How to Create Watercolor Flowers Tutorial Plus a Gorgeous Giveaway

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Today I am so, so pleased to introduce Anna from Anna Maria Locke! Anna is a very talented, creative person who can knit up a storm and wield a watercolor-saturated brush like nobody’s business. In accordance with her watercolor know-how, she has created this tutorial for us to learn how to create gorgeous watercolor flowers.

So, without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Anna:


Hi everyone! I’m Anna from Anna Maria Locke, and I’m super excited to be guest blogging for Lindsey today! Ever since I was little I’ve always loved drawing, painting, and creating things, and after I made my own watercolor invitations for my wedding last October, I decided to open an Etsy shop to share my love of bright colors with the rest of the world! Today I’m going to teach you how to paint watercolor flowers like the ones I feature on my note cards. You can use this technique to make your own note cards, birthday cards, place settings, wedding paper goods, or art to hang in your home!

Watercolor is my favorite painting medium to work with because it’s so fluid and organic. At the same time, it can also be unpredictable and unforgiving, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t seem to paint what you want. Part of the fun is letting the watercolors have control and just watching what comes out of the brush. Keep in mind that your own artistic style will emerge when you try this tutorial, and that is what’s so awesome about making art!

To get started, here are the supplies that you’ll need:

Supplies Required to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

  • A jar or tub of water
  • Watercolor paints (Crayola works just fine! Their bigger set on the left contains some beautiful vivid colors for less than $4. Also note that Styrofoam egg cartons make awesome palettes.)
  • Watercolor paper (I prefer 140 lb weight 9”x11” pads. The thicker the paper, the less likely it is to warp.)
  • Envelopes if you’re making note cards (I like the European flap envelopes from papersource.com)
  • Brushes (My favorites are sizes 0, 2, and 6 round brushes)
  • A paper towel to soak up excess water and paint
  • Optional: a paper cutter (I got the one below at JoAnn’s with a coupon for about $12)

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 1: Cut your paper into the sizes you want to work with. You can use scissors if you don’t have a paper cutter. I cut mine into 6” by 8” pieces to fold into 4” by 6” note cards. I like making 4×6’s because they’re easy to stick in a small frame!

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

The 9×12 inch watercolor pad makes two cards per page with some scraps leftover that I turn into bookmarks.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 2: Choose the colors you want to use. For this tutorial I’m going to use (from left to right between the brushes) yellow-green, dark purple, pink, magenta, and dark blue. You can use whatever colors you want, but I recommend choosing 2-4 shades that are next to each other on the color wheel for the flowers, and some sort of green for the leaves and stems.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 3: First I’ll show you how to paint a poppy-esque flower.  Dip a medium size round brush (I’m using #6) into water, pick up some of the dark blue paint, and start by painting a U shape.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 4: Fill in the U shape so it looks like a side view of petals, and then paint a thinner squiggly shape above the lower petals, leaving a very thin white space between what is now the front and back petals of the flower.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 5: Before your first flower has a chance to dry, quickly clean your brush in water and pick up some contrasting paint (I’m using purple now). Dab the contrasting color along the bottom of the flower and allow it to bleed into the blue for a shaded effect. If the color comes on too dark you can blot it with a paper towel for a different effect. Play with it!

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 6: Using your smallest brush, pick up some green paint and add a blob of green to the bottom of the flower. Again, let the paint bleed into the petals if it’s still wet. In a delicate, quick motion, draw a line down from the flower for the stem.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 7: Now let’s make a different flower. This one looks like a thistle or spider mum. I’m using some of the magenta paint and the smallest brush (#0). Quickly swipe the paint down in curved lines from one central point, in an umbrella shape. Pick up more water and paint as your brush will dry out after two or three swipes.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 8: In green, add a curving stem to the flower, again using a very quick and light sweep of the smallest brush.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 9: Now let’s have a Bob Ross moment and make a happy little flower bud. Draw a curving stem and then in blue paint a little blob at the end of the stem.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 10: With purple, add a dot of contrasting purple to the bud. Mine was very dark so I blotted it with a paper towel.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 11: Next I painted another poppy flower in blue and purple, using similar technique as the very first flower. I made a different shape though. Experiment!

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 12: After the flowers have dried, you can go back with a small brush and add some detail to the petals.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 13: I decided to add one more flower, a small blue one. I painted a basic front-facing flower shape in blue and then blotted it with a paper towel.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 14: To make a leaf, press down and then back up with your brush, connecting to the stem.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 15: I added some more detail to the flower after it was dry by painting dark dots in the center.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Step 16: My magenta flower was looking a little sparse so I went back and filled it in with some more color.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Voila! The finished product! Note my piece of scrap paper on the side. It’s handy to have a place to test colors and brush strokes before you take your brush to the actual work!

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

Extra Credit: To paint roses or peonies, make “C” shapes out from a central point with a small brush, making the “C’s” bigger as you extend out from the center.

How to Create Watercolor Flowers | The Postman's Knock

{These are the cards being offered in the giveaway!}

And there you have it! After your watercolor flowers have dried completely, fold your note card in half and don’t forget to sign your masterpiece! I hope I’ve inspired you to pick up a brush and try some watercolor painting. It’s very relaxing and fun!


Lindsey: I absolutely love Anna’s work, and am particularly enamored with the DIY wedding invitations she made using the watercolor technique outlined above. Not only were her wedding invitations gorgeous (I mean, really stunning), but she made 55 invitations for $101.00. One hundred and one dollars. That’s $1.84 per full invitation suite! If you aren’t impressed at that mere fact, take a look at what she did:

DIY Watercolor Wedding Invitations | Annika Likes

*Please note, the giveaway mentioned below has ended — but you can still visit Anna’s pages!*

If you enjoyed the above tutorial on painting watercolor flowers as much as I did, you will want to enter Anna’s giveaway for the four watercolor cards she created as shown at the end of her tutorial (she’s including envelopes). You can enter to win this drawing up to three times by:

 

54 Comments

  1. Lynne T says

    This is a wonderful blog post! I have all the supplies to try this…hopefully tomorrow. Tried to enter all three ways…but the Blog subscription didn’t work. Your colors are yummy!

  2. Karla T says

    Such beautiful flowers! I’m going to share your tutorial with my daughters who are more artistically inclined then I. Thank you for sharing your techniques.

    Your invitations were absolutely stunning! I love the bachelor’s button on the right side especially.

    I Liked Annika Likes on FB and favorited on Etsy.

  3. says

    Thanks, Lynne and Karla! Karla, I love that you recognized that as a bachelor’s button. Anna’s parents are horticulturists, so she’s flower-savvy. :) You’re both entered in the drawing!

  4. says

    Hi everyone! I’ve added a couple subscription options to the side bar of my blog so you should be able to subscribe by email or reader!

  5. says

    Love your flowers. I started my watercolor journey in the late 90’s after reading Betty Edwards: Drawing on the right side of the brain, using each exercise as a step forward in gaining more experience. Currently I am working on backgrounds and my favorite is using an old toothbrush dipping it into a contrasting color and splattering it around the flowers.
    Thank you for sharing your work.
    elizabeth shipley

    • says

      Anna is amazing with watercolors! She’s also gifted with fabrics and fibers, as per her Etsy shop. I love the toothbrush trick you are talking about; but I usually use it when I’m creating acrylic paintings. :)

      I really like the way you incorporated watercolor into your website; very, very cool! As a side note, I grew up on tempeh and love it, but my significant other is unfortunately not a fan … so it doesn’t appear on our dinner table nearly as much as it should. The recipe for tempeh looks a little intimidating, but I am determined to try it out someday — thank you for the ingredients and tutorial!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful Sunday!

  6. Jasmine says

    Hey! I love your work and tutorial. I can’t wait to try this for art in my living room. What brand did you use for the watercolors in the tubes?

  7. says

    Thank you so much – I just made my mum a Mother’s Day card using this tutorial!
    I also tried to follow Anna on Facebook & check out her blog, but neither of the links worked – is there another way to connect with her?
    Thanks so much, Gude

    • says

      Hi Gude!

      Thanks for letting me know the links don’t work! Anna changed her blog name to “Anna Maria Locke” — and you can visit her website here. Now I need to change the links in the post! Thanks again for bringing my attention to this. :) I’m so glad you were able to use Anna’s tutorial … and, wow, thank you for reminding me that Mother’s Day will be here before I know it! You’re a good daughter; now I need to follow your example. 😉

  8. Candice says

    Thank You Lindsey for this fabulous tutorial! I just tried to paint these flowers and they turned out fantastically!

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