How to paint an ice cream cone in watercolour

It’s not summer without ice cream! I love an old-fashioned ice cream piled up onto a waffle cone – it really cheers me up (and cools me down!)

Painting ice cream isn’t as difficult as it may look – the trick is to use lots of white space – leave areas of the paper dry to create the highlights. It will give a subtle texture too. This easy watercolour tutorial is perfect for beginners!

tutorial how to paint ice cream cone in watercolor

Supplies you will need


  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Umber
  • Permanent Rose
  • Lemon Yellow

All the watercolour paint I use is Winsor & Newton Professional. 

You can use any colour you like for your ice cream, but I find that it works best with light colours.

How to paint an ice cream cone in watercolour – step by step

  1. Start by creating the top of your cone – paint a semi circle in a light brown mixture, then add a cup underneath and another smaller semi-circle. Add a little bit of darker brown paint underneath and around the edges to create shadows.
  2. Outline your cone with a rounded bottom and fill in lines that criss-cross on the diagonal. Fill in the bottom tip, While still wet, I like to add a bit of pink to the cone to mirror the ice cream – use whatever colour you’re adding for yours.
  3. Now it’s time for your scoop of ice cream! Load up with a light colour and start from the bottom, just above your cone. Drag your brush from side to side, leaving gaps and whie space between strokes for highlights. Make sure the scoop bulges at the bottom to make it look anchored in the cone.
  4. Add a second scoop on top in the same way, leaving lots of white space and making sure the top is rounded.
  5. Using darker pink and yellow paints (or whatever colours you’re using) add splodges to your ice cream, allow it to blend out naturally.

Now you can paint your own ice cream cones in watercolour! Why not try different colours and create a range of flavours?

More delicious painting tutorials

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