Drawing a chrysanthemum with watercolor

Drawing a chrysanthemum with watercolor

Hi friends!  These days I really felt like drawing some flowers with watercolours, so I went around internet looking for references and in this website pxhere.com (where you can find copyright free pictures), I found this beautiful chrysanthemum that instantly got me.

drawing a chrysanthemum with watercolor
Web pxhere.com

I share with you part of the process creating the flower. It took me approximately 12 hours of work.


-Paper: Canson Moulin du Roy, 100% cotton, grain satin,  Hot pressed (Amazon)

-Brushes: Escoda 2, 0.2 (Barna Art) ; Winsor & Newton Cotman 0; Windsor & Newton 3 y 5 (Amazon)

-Watercolors: Sonnet Studio (Amazon) (they are Russian and I love the intense colors that they offer!)

*Porcelain plate (watercolour spreads much better in porcelain, however in plastic plates it tends to group)


First of all, we create the sketch of the flower in a plain paper. We can make a photocopy of the image reference to make this process easier.

After that, we transfer the drawing to the watercolor paper. Use a HB pencil or similar, as we don’t want to have strong pencil strokes.

drawing a chrysanthemum with watercolor
Boceto de la flor ya sujeto al tablero. ¡Listos para empezar a dar color! // Flower Sketch attached to the board. We are ready to start coloring!

Next, you have to stretch the paper. I use tape and a piece of hard cardboard to hold properly the paper.

For this flower, I used  wet paint onto dry paper, or wet paint onto an area of dry paint. This technique allows for more control and crisp, defined edges.

drawing a chrysanthemum with watercolor
Primeras capas de color / First layers of color

With this technique, you slowly build your drawing. We first apply the light layers and progressively we start adding the darkest tones.

Keep constantly your reference image closer to you, as it will help you to define the light and dark areas.

drawing a chrysanthemum with watercolor
Vamos añadiendo capas y más capas para ir ganando profundidad y volumen // We add more layers to get volumen and depth
drawing a chrysanthemum with watercolor
Intentamos seguir nuestra imagen de referencia en todo momento según vamos añadiendo más capas // We try to follow all the time our reference picture to get better results

With a bit of patience, the flower is finished.

Once the illustration is finished, I scan it to have it in a digital file. Normally I scan at 600 or 720 ppp, to get a better resolution.

Once scanned, with Photoshop I adjust the levels a bit as the scanner normally drops the colors down.

When the flower is digitalized, I can use it for other projects, such as patterns.


For this example, I assembled a pattern in Photoshop, using my Chrysanthemum flower and a soft pink color as background.

I added some touches with hearts and light clouds to add some texture.

What do you think of the result?

drawing a chrysanthemum with watercolors_pattern
drawing a chrysanthemum with watercolor
Example of a mockup with the chrysanthemum applied as a pattern
drawing a chrysanthemum with watercolor

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