by Jackie Ravenscroft
Butterflies are one of the most cherished symbols in modern culture, art, and spirituality. They are linked to ideals such as transformation, joy, rebirth, and conservation and the latter may very much be in your mind if you have a butterfly garden. Butterflies live for between two and four weeks on average, though some species, like the Mourning Cloak, can live for almost a year.
If you cherish every butterfly that stops by your garden to drink from your fragrant flowers, then you may wish to remember their beauty forever. The following ideas may inspire you to pay homage to the beauty of one of the fairest creatures on the Planet—butterflies.
Drawing Your Garden
Drawing and painting have countless benefits for human health. They have been found in numerous studies to battle stress, even among people who are taking pencil to sketchpad for the first time in their lives. You don’t need to have experience or even a whole lot of technique to sketch a butterfly habitat. Start by drawing blades of grass (two curved lines that converge at the top), followed by flowers (start with a circle in the middle and draw U-shapes around it to represent petals). After filling in details such as stems and drawing abundant flowers and leaves, it’s time to draw your favorite butterflies. Start out with a tiny circle (the butterfly’s head) and draw two elongated oblong shapes beneath it to represent the thorax and abdomen. Then, connect the body to a leaf by drawing four short stick legs. Draw long, curved lines with circles at the tips of the head to represent the antennae. Next come the wings. Draw two triangles (one starting at mid-thorax level and the other just beneath it). The narrowest point of the triangle should begin at the thorax and extend outwards. Curve out the large edge of the triangles so they resemble wings. Finally, color in all the details, remaining faithful to the hues of the butterfly species found in your garden.
You can also capture stunning moments enjoyed by butterflies in your garden through photography. Colder days are ideal because butterflies need sunlight to achieve optimal wing power and when the sun is hiding, they take it much easier (thereby posing long enough for you to take excellent shots).
Use a tripod with a loose head to capture their movement and try to ensure that the sun is hitting them head-on to avoid shadows being cast on their wings. Use a fast shutter to avoid blurry shots and shoot in JPG mode to increase your chances of capturing sharp, slick photos.
If you have a space you’d like to fill (such as an empty wall) then creating your own butterfly paintings can be a perfect way of bringing the beauty of your outdoor garden inside. Trace or draw your chosen butterflies onto the canvas with a pencil and paint the background with a ¾ flat brush. Once the background dries, use a 4 round brush to paint details like birds, spirals, or blades of grass in the background. Paint the wings of your butterfly, starting with one color in the center and blending outwards with other colors. In the case of a monarch butterfly, the center is light orange/yellowish in the center and a far more vivid orange near the wings’ edges. Use black paint for the body, wing details, and wing frame and cover the frame with white dots.
Butterflies bring human beings infinite joy, which is why so many people are planting pollinating flowers in their yards. As the latter become transformed into colorful butterfly ecosystems, homeowners may be inspired to put their artistic skills to the test. Drawing, photographing, and painting butterflies are just three ways to commemorate the beauty of these winged creatures, but there are so many more ways to do so, including digital art, collages, fashion, and more.