expression if you go wonky.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Five: Neaten It Up

If you use a drawing tablet like I do, I like to keep my lines clean as I draw. That means erasing any crossing lines I no longer need.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Six: Be A Wingman

Wings! Dare I say… yet ANOTHER extremely fun step where you get to choose what kind of wing shape our funky cartoon butterfly has!? 

Ooh yeah. Try anything. Go for massive, elaborate wing if you must and make it super gothic, or try out teeny tiny wings just to see how it looks!

Butterfly Cartoon by Nicola Milan

Step Seven: Add the Patterns

The icing on the cake is the patterns. When you’re drawing cartoons it’s nice to keep things uneven. It’s almost the opposite of what you would do if you were drawing a realistic butterfly, which of course and symmetrical on both sides.

I used the same pattern but if you look closely you will see that nothing really matches 100%.


Cute-Turtle-drawing - Milan's Mischief

Step Eight: Bring On the Color!

My friend, this is the final and most funnest step of all fun steps!

(Tip: Funnest isn’t a word… I just made it up)

But the point is that you get to pick a mishmash of colors to adorn your butterfly drawing with. Sooo fun.

So that’s it! See, super easy.

What’s next? Keep scrolling for Butterfly #2!

Here’s another tutorial on how to draw a butterfly on a flower.

Funky Butterfly Cartoon #2

Share this super cool punk butterfly cartoon #2 on Pinterest!

Cartoon Butterfly Drawing by Nicola Milan

Step by Step Cartoon Butterfly Breakdown

Ok friends, time to draw butterfly #2. Let’s go!

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step One: Another Peanut

Let’s start our butterfly cartoon with the body. Usually a butterfly is made up of three body parts, but when you are drawing cartoons you can break these rules in order to make it look funny or exaggerated.

The way to think about drawing a butterfly as a cartoonist is to simplify things down. So instead of drawing all three parts, we will mould them into one blob! It will make the butterfly look a lot cuter in the end.

Drawing hint:

Draw the body in the middle of your piece of paper so you have plenty of room for the wings and antennae.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Two: A Peanut With Eyes

This is a cartoon drawing, not a realistic drawing and that means we can have some fun and exaggerate things. So let’s start to create a face for our butterfly and draw the outline of two oversized eyes. You can make these close together, touching together or quite wide apart depending on the look you’re going for.

Just experiment and have fun.

Drawing hint:

I draw most of my cartoons on a tablet so I can easily erase and lines that I don’t want. If you’re drawing with a pen and paper it’s always a good idea to draw faint lines to start with so they are easy to erase.

Another hint:

If you’ve already started drawing heavily, you can roll your eraser over the lines to soften them up.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Three: Draw A Cheeky Grin

Most cartoons have large personalities so I decided to draw my butterfly here with a bit of an attitude problem (It’s how I like to draw ALL my cartoons!). The best way to create attitude is when you draw the facial expressions.

Little details like this make your character more expressive and fun to draw. You can try a variety of different eyelids to create different moods. For example, try making one eye slightly smaller than the other or even make one eye slightly open and one slightly closed.

In my humble opinion, eyelids make or break your character. If you want attitude, lower the top lids. If you want craziness, make the eyes slightly different to each other like I’ve done here.

I also decided to add a rather large smiling mouth. You could try a frown or go for a ‘not impressed’ expression which can also look really fun. Let your imagination run wild!

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Four: Join Up The Lines

This is the step where we join all the lines together to create a cohesive cartoon character. All you need to do is draw a line from the bottom of the eyes, around the ends of the mouth and join it up with the body on the other side. Then you erase any lines that don’t need to be there.

If you are using a tablet to draw, this is where your tablet comes in handy. I use the Adobe Fresco app for most of my drawing and you can quickly erase lines you don’t want. If you’re drawing with a pencil and paper then use the eraser on the end of the pencil for high precision erasing and remove any lines that are in the way.

Drawing tip:

You can buy eraser pens. Erasers that are thin like a pen and can get into small, detailed areas without messing up the rest of the drawing. I use mine all the time.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Five: Time For Wings

Look! It’s a butterfly!

This is the really fun bit where you get to draw wings on your cartoon butterfly. I went for easy-to-draw rounded wings but you can go super elaborate if you want.

You could draw basic shapes like teardrop, curved or heart for the wings, or even go for something more exotic like peacock butterflies. The best part about drawing wings is that it’s a way to add more drama to your cartoon butterfly. After all, these wings represent the character and personality of your butterfly.

Butterflies come with all sorts of shapes and sizes for the wings. Just Google some real butterflies online and get some inspiration.

Drawing hint:

Simple can sometimes be the best. If you’re planning on being super elaborate with the wing patterns (see the next step) then a simple wing design keeps your drawing from looking too busy. It also helps the cute face of the butterfly to stand out.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Six: Go Wild With Patterns

This is my favourite part of the process because I love going crazy with the patterns and shapes I draw on the wings.

You can do stripes, polka-dots, spikes or go totally off the chart with skulls for wings like I did here. The rule of thumb is, for cartoons there are no limits!

I’ve done another butterfly on my website (see below for the link) with a completely different face and wing pattern if you need some more ideas on how to decorate your cartoon butterfly.

Cartoon Butterfly Drawing by Nicola Milan

Step Seven: Coloring Time!

Add some funky color and our butterfly cartoon drawing is done!

I went for a psychedelic color palette which really worked with our butterfly’s attitude problem. heh heh.

I hope you enjoyed today’s drawing tutorial on how to draw a funky cartoon butterfly. 

You can also share your creations with me over on Insta. Just search for Milan’s Mischief and I should pop up. Tag me so I can see your version. Just remember that this is original artwork and no commercial resale is allowed. Let’s be kind to each other as artists.

Thanks for tuning in.

Nicola xx

PS: next try this tutorial on how to draw an obnoxious caterpillar!


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