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How to paint tulips in watercolor?

Sandra Doe

Sandra Doe

tulip flowers

Learning how to paint flowers in watercolor can be an exciting challenge. Today you will learn how to paint tulips in watercolor and make flower drawing easy.

Tulips usually represent spring, making them a perfect flower to have on a wall if you follow this easy step by step tutorial for beginners.

How to paint tulips in watercolor? 8

Step 1: Gather the following supplies:

  1. Watercolor brushes: get a mediumsmall size, and a flat brush. They will be used to create different effects when painting. 
  2. Watercolor paper: Paper will make a big difference in the outcome. We use Canson XL series in this tutorial. 
  3. Drawing reference: you can find any tulip flower online in order to copy the tutorial. 
  4. Watercolor PaintsWhite Nights is the brand that will be used in this tutorial. 
  5. Pencil: Best to use H, or 2H, making sure you do not have any bright lines. 
  6. Water jug: This can be anything, even an old cup.
  7. Tissue paper: Grab your kitchen roll. 
  8. Eraser: Make sure that it is white and does not leave any marks. We are using STAEDTLER Mars

Step 2: Let's start painting tulip!

tulip drawing

Step 1:

  • Start by sketching a rough outline of the tulip. 
  • After finding an overall composition, draw more definitive lines and add some details like the details of the petals ( middle line etc.)
  • Use eraser to make lines a little lighter and get rid of the unnecessary ones.
tulip drawing

Step 2:

  • For the first layer of the petals use a mix of magenta and red. Dip a medium size round brush (I’m using synthetic Escoda Ultimo N12) into water and add some paint.
  • The color shouldn’t be too dark at this point.
  • Fill the petal with watercolor and while it is still wet add a little of the more intense magenta color in the middle and the bottom parts of the petal.
tulip drawing

Step 3:

  • Paint other petals one by one using the same method.
  • Make sure that the other petals are dry before starting to paint a new one, if you want to create a distinct line between them.
How to paint tulips in watercolor? 13

Step 4:

  • Paint the leaves and the stem the same way, but use a mix of yellow and blue paint.
  • Also, you can add a little bit of magenta to make the color deeper.
How to paint tulips in watercolor? 15

Step 5:

  • If you want to refine the outline of the painted flower, you can do so with a flat brush (I’m using synthetic Pinax Creative N10).
  • Carefully remove unwanted areas of the paint with a slightly damp brush. 
  • That method works better on the cellulose watercolor paper than on the cotton one.
How to paint tulips in watercolor? 17

Step 6:

  • When the first layer is completely dry, you  can move on to the details. 
  • Using a brush with a pointed tip (I’m using synthetic Pinax Hi-tech N12) draw thin lines in the form of the veins of the petals and leaves.
  • Use darker color in the bottom of the petals for adding more volume to the flower.

If you have enjoyed this tutorial, then do not forget to check out this watercolor course for complete beginners called: “The Watercolor Workshop.”

The Watercolor Workshop is a course designed for beginner and intermediate artists wishing to explore and improve watercolor painting techniques.

This course starts with the basics and progresses gradually to more complex subjects and concepts.

The 19 modules are logically sequenced so that each module builds upon concepts learned in previous modules.

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