Art Blog

An Easy, Breezy Daisy Painting for Beginning Watercolorists — Only 6 Steps!

Many times, new watercolorists get frustrated with the medium because they aren’t immediately successful in creating something worthwhile. After all, there’s a lot to learn!

Daisy Watercolor Painting

That’s why I’d like to take you through a lovely little project that I use to help all of my beginning watercolor students get started. It’s a simple daisy resist project that every new student can paint successfully, replicate and practice again and again.

Follow along to learn how to paint a daisy! In the process, you’ll create something beautiful while learning valuable painting skills.

What you’ll need:

  • Watercolor paper
  • Masking tape to hold the paper in place
  • Masking fluid
  • Paintbrushes
  • Bar soap
  • Watercolor paints
  • Table salt

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Step 1: Masking the daisies

Draw a small cluster of simple daisies. You can take inspiration from my painting above, or create your own composition. Just be sure that each flower has its own space.

Wet a bar of hand soap and coat your brush bristles thoroughly before dipping your brush into masking fluid.  Cover all of the flowers and stems completely and neatly with the masking fluid. You may need to wash your brush, re-coat it with soap and masking fluid a few times before this step is complete. Allow your fluid to dry completely before going to Step 2.

Step 2: The first wash 

Watercolor Wash for Daisy Painting

Mix your desired background colors on your palette before wetting your entire page thoroughly. For this painting, I used Indian Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Payne’s Gray, Hooker’s Green and Burnt Umber.

Your first wash is going to be what is called a “wet on wet” wash. It will be loose, quick and soft. Starting with your lightest color first, lay on your Indian Yellow. Use a Number 12 round brush for this first large wash.

Yellow Watercolor Wash

Now, quickly paint on your blues and greens in upward motion strokes. Start with your brush on the bottom edge of the paper and stroke upwards to create a grasslike background.

Adding Blue to Watercolor Painting

Step 3: Deepening the colors

While you first wash is still wet, switch to a Number 3 round brush and, with a thickened pigment mixture, start adding grass strokes, alternating between the blue, green and yellow colors. Your grass strokes should always start from the bottom of the page, moving up in a quick and fluid motion.

Creating Natural Texture With Watercolor

While your wash is still wet, sprinkle a bit of salt onto the bottom grassy part of your painting.  The salt will absorb the water and colors and create a beautiful texture as it dries. Just a little bit of salt goes a long way, so don’t over-salt your project! You may also “splatter” your painting by loading your brush with paint and tapping it gently with one hand over the paper.

Allow the entire page to dry until it’s flat and completely dry to the touch. You can use a hair dryer to help speed along the drying process.

Step 4: Removing the masking fluid

Gently remove all of the masking fluid with your finger or a large eraser, taking care not to damage the paper. Your painting should look something like this:

Remove Masking Fluid from Watercolor Painting

Notice the beautiful pattern that the salt made on the paper! Once your masking fluid is removed, your artwork should resemble this:

Watercolor Painting With Masking Fluid Removed

Step 5: Painting the daisy centers

Right now, your flowers are looking like blobs of white on the page, so we will need to add some definition to our flowers! Let’s start with the centers: With a Number 2 round brush and clean water, wet just the round center of one flower. Paint the entire center with the Indian Yellow and then barely touch in a thicker Burnt Umber mixture to the bottom edge of the daisy center to give it depth.

Painting Watercolor Daisy Centers

Only work on one flower’s center at a time. Don’t wet several and try to do them all at once.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you may soften the edges of your center with your brush and some clean water: After you’ve painted the center and while it’s still damp, use clean water on your brush to just lightly touch some of the center edges to soften the sides and make them bleed a little bit. This takes a bit of control, so if you’re unsure, practice some centers on a separate sheet of paper.

Watercolor Daisy Painting

Step 6: Petals and finishing touches

Now, let’s lightly define your petals so they stand out from one another. After the daisy centers are completely dry, wet one petal with clean water.  With a very watered-down mixture of the the Cerulean or Ultramarine Blue and a Number 2 brush, touch the blue into the very edges of the petals that overlap with other petals. This creates a soft shadow that delineates one petal from another. The daisies should only have a hint of color on the edges of the petals — after all, you still want them to look white!

You may now paint some wet-on-dry grass strokes to pull your painting together. Use the same bottom-to-top motion that you used in the beginning wash.

Splattering a darker blue or green at the end will add a nice finishing touch, but if you don’t want the splatter to get onto your flowers, cover them with a tissue.

Finishing Touches on Watercolor Painting

Your daisy painting is now ready for your artistic signature and a frame!

Finished Watercolor Painting of Daisies

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19 Comments

Ferdinand Espiritru Cea

I Like paintings

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S

Thanks looks like a fun little project! I like painting and I like daisies too. I love artists helping other learn the craft

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Jim Sheehan

Hi, I am enrolled in one of your acrylic painting classes.
I can get on line and follow my painting class, but when I try to go to art supplies and purchase paints and brushes, I can’t do it.
Every time I try, I get kicked over to sewing etc.
I try to get on art supplies and it comes up with a girl posing in a t-shirt. Please help. I have been trying for hours and getting nowhere.
Thanks, Jim Sheehan

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Kay

I no longer seem able to order painting supplies thru Craftsy. I do wish they would issue a statement about this.

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Pat

Thank- you for creating such a great site filled with wonderful projects. I have taken three classes with craftsy, and I am so impressed by the professionalism!!! Keep up the good work!

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Eileen Shenton

I have subscribed to an art class on line but never took part. It may be this one which is very interesting.

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Jan

I am already subscribed to Craftsy, I found this on Facebook from the Painting Club. I’m away at present and don’t have paints with me, I would have liked to have saved this for later use. I couldn’t find out how to!

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Mary Forster

I found this on Pinterest and liked the painting so had a go. First time I have used the Salt technique and really enjoyed doing it. Will definitely be doing this again. Thanks for tutorial.

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Lisa

Loved painting the daisies! They came out beautifully!

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Ann

A nice simple painting to start with – I would suggest that you use an old brush for applying masking fluid as it can ruin your brushes and another tip if your paints/paper is not wet enough and not mingling together, try moving the picture around to encourage the colours to merge together or even a few squirts of water will help if the paint is too dry.

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Linda

Love the painting except for the white stems on the daisies. That part doesn’t make sense to me.

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Helen Downing

I enjoy watercolor also and gardening, so just FYI, the lesson is great, but the information on flowers needs tweaking: those look more like anemones than daisies! Daisies are many petals that are arranged like spokes on a wheel, these are broader than a daisy, but that’s ok! Just don’t title it, “Daisies”! I plan on trying this out. Seems like a good idea!

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Marjorie Holste

I just finished painting the daisies. Thank you Cady for your generous tutorial, it was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot:-)

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Maggy

So very kind of you to share your talent here with this free tutorial! Absolutely lovely and can be shared with those who cannot afford the classes (even though so reasonably priced) . Thank you on their behalf .

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mary ann

I am new to water color and will be trying this tutorial very soon. Since i am on a fixed income I appreciate the free lesson. I love the colors in your painting. I think that most people paint flowers simply because they are so happy and pretty and you can make them any color you want. I hope you make another free tutorial for those of us who need all the help we can get. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and the beautiful painting.

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cray

great paintings and instruction! just wondering, are u just putting the soap on the brush to protect it from the masking fluid?

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Tina

Fantastic watercolor painting! Thanks for sharing!

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Joyce

I helped 12 non-painters paint this project in watercolor in an evening. It took 4+ hours but they all were very happy with the results and learned a LOT. They were fascinated with the masking fluid and loved the effect of the salt on the wet paint. They did great.

I had the paper stretched and dry and also provided the paints, pallets, brushes, masking fluid, etc. They brought paper towels, spray bottles, tissue, etc. The cost for 12 people was $12 – $13 each. In retrospect, I think 2 sessions would be better. We were rushed but everyone left happy.

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Lisa Rimmington

I love your painting and it was really fun to try it with the tutorial. Thank you!

Reply

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