Majestic Monarch Butterfly Tray

Majestic Monarch Butterfly Tray

Posted by DecoArt on Jan 22nd 2015

This tray features a regal monarch butterfly in a field of rich, springtime Americana® Acrylic colors.


    • water container
    • palette or plastic plate
    • paper towels
    • tracing paper
    • transfer paper
    • #2 round brush
    • fine-grit sandpaper
    • 1" painter's tape
    • stylus
    • old toothbrush
    • 18/0 liner brush
    • large flat/wash brush
    • #4 filbert brush
    • #8 filbert brush
    • 1/2" mop brush
    • wooden octagonal tray
    • 1" deerfoot stippler brush
    • grey graphite paper


    1. Mix Americana Primer & Sealer with Warm White and use to basecoat and seal the wooden tray. Let dry.
    2. Sand when dry and apply a second coat of just Warm White. Let dry.
    3. When dry, apply 1" painter’s tape to the inside of the tray, sealing the edges with a fingernail. Let dry.
    4. Using a large wash brush, apply Warm White to the center of the inside of the tray and, while still wet, pick up some Golden Straw and apply using a slip-slap, back-and-forth motion. Blend into upper edge.
    5. Pick up some Warm White with some Evergreen and work this into the lower edge of the taped-off center. (Blend with a 1/2" mop brush if needed.) Add some Dioxazine Purple in the same manner, softening with Warm White and a mop brush.
    6. Use the same procedure, wet into wet, for the sides of the tray.
    7. For the flowers and leaves: Dampen a 1" deerfoot brush and blot out most of moisture. Touch into Evergreen and pounce along lower edge. Add some Green Mist to lighten randomly.
    8. Wash the 1" deerfoot brush and blot. Pick up a little Dioxazine Purple and Warm White and tap in flowers. (There are three more obvious ones, but you can add more.) Keep these light, but varied in color.
    9. Using a #8 filbert brush, create leaves with two strokes and Green Mist. Shade the base of these when dry with Evergreen and highlight tip with Green Tea.
    10. Load a #8 filbert brush with Glazing Medium and Green Mist to create shadow leaves, placing them where fillers are needed. Attach all leaves with a liner brush loaded in Green Mist and Evergreen.
    11. The flowers are created with a #4 filbert brush loaded into Warm White and tipped with Dioxazine Purple. (They are stroked on beginning at the top with one stroke.) As you move down, the flower clusters create some 4-petal flowers. Keep these loose and dot the centers with Golden Straw on a stylus.
    12. Float along the bottom, taped edge with Evergreen.
    13. Transfer on the basic outline of monarch's wings and body. Undercoat the upper wings with Spicy Mustard; the lower wings with Golden Straw; and the body with Lamp Black. When dry, change to Mustard Seed for the top wings and Cadmium Yellow for the lower wings.
    14. When good coverage has been achieved and outline is dry, apply markings with grey graphite paper.
    15. Float shade on the upper wing sections with Terra Cotta and Georgia Clay. Highlight the outer edges of each section with Cadmium Yellow.
    16. Float shade on the lower sections with Terra Cotta and Spicy Mustard. Highlight the outer edges of each section with Yellow Light.
    17. Place some of the markings on the upper wings with three rectangular-shaped markings in Terra Cotta and four or five in Cadmium Yellow. (White ones can be placed over black after it has been filled in.)
    18. Thin Lamp Black to ink consistency and line sections with a 18/0 liner brush. Using a #2 round brush, fill in remaining Lamp Black, going around the Yellow Light and Terra Cotta markings.
    19. Float shade with Georgia Clay on both the upper and lower wings as well as the Terra Cotta rectangles.
    20. Float shade with Georgia Clay and Lamp Black next to the body of the butterfly on both the upper and lower wings. Repeat this step if needed.
    21. Float Emperor’s Gold on the outer edges of each section on both the upper and lower wing sections.
    22. Clean line work with Lamp Black if necessary and add antennas as well as three rows of Warm White dashes along the outer edges of wings, one on the very edge and two between the edge and the Emperor’s Gold sections.
    23. Add Warm White markings on the body: four pairs of spots and dashes with one line in the center.
    24. Remove the 1” tape and line around the octagon with Emperor’s Gold.
    25. Paint the top edge of the tray Emperor’s Gold.
    26. Using an old toothbrush, slightly thin Emperor’s Gold and spatter the entire surface.
    27. Sign your work and apply three coats of DuraClear Satin Varnish to seal.


    Monarch Butterfly Pattern