There a finite number of butterfly wing shapes but a seemingly infinite number of Wing patterns. I have been going through my butterfly encyclopedias and sketching some of these patterns. I am working on some collages and I wanted to break down the wing patterns into the basic shapes and layouts. During this process I have come across the exceedingly simple one solid color wing to the outrageously complex mosaic patterns with spots. It's all just camouflage depending on what the butterfly needs to blend in. The ultimate blender is the transparent wing butterfly that is simply a window to whatever environment it is in. This process has helped me understand a little more about butterflies and evolution but mostly given me ideas for creating new butterflies inspired by the patterns of nature.
I started just sketching the basic shapes and markings patterns but also did a few in color.
I wasn't trying that hard but I liked how they turned out so I took the the half butterfly sketches and edited them in Photoshop Elements (PSE8) to create a few digital pictures.