Tutorial: How to paint snowdrops in watercolour

Snowdrops are beautiful spring flowers with their hanging heads and bright white flowers.

But painting white in watercolour is really difficult. Usually we leave the paper blank to create white areas, but how can we create white flowers? In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I mix a grey-white colour to create these stunning snowdrops.

snowdrop tutorial how to paint snowdrops

What supplies you will need

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


To mix a white tone, you’ll need three opposite colours to create a grey – one blue, one yellow and one red.¬†

I’ve listed out the colours I used below, but work with the closest in your palette:

  • Sap Green
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Scarlet Lake

Painting a bunch of snowdrops – step by step

  1. Mix your red, blue and yellow together to create a neutral grey, then add lots of water to create your ‘white’ paint.
  2. Load up your watercolour brush and outline a pointed petal, before filling in with paint. Add a second petal on the other side, and tuck a third petal behind the left side. Finish the flower with a short section in the centre.
  3. While the paint is still wet, add a touch of green to the short centre ruffle and allow it to bleed out.
  4. Using your green paint, add a bud above the flower and then a half loop with a thin line to ‘hang’ the flower head. Follow the line down and get thicker for the stem.
  5. Repeat the process for two more flowers, at different heights for a natural composition.
  6. Add the leaves last – pull up long, curved leaves with pointed ends. For a full snowdrop flower bunch, overlap the leaves. Create very pale ones for the background to create depth and you’re done!

Now you can paint beautiful snowdrop flowers. Tag me in your work on Instagram so I can share!

More spring flower painting tutorials

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