Oil Painting Project: How to Paint A Monarch Butterfly

Oil Painting Project: How to paint a monarch butterfly

In this fun little weekly oil painting project, we are painting a beautifully detailed monarch butterfly.

What was challenging in this oil painting project?

Every oil painting has a challenge, whether it is the composition, technique, or color.  In this week’s oil painting class, the challenge is working with complementary colors. 

What is the big deal about complementary colors? Well, let me ask a question:  

Have you experienced muddy colors?

Muddy colors are one of the biggest frustrations of many artists.  And the answer to avoiding muddy colors or creating them on purpose resides in understanding the color wheel and color theory.  So, let’s discuss it for a minute.  There are 2 key pieces of information you need to avoid muddy colors:

  1.  You need a color wheel.  If you haven’t already invested in a color wheel, do so now.  It will be your go-to tool.  Place it in a prominent place, here is the one I have.
  2. Understand the value of complementary colors.  
Artist's Color Wheel - 9-1/4''

🎨🎨For more a high-level overview of 3 common color theories and you can paint your own color wheel, check out this class: Color Theory for Beginner Oil Painters.🎨🎨

What are Complementary Colors?

Complementary colors are colors from the opposite side of the color wheel.  This is very important to know for 4 reasons:  

  1. Avoid Muddy Colors.  When you mix complementary colors you can quickly gray your colors down, also referred to as muddy colors when created without a purpose.
  2. Control Vibrancy. When you mix complementary colors they tone the vibrancy down of the other color.  For example, add a little orange to green and you suddenly get a more natural green grass color.
  3. Control the Viewers Eye.  Complementary colors, when placed next to each other, make the colors appear more vibrant and eye-catching.
  4. Create meaningful greys.  Complementary colors when mixed in terms of cools and warms will create grey tones that can be used to differentiate the foreground from the background.  Cool sets back, warm brings forward.  This is extremely useful when creating rock scenes or trying to differentiate a grey/whitish subject from its background.

Check out this short snippet from the oil painting project “How to paint a monarch butterfly” that explains the value of complementary colors.

Through weekly oil painting practice, you will:

  • purposefully grow your knowledge of oil painting techniques
  • develop and refine your oil painting skills
  • develop and refine your oil painting style
  • develop and refine your understanding of what makes great art

Who is this class for?

Anyone looking for inspiration, develop and refine their oil painting techniques, oil painting skills and find their style through purposeful and guided instruction. These are also great for the paint and sip parties, bachelorette parties, sorority parties, fundraisers etc.  You can paint by yourself or with a group of people.  In the paint along you’ll watch a video, pause and paint from the comfort of your home!  🎨🎬OIL PAINTING: Throughout the video, you will see me, my palette and my canvas so you won’t miss a move.  Here is a listing of the oil painting supplies I recommend.  Click Here Note: if you don’t have the colors that I use, don’t sweat it too much, use the colors that you have now and when you decide to purchase additional colors then paint it again.  Just know that your painting, regardless of whether you have the colors will still be different than mine, because paints are like thumbprints, each one is unique to its owner.  Reference images and supply list are included in the supplemental materials in the online video course.

Instead of purchasing each project each week, you can become a Monthly Member!  Here are the perks of being a monthly member: 

  • Paint from the comfort of your home!
  • Self-paced instruction
  • Monthly Membership – Cancel anytime
  • Access to all past and present painting courses and projects
  • Gain access to 4 new painting projects are released each month!

Click here to become a member now!

If you purchase the course rather than enrolling in the monthly membership, you will have lifetime access sound across any and all devices you own. If you are a monthly member, you will have access to all videos during your period of membership to take as many classes as you’d like.

The course starts now, tonight, tomorrow – you decide!  It is a completely self-paced online video tutorial- you decide when you start and when you finish.

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