How to paint a watercolour anemone flower

Summer is usually a riot of flowers, but winter can seem barren. I think that’s why I love wintery anemones so much – they bring a splash of colour to a garden that’s usually brown, damp and empy – at least here in the UK!

These are a stylised version of anemones, not an accurate botanical sketch. I love painting them in Payne’s Grey.

how to paint an anemone flower in watercolor

What you will need


  • Payne’s Grey
  • Mars Black

All the watercolour paint I use is the professional range from Winsor & Newton. You can choose any colours for your anemone flowers – I’ve gone for a pale blue-grey.

Paint an anemone flower step by step

  1. Start by painting a circle in black for the flower centre. Aim to have it two-thirds of the way up your paper.
  2. Next mix up a very light value of the grey by adding lots of water and only a little paint. You want something really pale and translucent. Paint a petal with rounded edges, without touching the centre.
  3. Work around the flower to create six evenly space petals, leaving a little white space between them to avoid them all blending into one.
  4. Use a little darker paint to touch the insides of the petals, creating a shadow around the centre. Allow it to blend out naturally.
  5. Use a mid-grey to create a thin curved stem, then pull out long curved leaves with pointed tips. Make some leaves darker and others lighter to create contrast, and have some point upwards or downwards.
  6. When the flower is dry, use a small pointed brush and go back around the centre, adding curved flicks and then a ring of dots in black. Take your time with the details – the finer the better!

Now you have a finished anemone flower! I love these in wintery bouquets, contrasing with red flowers and berries.

More watercolour florals

Download my free watercolour supply guide

Feeling overwhelmed and confused by watercolour paints, papers and brushes? Download my free guide filled with insider info, including a list of good supplies for every budget, and my complete supply list!