Tutorial: How to paint watercolor muscari or grape hyacinth flowers

Muscari or grape hyacinth flowers are a true beauty of spring. They’re small and delicate, and you could easily miss them on a woodland walk. But look closely and you’ll see a fasctinating flower – oval shapes like a bunch of grapes, with a little frilly edge underneath.

These muscari flowers are so easy to paint in watercolour with a loose florals style – here’s my spring watercolour tutorial to brighten up your sketchbook!

muscari grape hyacinth tutorial

What you will need

Colours

  • Sap Green
  • Prussian Blue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Ultramarine Blue

All the watercolour paint I use is Winsor & Newton Professional, but please use whatever blue colours you have at home.

The best way to mix the colours is to create blends of the different blue tones. As you paint the flowers, keep changing up the colours by adding different blues as you go.

Concentrate on varying the value too – the lightness or darkness of the colour by adding water.

Paint grape hyacinth (muscari) flowers – step by step

  1. Start by mixing up a dark blue with a thick mix, only a little water. Load up the tip of your brush and create a small group of oval shapes, with a peak at the top. Make the shapes larger underneath, and leave lots of white space.
  2. Continue to build downwards, creating a cone shape overall. Make the ovals bigger and lighter as you go, keeping them separate.
  3. Change up the blue colours of your muscari and value by adding different colours and lots of water – it helps to get these colours light first of all.
  4. Once you’re happy with your shape, grab a small brush with a fine point and a dark blue colour like Prussian blue or indigo. Using the fine tip of the brush, create some small flicks under each flower shape, allowing the wet paint to blend out. This creates the frilly details in a grape hyacinth.
  5. Think of it like a flared tutu shape under each flower petal/bud. Allow your colours to mix and blend on their own.
  6. Grab a blue-green colour and pull down a curved stem from the centre of your flower.
  7. Use long, fluid strokes to create the leaves, curving them in at the top to frame the flower. Make some leaves lighter than others, and try crossing leaves over to make the flower seem lush and full.

And there you have it! Painting grape hyacinths in watercolour is easy once you know how to add the frilly details.

Other spring flowers to paint

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