How to Draw a Ulysses Butterfly

When it comes to eye-catching butterfly species, the Ulysses butterfly, also known as the blue emperor, knows exactly how to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. In just a few short steps, we will learn how to bring their incredible colors to life – let’s get started!


Tutorial Video


Step-By-Step Images and Instructions

1.

How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 1

Grab a pencil, and use this to draw three small, interlinked circles in the center of your page.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 2

Bring two lines up from the top circles, curving up and outwards.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 3

Add a “teardrop” shape to the bottom of the lower circle, and then add another “sword” shape just below this, curving in and back out to meet in a point.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 4

Now, add two long, thin spikes to the inside of the top shape, and then two more to the inside of the sword.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 5

Bring two curved lines up and across on either side, extending out to create the top of the wings.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 6

From each of the top corners, curve lines gently round and down, curving inwards and back out, connecting the wings back to the body at the bottom with slightly curved lines.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 7

Now for the bottom wings – bring curves down from the bottom of the top wings, and then create a wavy line down at a 45-degree angle. At the bottom of this, bring two “teardrop” shapes down, then move the lines back across, and move the lines up to create “steps”.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 8

Now add two lines inside the top wings to create a pattern.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 9

Add lines halfway across the top wings and move the lines up with two “bumps” to meet the top of the inner section. Cut off the corners and add two small dots inside this section.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 10

Continue to decorate the top wings with “spikes” moving towards the bottom of the inner section. Add two more circles to the top.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 11

Now, add two shapes to the bottom wings, pointing towards the bottom corners.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 12

Add a series of “sausage fingers” emerging from the edges of the shape you just created, fanning out around the bottom of the shape.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 13

Grab a black liner and use this to carefully outline the entire shape.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 14

Now grab a thicker black pen, and outline the main body, the inner sections of the body, and the outside of the pattern.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 15

Use the black pen to fill in the outside section of the butterfly.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 16

Now for that distinctive color! Grab a green pen and use this to fill in the top wings and the rest of the body.


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 17

Now use a blue pen to fill in the bottom wings…


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How to draw a ulysses butterfly step 18

And erase the pencil marks to reveal your stunning butterfly design!


And just like that, you have created your very own incredible Ulysses butterfly to treasure. There are plenty of fascinating facts to find out about these insects, so why not take the chance to do a little extra research, and discover the hidden secrets of the blue emperor butterfly?

If you have ever taken the opportunity to visit Queensland, Australia the chances are high that you would have encountered their distinctive emblem – the Papilio Ulysses, also known as the Ulysses butterfly, or the blue emperor.

This distinctive creature is a large swallowtail butterfly, commonly found in Australia, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, and Papa New Guinea. The wingspan will typically be around 14 centimeters, but this can vary between different subspecies – as a general rule, western subspecies have the largest wingspan, while those found in Queensland tend to have a wingspan of around 10.5 centimeters.

These beautiful butterflies are extremely distinctive thanks to the upper side color of their wings – this is an incredible, vibrant, electric blue color, well the underside of the wing is a more subdued but still striking black and brown shade. Both of these colors are created by the microscopic structure of the scales and are the result of a phenomenon at known as structural coloration. This helps the Ulysses butterfly to stand out amongst the millions of butterflies across the globe, and its limitation to certain areas means that it is one of the “must see” insects for many butterfly fans.

Even for those not particularly skilled in entomology, the bright beautiful wings are an eye-catching sight, and spotting one of these creatures is a goal for many holidaymakers visiting Queensland in particular.

While the insect is in flight, it can be spotted from hundreds of meters away, appearing as incredible bright blue flashes in the sky – as well as looking amazing, this also helps the butterfly to attract mates, and continue the expansion of the species.

How to Draw a Ulysses Butterfly Gallery

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