Tutorial: How to paint watercolour delphiniums

These iconic flowers are the symbol of summer for me! I love their towering blue shapes dancing in the gardens. Painting these flowers is so much easier than you think – just break them down into smaller parts. They’re essentially a group of small, four-petal flowers in a cone shape.

how to paint delphinium flowers in watercolor

What supplies you will need

  • Watercolour paper sheets
  • Watercolour paints
  • Brushes (small and medium)
  • Water jars
  • Paper towels or cloth to dry your brushes


  • Prussian Blue
  • Sap Green

Essentially, you just need a blue and a green – use whatever you have in your palette.

Painting a delphinium flower – step by step

  1. Start by creating a four petal flower. Mix up a medium blue tone and create the four petals. Make sure to keep the petals separate to avoid them turning into a blob. And leave the edges rough for added texture and detail.
  2. While the flower is still wet, touch the centre parts with a darker colour and allow it to bleed out.
  3. Paint more flowers next to your first, in diagonals rather than straight lines. Allow the very edges of the petals to touch where you can.
  4. Paint flowers from the side by adding two petals, like they’re tucked behind the others.
  5. Build this shape out into a cone, making it thinner at the top. Make sure the flowers are getting smaller and lighter at the top.
  6. Fill in gaps with half flowers and single petals as you go, and add half flowers along the bottom of the cone.
  7. Mix up a green and add the buds at the top. Create a central stem, with smaller stems coming off in a diagonal.
  8. Add little buds to the top, and then connect the flowers with small stems. Let the green colours mix into the blues.
  9. Pull a thicker central stem down the middle, and add small stems out to some of your flowers to make sure they’re connected.
  10. Add leaves with a wiggle stroke – pull your brush back and forward to create a zig-zag. These jagged and irregular leaves should have some white space in the middle too.

Delphinium watercolour video tutorial

Watch my real-time tutorial on YouTube to paint these gorgeous flowers with me!

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