How to draw and paint insects in watercolor for beginners

May 10, 2024

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Painting insects with watercolors can be a fun and rewarding activity, even if you’re just starting out! This guide is designed to help beginners explore the vibrant world of insects, from delicate butterflies to colorful beetles.

We’ll walk you through the basics, step by step, so you can create beautiful insect paintings with confidence. Watercolors are a fantastic medium for capturing the delicate and intricate details of insects. With their translucent layers and vibrant colors, you can bring these tiny creatures to life on paper. In this article, we’ll cover essential techniques like blending, layering, and creating fine details, all tailored for beginners.

Whether you’re a budding artist or just looking for a new hobby, painting insects in watercolor is a wonderful way to connect with nature and enhance your artistic skills. Grab your brushes and let’s dive into the world of watercolor and discover the beauty of insects together!

Lets gather our supplies:

You don’t need a lot to get started, just always it is better to be prepared. These are my honest recommendations that I love and use. 

  1. Watercolor brushes: get a medium brush (size 5 or 8), small size(1,2,4), and a flat brush. They will be used to create different effects when painting. Sable brushes are the best, if you want to create a professional looking piece of art.
  2. Watercolor paper: Paper will make a big difference in the outcome. It doesnt matter if you want hot or cold pressed paper. I recommend Strathmore or Winsor & Newton for beginners, but if you want to splurge then Arches paper is the best
  3. Best Watercolor Paints:The ones that I use and love is the Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Paint Set. They have so many colors to pick from, perfect for any artwork. But if you are just a beginner you can get smaller colors range Winsor & Newton Cotman 24 Whole Pans Set
  4. Pencil: Best to use H, or 2H, making sure you do not have any bright lines. I love this set from Staedtler Mars. 
  5. Water jug: This can be anything, even an old cup or a jar from pickles. 
  6. Tissue paper: Grab your kitchen roll
  7. Eraser: Make sure that it is white and does not leave any marks. I use either normal one or a kneaded eraser to just get a lighter shade of the piece. 


Learn how to paint in watercolor anything starting from flowers, to trees to owls. 

Step-by-Step Watercolor Tutorials

01. Watercolor Tutorial for Pink Dragonfly

Anything pink is beautiful, so why not paint a pink dragonfly? This is an easy step by step tutorial for beginner artists in watercolor. 

02. How to Paint a Seashell

Learn how to paint a seashell in this watercolor tutorial. It is a very easy follow along tutorial in watercolor that can be done in a limited amount of time. 

03. Step by Step Moth in Watercolor

Moths can be annoying at night, but they look so beautiful as a part of your sketchbook. You can practice painting fine details with this step by step tutorial with a fine brush. 

04. Watercolor Tutorial: Monarch Watercolor

In this watercolor tutorial, we’ll explore the steps to paint a monarch butterfly. They look absolutely gorgeous and just make me feel like the summer is finally here. I loved to catch them when I was much younger. It is so much fun.  

05. Paint a Ladybug in Watercolor Step by Step

Ladybugs are always an amazing subject to paint, not only when you are in the mood to paint something that relates to nature. They were iconic when we drew them in kindergarten. Now it may be a chance for you to try to improve with this simple step by step tutorial. 

06. How to Paint a Flying Butterfly in Watercolor

Blue flying butterflies… can there be anything more beautiful than this? This is the ultimate easy to follow watercolor tutorial that you have been on the lookout for. So grab your brushes and create it as a sketch or paint a bunch of them in different colors. Whatever you are in the mood for.

07. Paint Cute Snail in Watercolor

Nature is absolutely beautiful. This is an easy to follow watercolor tutorial on how to paint a cute snail in watercolor. 

I love the little smile on the face of the snail. Who said that all of the sketches have to be at all realistic? 

08. Watercolor Bee Step by Step Tutorial

Bees are gorgeous to paint. I have to admit that I am a little scared that they can bite me, but absolutely adorable as a part of a painting. Great addition to any flower or a card. 

9. Step By Step Blushing Butterfly Tutorial

Learn how to paint watercolor butterfly. This is an easy step by step tutorial in watercolor. But do not feel like you have to copy everything for the colors. You are an artist so you can be as creative as possible. 

10. Step by Step Purple Snail Tutorial

Learn with this tutorial how to paint a monstera leaf in watercolor, step by step. Perfect for those seeking a vibrant and tropical touch to their collection!

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

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

If you have been wanting to improve your watercolor skills then do not forget to check it out!