Easy Watercolor Flowers Step by Step Tutorial. Learn how to paint these lovely flowers with a detailed step by step lesson from Torrie of Fox + Hazel.
Easy Watercolor Flowers Step by Step Tutorial
Hi friends! Today I’m sharing this ridiculously easy and fun watercolor flower tutorial. It’s the perfect project if you’re new to watercolors and feel a bit intimidated. This project doesn’t require a ton of supplies either- just watercolors, paper and a waterproof pen. It’s so fun to do, and would be an excellent project for kids as well!
There are going to be a LOT of photos, but I wanted to make the steps super evident for anyone new to using watercolors. I’ve been working with watercolors for almost three years now, so I often forget that what seems apparent to me isn’t so for beginners. For this watercolor flower tutorial, I wanted to be conscious of explaining every step. I want this to be fun and far less intimidating if you’re new at this.
- Paper: watercolor or mixed media paper (at least 140 lb, so the paper does not warp!)
- Your favorite watercolors (I’m using the Kuretake Gansai Tambi set here)
- 8 round watercolor paintbrush
- Sakura Pigma Micron .03 pen or any waterproof black ink pen
- White Ink (I’m using Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen-White Ink)
Now, let’s get started with the Easy Watercolor Flowers Step by Step Tutorial!
The key to loose watercolors is to use a bigger brush than you’d expect. I love my 8 round brush and use it frequently for painting florals. So, what you’ll want to do is prime your brush with water first, then pick up a decent amount of paint on your brush. Next, you’ll paint a small blob where the bottom of the flower will be.
Wash your brush out, so it has no paint on it, but keep it loaded with water. While the paint is still wet on the paper, start with your brush at the edge of the paint blob and paint upwards to create a larger circle shape. By doing this, you create a natural gradient within your flower shape. It will be darker at the bottom of the shape, and lighter at the top, much like flowers are in nature.
You’ll be tempted to mess with the paint more, but resist that feeling! Watercolor is easy to overwork, so the rule of thumb is just to leave it before you ruin it, haha. That’s my rule at least. There – you’ve got the first step in your flowers!
Repeat step one with more flower shapes on your paper. Here are some tips to help your finished painting turn out great:
- Choose split-complementary colors or analogous colors. This means choosing colors that are either in a sort of triangle on the color wheel from one another (like blue, yellow and orange) or ones that are beside each other. I’ve chosen analogous colors in both my paintings: blues, purples and pinks; and then red, yellows and oranges. These all look great together because they are next to each other on the color wheel. If you want a quick less on color theory, I suggest this post here.
- Create an odd number of flowers. An odd number of objects is more visually pleasing to the human eye, so I’ve created each painting with seven flowers in it. You can do as many or as little as you like, just try to do an odd amount!
- Vary the size of your flowers with one largest flower as the focal point. This helps draw the eye to a focal point on the page, and there is less competition between where your eyes want to go.
While the paint is still wet on the page, tip the paper upwards to help the paint pool at the bottom of your flowers. You can also opt to use a heat gun if you have one (where my embossing peeps at?!), but do be mindful that if you get the heat gun too close to the paper, you do risk pushing the paint outside your flowers. I did use mine here, and it resulted in a more water stained effect than if I had let the paints air dry. Either way is totally ok.
Let these blobs dry completely before moving on. If you don’t think you have enough contrast or that it needs more saturation at the bottom of the flowers, then feel free to add another layer of paint.
Once your paint is completely dry, you can start drawing in some stems! This part is enjoyable to do, and is also really easy, even if you’re not much for drawing. Draw a single line down from all your flowers, making sure the lines are not perfectly straight. Yes, you read that right. Embrace the wobble in your lines, and the finished result comes out quaint and cute. Then add your leaves as you like on each stem. I did a mix of little leaves, big leaves, alternating, symmetrical. Next, on the flowers, draw some stamen and leaves at the base of the flowers. There’s no wrong way to do any of this – you just want a mix of different styles. Look at you-you’re killing it, making this easy watercolor flower tutorial look like child’s play. Go you!
**Full disclosure: You can see in these pictures that I’m drawing with a PaperMate Flair pen, not the Micron. Do not do this! I mistakenly used it, forgetting it was not waterproof and wasn’t able to paint the leaves on this painting. Which may be why I created a second one for this post, haha. So if you don’t plan on completing the next steps, then the pen doesn’t matter. However, if you want to paint your leaves, then a waterproof ink is a must.**
Next, we paint the leaves! These do NOT need to be perfect since our flowers are very loose. Pick a light shade of green and load the brush with just a little bit of paint, then very loosely paint over the leaves. Air on the side of caution with the intensity of paint because we don’t want the leaves to compete with the flowers. Paint as many or as little leaves as you like and let dry completely!
This part is optional, but I think the white ink splatters add a little more interest in the paintings. First, put a little bit of the white ink into a small dish and add enough water to thin it out a bit. My white ink is quite thick, so I have to water it down for it to splatter. Next, hold the paintbrush like you’re about to cast a spell a la Hermoine Granger, and firmly tap the brush with your forefinger. You’re splattering paint! Do as much splattering as you like! Be mindful that this does get paint in a larger area than your painting (so make sure your phone is out of the way!)
And we are done this easy watercolor flower tutorial! See? Not too hard right? You nailed it and painted this beautiful painting in no time.
Now, if you read this all and you’re like “that’s cool, but can you make this as a card?” This is a legitimate question! I’m always looking for greeting cards that won’t cost me $8 a piece. Well then, my friend, have I got a treat for you! You can download these designs as these great birthday cards over on my blog. Check it out below:
Meet Torrie, the artist behind Fox + Hazel. She is an artist, graphic designer, wife, & mother of three kids 5 and under. She shares her artistic endeavors on Instagram and YouTube and shares free art + design goodies on her blog. Through process videos, blogging, and teaching online workshops, Torrie is passionate about sharing her creativity in hopes of igniting that passion in others. She loves art journaling, painting, punk music and would have a coffee IV if they existed.