Swallowtail Butterfly

Products Used

  • Shape of Choice
  • EL-115 - Iron Moss
  • EL-123 - Patina
  • S-2101 - Crystal Clear Brushing
  • SC-12 - Moody Blue
  • SC-15 - Tuxedo
  • SC-34 - Down to Earth
  • SC-82 - Tuscan Red
  • SP-205 - Speckled Tiger Tail
  • SP-231 - Speckled The Blues
  • SP-241 - Speckled Brown Cow
  • SP-254 - Speckled Vanilla Dip
Decorating Accessories
  • BT-910 - Synthetic Sponges
  • CB-110 - #10/0 Liner
  • CB-220 - #2/0 Detail Liner
  • CB-406 - #6 Pointed Round
  • CB-604 - #4 Soft Fan
Additional Materials
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Download Project Pattern: Swallowtail
Project Info


  1. Begin with properly fired shelf cone 04 bisque. Moisten a clean sponge and wipe bisque to remove any dust.
  2. Position the butterfly pattern on the bisque leaf. Place the butterfly so that one corner of the butterfly runs just off the edge of the leaf. Trace the sections on the ware of the butterfly with indications where the major sections of wings are in the pattern.
  3. Using a CB-406 #6 Pointed Round, apply 2 to 3 coats of each of the following Speckled Stroke & Coats:
    • SP-205 Speckled Tiger Tail to the to round circles in the lower wing section.
    • SP-231 Speckled The Blues to the band of color running up from the circles in the lower wing section.
    • SP-241 Speckled Brown Cow to the sections in the upper wing next to the body, the sections along the outer wing and the three sections along the upper wing edge.
    • SP-254 Speckled Vanilla Dip to the remaining sections in the upper wing and the larger portion of the lower wing not previous painted. This includes the sections on both sides of the blue area and the body of the butterfly.
    • The shading of SP-231 Speckled The Blues area is completed with SC-12 Moody Blue towards the inner edge of the section. Contour the color to form scalloped areas and definition to the area.
    • The round areas of SP-205 Speckled Tiger Tail is shaded with a bit of SC-82 Tuscan Red.
  4. Using a CB-220 #2 Detail Liner and loaded with some thinned (Skim Milk Consistency) SC-34 Down to Earth, start sketching in the dark portions of the wing pattern/markings. Apply 1 more thin coat than 1 heavy coat of color. You want to have a dark color eventually, not heavily in one coat. Continue the darkening to the markings with some very thinned SC-15 Tuxedo. This color should be darker along the outer edges of the butterfly, defining the scalloped edge of the wings. The Brown color should show through under the Black around the edges and only lightly reinforces the markings in the wing sections. Keep the Black colored lines finer over the Brown in these sections to aid in the shading.
  5. The body of the butterfly is 1 thinned coat of SC-34 Down to Earth shaded with thinned SC-15 Tuxedo over the SP-254 Speckled Vanilla Dip. Shading the edges of the butterfly’s body will give a highlight and contour to the body. All three colors should be visible still after painting.
  6. Using a CB-604 #4 Soft Fan, apply 2 coats of EL-123 Patina to the background around the butterfly. Make sure the first coat touches the edge of the butterfly. Back off the second coat ever so slightly around the butterfly.
  7. Apply 1 coat of EL-115 Iron Moss over the previous color. You want the darker color to cover as far as the second coat of the Patina. Do not apply this up next to the butterfly. When applying the coats along the edge of the leaf around the butterfly, be sure the color isn’t applied too heavily. Too heavy of coats will allow the glaze to run over the butterfly in the firing. When applying the third coat you can apply it in a dabbling manner giving it an uneven texture. This will produce more float in the glaze finish after firing. It is almost better to apply too little of glaze rather than too much here. NOTE: If you want, you can just apply 3 coats of EL-115 Iron Moss to the background instead of the two glazes. You may like EL-113 Spanish Moss alone or in combination with the Patina as well here.
  8. Using a CB-110 #10/0 Liner, apply SC-15 Tuxedo to the antennae on the butterfly over the Patina glaze. Keep the lines very dainty and fine.
  9. Apply 1 thinned coat of S-2101 Natural Clear over the butterfly wings and body only using a brush sized for the area.
  10. Stilt and fire the piece to shelf cone 06.

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