How to Paint a Watercolor Snapdragon

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Painting an Illustrated Watercolor Snapdragon

Watercolor painting is a delightful and expressive medium, allowing artists to capture the beauty of nature with its translucent and vibrant qualities.

In this tutorial, we will explore how to create a charming illustrated watercolor painting of a snapdragon. Combining your watercolor and drawing skills, you'll create a lovely piece of art that showcases the intricate details and delicate colors of this fascinating flower.

Materials You'll Need

Before we begin, gather the following materials:

  • Watercolor paper (140 lb or heavier is ideal)
  • Watercolor paints in various shades (red, yellow, green, and more)
  • Round watercolor brushes in different sizes
  • Pencils and erasers
  • A small jar of clean water
  • Paper towels or a sponge for blotting
  • A reference image of a snapdragon (you can find one online or use a real flower)

Let's get started!

Sketching the Snapdragon

Choose a Reference

Begin by selecting a clear reference image of a snapdragon. Study the flower's shape, petals, and overall structure. Pay attention to details like the curvature of the petals and the positioning of the leaves.

Pencil Sketch

With a light pencil, start sketching the basic outline of the snapdragon on your watercolor paper. Don't worry about adding details at this stage; focus on capturing the overall shape and proportions.

Add Details

Once you're satisfied with the basic shape, start adding details. Draw the individual petals, the stem, and the leaves. Keep your lines light and fluid, as these will be guidelines for your painting.


Preparing Your Watercolors

Selecting Colors

Choose a palette of watercolors that match the colors of your snapdragon reference. Typically, snapdragons come in shades of red, pink, yellow, and white, with green leaves.

Mixing Colors

Mix your watercolors on a palette to achieve the desired shades. Experiment with blending to capture the subtle variations in petal colors.

Painting the Snapdragon

Wet-on-Wet Technique

Begin by wetting the paper within the boundaries of your snapdragon sketch. Use a large, clean brush and clean water to apply a thin layer of water to the entire flower area. This will help the colors flow more smoothly.

Apply the Base Color

Starting with the lightest color, gently drop in the base color of the snapdragon's petals. Allow the paint to blend and bleed naturally on the wet paper, creating soft transitions and gradients.

Layering Colors

Work your way through the petals, layering on additional colors. Observe your reference image to replicate the subtle variations in hue and shading.

Define the Details

Once the base layers are dry to the touch, use a smaller brush to add details. Define the edges of the petals, add veins, and accentuate shadows. Be patient and work gradually to capture the snapdragon's intricate beauty.

Painting the Leaves and Stem


Apply a base layer of green to the leaves and stem using the wet-on-wet technique. Similar to the petals, allow for blending and soft transitions.

Detail the Leaves

After the base layer dries, add details to the leaves. Paint the veins and highlight the edges to give them depth and texture.

Final Touches

Review and Adjust

Step back and evaluate your painting. Make any necessary adjustments to refine the details and ensure that the snapdragon is the focal point of your artwork.

Sign Your Work

Once you are satisfied with your watercolor snapdragon, sign your artwork with a discreet signature in the corner.

Congratulations! You've successfully created a beautifully illustrated watercolor painting of a snapdragon. This project allowed you to combine your drawing and watercolor skills to capture the delicate charm of this flower.

Keep practicing and experimenting with different subjects and techniques, and you'll continue to grow as an artist. Happy painting!

We thank Shayda Campbell for the images.

Enjoy This Video Tutorial About Art

Source: Shayda Campbell

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