How to Paint Amazing Flowers with Watercolor

How to Paint Flowers with Watercolor on paper
Painting flowers realistically with acrylic paints takes a measure of discipline. It is helpful to draw an outline of the image as detailed as possible so more attention can be put on shading and getting the shadows right. Here is how I painted “Shadows Dancing”.This chapter will show you how to draw flowers and paint them in watercolor.

Things You will Need:

  • Drawing pencil or charcoal pencil.
  • Acrylic paints. Any brand. Fluid Acrylics are best for this method.
  • Acrylic / Watercolor Paper or Canvas
  • Paint brushes
  • A photo reference.

how to draw flowers

How to draw flowers… Draw an outline of the image with a pencil. You may use a charcoal to draw. Sketch the folds roughlY, so that you can shade tfoil them.  If painting on paper, be careful to draw lightly, so as not to damage the substrate.


painting flowers in watercolor

Paint the flowers individually, blocking in the colors. Notice the different shades of ultramarine blue on the petals made by the highlights and the cast shadows.


how to paint flowers

The paints are very thinly diluted with water. Allow each layer to dry completely before painting over the next layer. Be patient. The more thinly you apply the layers, the more realism you can achieve. Notice how light the flowers above are in the beginning.

painting with watercolor

Paint around the whole picture. While waiting for the layers on the flowers to dry, I start painting in the leaves and stems. Here the green is a mix of ultramarine blue and yellow ochre.

painting flowers Step by step

Paint the shadows on the wall. Very lightly, I start to paint the shadows cast by the flowers on the wall with a very thin layer of Burnt Sienna. Shadows are delicate and you need to use many thin layers to get that effect. These shadows are the most important feature of this painting, that’s why I name it “Shadows Dancing”. The shadows make the picture dynamic and 3d.

painting shadows

Add more layers where needed. See how everything intensifies. I cool down the shadows with a layer of ultramarine over the burnt sienna.

flowers wall shadows painting

At this point, I suddenly decided to change the white wall to a sunnier yellow.
So I added a yellow ochre color to the wall. Thinly painted that the shadows show through it. In painting you can always improve on the the composition by not sticking to the photo reference.

watercolor painting

Few days later, I figured I wanted to intensify the picture, so I added more layers to this.


  • Dilute paints heavily with water.
  • Paint very thin layers.
  • Allow the layers to dry completely before painting the next layer.
  • Use a few colors as your imagination can take. Here I used only Ultramarine, Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna. Using few colors helps you create a very unified color composed image.
  • Painting shadows, try not to use black. Mix complement colors like in this case, Burnt sienna and Ultramarine, to get the darkness of the shadows.
  • Pay attention to tonal values, i.e the darks and the lights. This will make your painting look more 3d.
  • Be free to make changes. Don’t be bound by your photo reference.
  • If you make a mistake, don’t scrub. Just paint over more layers.

BUY Print of this painting here.