Tutorial: How to paint a stargazer lily in watercolour

Stargazer lilies are remarkably showy flowers, with their huge curled petals, dramatic stamen and speckled freckle pattern. They’re really common in floral arrangements which makes them a great flower to learn to paint in watercolour.

The trick to painting stargazer lilies in a loose style is to focus on the overall shape, then let the speckles and stamen steal the show. Let’s get started!

how to paint stargazer lily flowers

Supplies you’ll need

  • Watercolour paper
  • Watercolour paints
  • Round brush (medium and small for details)
  • Water jars
  • Paper towels


  • Opera Rose
  • Scarlet Lake
  • Sap Green
  • Burnt Umber

All the watercolour paints I use are from Winsor and Newton, but you don’t need these exact shades. I’m using reds and pinks, but you can paint lilies in any colour you like!

Video tutorial: How to paint a lily in watercolour

Painting watercolour stargazer lilies – step by step

  1. Create a really light, watery mix of your pink with a little red mixed in and outline the first petal shape before filling in with a watercolour wash. You want long petals that end in a point.
  2. While the paint is still wet, use a slightly darker pink-red paint mix and add a central vein and some light dots and let them blend out.
  3. Continue working around the flower, one petal at a time. You’ll need space for six total, in a star shape. Let them touch together and leave a small space in the middle.
  4. Now grab your green and paint your stem and leaves. Lilies have long, pointed leaves with a slight curve, and I like to tuck them behind petals to give a strong background.
  5. When the petals are dry, use a small brush loaded up with red paint and tap the brush tip repeatedly to create your freckles. These should be more concentrated near the flower centre, and fade out towards the petal tips.
  6. Once this is dry, it’s time for the stamen! I’m using a thick green mixture to pull out from the centre, with long curved lines.
  7. Finally, grab some brown mixture and paint an oval shape at the end of the stamen. I like to press the brush down gently on the paper then lift straight up, so the brush belly leaves an oval mark.

Now you know how to paint stargazer lilies in watercolour! Add them to your next watercolour floral composition or combine three statement florals over a vase.

More spring floral tutorials

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