How to paint watercolour daffodils

Daffodils are my favourite spring flowers! Their yellow flower heads are so happy and cheerful, they seem to sing out the arrival of spring. Given the bold colours and architectural shape of daffodils, they’re perfect for painting with loose floral watercolour techniques. Here’s my step-by-step guide!

tutorial how to paint daffodils in watercolor

What you will need

  • Watercolour paints
  • Watercolour paper
  • Paintbrushes (recommend medium and small)
  • Water jars
  • Paper towel


  • Sap Green
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Yellow Ochre

All the watercolour paint I use is Winsor & Newton Professional. Don’t worry if you don’t have these exact colours – we’re really just using yellow, orange, brown and green so choose the closest equivalent from your palette.

How to paint daffodils – step by step

  1. Start by creating a circle in the flower centre and begin pulling out the first of the yellow petals. Keep the edges rough and pull the edges into a point.
  2. Mix up a slightly different yellow tone – use a different colour, add more or less water – then paint a second petal, letting it touch the first one. Changing up the colour again, add a third full petal.
  3. Make two final petals, at the top and bottom, thinner than the other three.
  4. Mix up a brown-yellow and add a curve behind the flower head, where it connects to the stem.
  5. Add a thick green stem curving down from the flower head, and pull up long curved leaves on either side. Curve the leaves back towards the flower head to frame your composition.
  6. Add other colours to your leaves while they’re still wet for interest – blues or yellow tones are perfect.
  7. For the daffodil trumpet centre, create a wiggly ring shape at the front of the trumpet. Then fill in a column behind that, connecting it to the centre of the yellow petals. If you like, you can add a deeper shadow on the underside.

Now you can paint daffodil flowers in watercolour! You can paint multiple flowers in a collection to create a big bunch of daffodils and mix up the colours with different yellows, reds and oranges for a fun composition.

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