How To Paint Flowers with Watercolors?

Learning how to paint watercolor flowers is a great way to improve your painting skills, especially if you’re a beginner. In this post, I’ll discuss my favorite tips and a detailed step-by-step watercolor flower painting tutorial to create draw blooms and floral designs regardless of your skill level.

Water coloring is a wonderful art medium that both kids and adults enjoy alike. Not only does it allow you to create beautiful art pieces but it also allows you to relax and unwind. Just like any other form of art, it takes practice, time, and patience to master watercolor painting.

Learning how to paint watercolor flowers is a great way to improve your painting skills, especially if you’re a beginner. In this post, I’ll discuss my favorite tips and a detailed step-by-step watercolor flower painting tutorial to create draw blooms and floral designs regardless of your skill level.



Beginners Tips to Choose Materials and Tools for Watercolor Flowers

  1. Using high-quality brushes, watercolor paper, and paint is important if you want the best watercolor flower drawing results. You should start with the following list of supplies.

  2. Get a small, small and flat brush to create different effects and finer details when painting watercolor flowers.

  3. Use high-quality water color paper to avoid unwanted results. You can use artist-grade paper because it doesn’t buckle.

  4. While you can use any type of watercolors, using an artist-grade set of watercolor paints will create the best results. You can use both pans and tubes.

  5. Make sure you have a jar of water for rinsing brushes and activating your water colors.

  6. Having a graphite pencil and eraser is optional but you can use them if you want to draw outlines of flowers.

Step By Step Tutorial to Paint Watercolor Flowers



Read the following detailed tutorial carefully to create watercolor flowers that you’ll absolutely love.

Step One: Start with Flowers

It’s always better to start with flowers and make the watercolor leaves later, whether you want to create only one or a bouquet. If you’re using a graphite pencil to create an outline, make sure that your strokes aren’t bold or bright. Otherwise, they’ll be visible in the finished pieces, especially through the bright colors.

On the other hand, you want to start with a lighter color to outline if you’re not using a pencil. This way you can add more intense colors to the painting later on. Start with the color of your choice (diluted with water), but I use pink, red, orange, or yellow at this point.

Once you have outlined the petals, make the center of the flower. Use a separate clean brush and paint to draw the center by moistening the paper. For example, if you have used a red color, consider using yellow to make the center part.

You can add more watercolor flowers with different angles and shapes using the same technique but different colors and combinations. Pink-colored petals will go well with a yellow center and red with orange. You can also use blue or any other color to add some contrast. In short, play around as much as possible and go with the colors that work the best for you.

Step Two: Add Details to Your Watercolor Flowers

Now you need to add details to the petals and the center of the flower. Use the darker shade of the same color you used to darken the inner parts of the petals. After that merge the dark and light colors by moving your brush from lighter to darker areas by creating a gradient.

Repeat the same process to add details to the center of the watercolor flower. You’ll also need to use an even darker color to make some dots in the center. It’ll add richer details and more depth to your painting.

Step Three: Make the Stem and Leaves

Use a pale green color to paint the stems and leaves of all the flowers you made. A couple of watercolor leaves with each stem is enough. Make sure that you make leaves of different sizes so that your painting looks more natural.

Now use the small brush with deep olive-green color to create a thin line along the stem to give it double shade depth. Use the same green color to paint the parts of the leaves that touch the stem. If you have drawn any side view flower, you’ll need to paint their base with olive green color as well.

Again, make sure that you add a gradient by moving your brush from light to dark areas. You can also use other foliage shades such as blue-green, yellow-green, and even brown to make your leaves, flower bases, and stems darker. You can add or omit colors based on your preferences but the other techniques will remain the same.

Step Four: Add Finishing Touch Flowers

Now look at the entire watercolor flower painting and add some detail if necessary. You can add more dots and thin lines along the edges of petals and leaves for more dramatic contrast.

 It’ll help you to create contrasts and finer details to your water colour flowers. However, it’s important not to overwork at this point otherwise you’ll end up with a muddy and dirty painting. Once you’re don’t, let your painting dry and hang or place it at your desired place.

Guide to Paint Different Water color Flowers



In this section, we’ll discuss how to paint different types of flowers using watercolors. I recommend you try the steps mentioned above to get the handle of watercolour flower painting and then move to the following techniques.

Painting Water Colour Roses

There are different types of roses and you can also use different techniques to paint them.

Top View

The painting process should always start from the center if you want to paint the view from above. Use a small brush with a red and dark pink color mix and paint little circles with the tip.

Then use a separate brush or rinse the used one to paint broad petals with a light pink color. Make sure that you use the tuft of your brush to make petals around the center. You would also want to leave some empty spaces to create a light-reflecting effect.

Now use red pigment to highlight the edges of the petals to create a dramatic effect. Continue painting with the same color to darken the inner sides of the petals and make inward strokes to merge light and dark colors. Now use the same technique discussed above to make the stem and leaves.


You can also create diamond-shaped rosebuds if you want. Start with the mix of dark red and pink pigments and create a very small circle. Use a pink pigment to make the right side of the diamond in a way that the top side of the diamond is the small opened circle.

You’ll need to use a highly diluted pink color to make the left side of the diamond by leaving a little empty space right in the center for better shape and details. You can now make the stem and leaves to complete the rosebud.

Painting Watercolor Peonies

There are different ways of painting peonies using watercolor paints. Depending upon the stage of blooming and species of flower, you’ll need to use different colors for the center and make petals with different widths.

Half Opened Peony

Mix Payne’s gray, opera rose, and carmine red and make semi-circles that are curving towards the outer as well as the inner parts of the flower. Mix rose madder lake and cadmium yellow with water to create a highly diluted solution and use it to widen the semicircles to make petals.

Now rinse your brush thoroughly, use a light pink color to make small arcs pointing towards the flower’s inside from the outer petals by leaving some empty spaces.

Mix quinacridone gold and cadmium yellow colors and use a fine brush to make a bunch of small vertical lines on the empty space to represent the center.

Painting Water Color Anemones

Anemones have two layers of wide petals with rounded edges. The best way to represent these petals is to use different shades of red and incorporate empty spaces. Start painting bold and brisk strokes to make the outline of petals. Don’t forget to leave a little empty space after each stroke.

Use a lighter shade of red to paint the inner side of each petal and merge the two shades by making outward strokes. Let the petals dry and then use Payne’s gray to make the center of the flower for a lovely contrast.

First, create a dotted and distorted circle and half-fill it unevenly. Now use a fine brush to connect the dots with the center by making thin lines to make them appear like stamens.

Painting Watercolor Foliage

You can create leaves with different shapes and colors. To simplify the creative process, you don’t really need to reproduce the foliage of some particular flower. Your goal here is to learn about composition to add interest while making watercolor foliage.


Use a diluted mix of green color of your choice to create the stem and paint small leaves with different shapes and angles. You can change the color and size of leaves as well to give them a more natural look. Use the light to dark blending techniques that we discussed in the step-by-step guide to create better color gradients.

Palm Leaf

Creating palm leaves is incredibly easy. All you need to do is to paint a long-curved line and add leaves by painting small and thin lines from the inner edge outwards. Consider using different shades of dark green color to make leaves to add depth.

Pointed Leaf

Use the tip of your brush to paint a small curved line from the outer edge inwards to make the stem. Create the body of the leaf by pressing down hard to make the lower part of the leaf that’s attached to the stem. As you move upwards to complete the leaf, start reducing the pressure and fish with a little empty space to represent light.

Final Words

Watercolor painting is a fun and creative art that you can use to make interesting objects. The key to mastering this art is to practice as much as possible. We hope this post will help you paint your first watercolor flower painting. Using the techniques that I discussed here to paint petals and leaves will allow you to make pretty much any type of flower you want.

by Greg Conley

November 8th, 2022