Paint a Flutter of Ethereal Watercolour Butterflies

Hi Messians, this is Clare with my final tutorial as a Get Messy creative team member and what an amazing year it has been!  It has been so great to be able to work with you all and be a part of such a brilliant team.

For the Season of Freedom I am going to show you how I have been painting butterflies using very wet watercolour paints to get all kinds of patterns and textures.

There are so many ways to use butterflies in your art journal and they add joy and drama to any page.  What could be better than adding your own painted butterflies to your pages.

Did you know that a group of butterflies is called a ‘flutter’? How perfect is that!


  • Watercolour paints in colours of your choice
  • Paintbrushes in a variety of sizes with a good tip
  • Watercolour paper – hot (smooth) or cold (textured) press, whichever you prefer
  • A palette to mix and prepare your paint on
  • Fresh clean water
  • Pencil if you want to sketch your shapes before painting
  • Paper to write names on
  • Pen or typewriter to letter your names
  • Gluestick

These butterflies allow you to experiment with watercolour techniques and they are going to look amazing whether you have perfectly even wings and designs, or a more organic feel to your work. Be prepared for some wonderful surprises when your butterflies dry and the full effects are clear.

Be patient and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Action  Steps

  1. Use a selection of colours and experiment with the effects and mixes.
  2. Use different paper to paint on, hot press instead of cold press or vice versa.
  3. Cut out your butterflies to add to journal pages.
  4. Photocopy your butterflies and cover a journal page with them.

Clare Etheridge

Clare is originally from the north of England and has lived in the mid-west of America since 2003. Her workplace is the local library where she is a part time librarian, which is good because she loves books. Her favourite part of art journaling is the opportunity to create with no pressure and usually no finished idea in mind and the chance to create a sketchbook and fill it up however she wants!


  1. Lea Betty

    They are so pretty!!

    • Clare Etheridge

      Thanks! I can’t wait to see what you paint!

  2. Suzanne Earley


    • Clare Etheridge

      Thanks, they are super fun and a little bit addictive.

  3. Heidi Lilley

    Oh, Claire! I love your flutter of butterflies! And the names you came up with for them is so creative. Thank you for being a part of the creative team this year, I’ve enjoyed you so much.

    • Clare Etheridge

      Thanks Heidi, it has been a wonderful year and I am sure Get Messy will keep us all creative in 2019!

  4. Serafine Bourne

    Really enjoyed this, Clare! I can’t wait to try it! Thank you!

    • Clare Etheridge


  5. Maura Flood

    Your butterflies are so pretty, Clare. And the names are brilliant.

    • Clare Etheridge

      They are such fun to make and invent!