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Paint a spring tulip

I have tubs of tulips in my garden and they are truly spectacular when they start too flower.

So beautiful that I can forgive them for only really being productive for one year.

I always end up painting them and thought I would share my process with you.

This step by step tutorial will show you how you can paint a beautiful spring tulip with a few materials and very little drawing.


I used watercolour paints in:

Opera Pink

Sap green

Cobalt teal Blue

Phthalo blue

A round size 10 paint brush

A piece of 140 lb watercolour paper

Swatch out the colours you are using and try mixing some of them together to give you a wider range of colours that will all be harmonious with each other.

2. Sketch

Create a simple drawing of your tulip (I used a photograph of a tulip in my garden which I have included below if you would like to use it.)

Don't be tempted to add too much detail you only need outlines.

3. Paint

I painted this by adding clean water to each area and painting them separately.

Eg paint water into a petal then drop in the paint whilst the area is still wet.

This will give a nice loose effect whilst keeping the colour inside the wet petal.

Hopefully the image below shows what I mean.

4. Work more petals

Then work around all the petals of the tulip using the same technique.

You can do the same in the stems.

You can also use some of your mixed colours to add variety.

Don't forget to leave some areas free of paint to show white areas and bring light into the painting.

Don't worry if areas run into each other - you will create some beautiful effects as you can see below.