How to Draw a Swallowtail Butterfly

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Swallowtail Butterfly in 6 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Swallowtail Butterfly.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw a Swallowtail Butterfly - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Let's begin our swallowtail butterfly. Start by drawing a long rectancular shape for the head.

Step 2: Draw two small circles for each eye, and then two diagonal lines for the antenna.

Step 3: Finish drawing the body by connecting both lines at the bottom. Butterflies have tiny bodies and very large wings!

Step 4: It's time to draw the upper part of the wings. Draw two large fan-like shapes on either side, and then make two more separate sections inside.

Step 5: Now for the bottom part of the left wing. Draw a bumpy line that oozes downwards and then back up. Again draw two separate sections on the inside of the wing - it's the butterfly's complex and colorful design!

Step 6: Okay, now mirror the shape on the right side and you're finished!

Interesting Facts about Swallowtails

A Swallowtail is a butterfly that is only found in Mexico. A Swallowtail butterfly is a pale yellow with a black border along its wings. There are yellow spots in the border and black strips come down on the top wings. Their bottom wings have a small tail on each side that gives them the name Swallowtail. Swallowtails are flying insects like all butterflies. All butterflies hatch as caterpillars and live on the plant their mom left them. They make cocoons to develop into butterflies. They sleep for a while and then they wake up and break out of their cocoons. They then go out and live off flower nectar and fruit.

Did you know?

  • Butterflies can see the colors red, green, and yellow.
  • A Swallowtail in larvae form looks like bird droppings. This helps them hide from predators.
  • There are 7 subspecies of Swallowtails.
  • There are about 44 species groups in the Swallowtail family. Each has a similar shape, but their colors and patterns are different.
  • Butterflies use their feet to taste the plant they are sitting on.

Lesson Plan Note: If you know someone who collects butterflies ask them to come speak to your class. If not then make some coloring sheets with a swallowtail drawing. Let the class color their “perfect butterfly.” You can even add glitter too.