How To: Quick & Easy Watercolor Succulent

Stock photo c/o   SC Stockshop

Stock photo c/o SC Stockshop

Hi, y'all! I've missed hanging out here. After two blogging breaks and LOTS of travel, I'm ready to sit a spell at my desk. (haha Betcha haven't heard THAT before!) Actually, I'm hoping to enjoy the rest of the summer weather by being outside whenever melting won't occur - farmer's markets, trips to our pool, and dragging Hal to my favorite gelato place as often as humanly possible. That said, the air-conditioning has its perks, and today I've got a fun, summery little project that makes the perfect indoor activity for days when both the temp and the humidity are in the 90s. (#lifeinthesoutheast)

So let's dive right in! Here's what you'll need:

Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial Anna Kay Artworks
  • cup of clean water
  • watercolor paper
  • large paintbrush (I used a 10 round)
  • small paintbrush (I used a 0 round - totally possible to do all of this with just one brush!)
  • paper towel
  • watercolors in desired colors (I mixed a terra cotta using red, brown, and a little blue. My green is mixed with a little blue and a little Payne's Grey. Get crazy and use colors that you like! I'd like to see a navy blue succulent myself.)
  • paint palettes


After you get your colors mixed and your large brush clean, dip it into the color for your pot. Create a long, thin rectangle, leaving some parts white for a stark highlight. It doesn't matter which side you do the highlight on, just remember it will need to be consistent throughout the pot!

Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 1 Anna Kay Artworks


Still using the large brush and the pot paint color, make a shape almost like a square, narrowing towards the bottom. Fill it in but don't forget to leave those highlights white!

Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 2 Anna Kay Artworks


Clean and dry your brush and start in with your succulent color. Make a crescent shape with a little flick backwards at the top.

Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 3 Anna Kay Artworks


Repeat on the other side and fill in!

Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 4 Anna Kay Artworks
Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 5 Anna Kay Artworks


Then keep making squiggles (technical term, that) and filling in the shapes, but leave a little blank space between each leaf to differentiate between them!

Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 6 Anna Kay Artworks
Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 7 Anna Kay Artworks


The middle and back rows of leaves are mostly variations on diamond shapes, with a little more movement. It's organic, after all!

Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 8 Anna Kay Artworks
Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 9 Anna Kay Artworks


Once you've filled in as many leaves as you like, get a good coating of your succulent color on your smaller brush. Go over the shapes where the leaves would naturally overlap to create a shadow. (You may want to get a little water on your brush and blend the shadows in.)

Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 10 Anna Kay Artworks


Your pot is probably dry by now, so you can take your large brush and add some more color to create a shadow on the opposite side of your highlight. Then take your small brush, dip it in the pot color, and add little dabs to the very tips of your leaves, blending down as you go.

Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 11 Anna Kay Artworks


And there you have it! A beautiful watercolor succulent painting of your own creation! Isn't it a cutie?

Free Watercolor Succulent Tutorial 12 Anna Kay Artworks


If, however, you looked at all this text and scrolled to the bottom hoping there was a printable so you don't have to paint it yourself - you're in luck! There's a printable of my little guy below. :)

To print, right click and select "Save Image As," then print as you normally would from your computer!

To print, right click and select "Save Image As," then print as you normally would from your computer!

If you painted (or printed) your own succulent, I would LOVE to see! (And will most definitely do a round-up of your photos in my Insta Stories!) Tag me on Insta @annakayartworks!