How to paint a watercolour foxglove

Foxgloves are beautiful flowers! I love to see their spires towering over a flower bed, with their little bells and freckles. If you’re lucky, you’ll see pollen-covered bumblebees visiting every single flower head too.

I always find a lot of painting inspiration while in the garden, so I wanted to find an easy way to paint such a complex flower. Here’s my easy watercolour foxglove tutorial!

how to paint foxgloves in watercolor

What supplies you’ll need

  • Watercolour paper
  • Selection of watercolour paints
  • Brushes (medium and small for details)
  • Water jars with clean water
  • Paper towels or cloth to dry your brushes


  • Opera Rose
  • Dioxazine Purple
  • Sepia
  • Sap Green

I’m working in pink and purple, but you can choose any colour you like. Then you’ll need a green and brown for the leaves and freckles!

Painting a foxglove flower – step by step

  1. Start by painting the first bell. Load up your brush with the pink, then paint the top and sides with a loose wiggle. Lift your brush and pick up some water.
  2. Add a lighter wash for the inside and bottom of the bell, leaving a little white space underneath your top line. Allow it to touch the sides and bleed together.
  3. Add a darker pink-purple triangle shape above to the complete the bell, then a couple of small tear-drop shapes at the top of the trumpet.
  4. Repeat this process several times to create your foxglove spire. Work from the bottom up, bringing the shape upwards and inwards as you go. Your flowers should be getting smaller and darker as you move up.
  5. Vary the direction of your flower trumpets by pointing the openings left and right. Add a side view of the flower to the edges – create a vertical line for the trumpet edge, then a darker triangle to the left or right.
  6. As you get towards the top, create closed trumpets in the darker pink-purple tone.
  7. Using your green colour, add a central stem between the flowers. Use your brush tip to create closed buds at the top, with a few closed flower buds in purple. 
  8. Connect some of your trumpet flowers to the stem with thin lines in a light green. Make the stem underneath much thicker.
  9. Add a rough leaf to one side by dragging your brush diagonally on its side, leaving white space.
  10. Finally, when the flowers are dry, add freckles with a light brown mixture! Vary the darkness and size of the freckles to create a natural pattern. 

Now you know how to paint watercolour foxgloves – please share your amazing work on social media! I can’t wait to see what you create.

Read my full guide to watercolour florals for more painting ideas!

More floral painting ideas

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