Painting a Rose in Watercolor
My photograph of this lovely rose taken at
Butchert Gardens in Victoria, B.C. is perfect
for this step by step study.

~First place tracing paper or clear acetate
(shown) over your photo and trace only the
outside shape of the rose using a fine tip
permanent marker (like a Sharpie).
~Now, using a light box or a window, place the
outline under your watercolor paper and trace
the outline shape of the rose using a   regular
pencil. Hint: a light touch is easier to erase
~Paint the rose shape inside your line with a
pale pink watercolor wash. (See 1.)
~While it is still wet you can drop some pale
yellow paint into the pink color.
~Set aside and allow it to dry flat.
~While your painted rose shape dries,
trace the rest of the petals in the rose on to the
tracing paper or acetate. (See 2.)
~When the first step is completely dry, place
the watercolor paper over your tracing and
using a light from behind both, transfer the
petal lines to the painted shape on your
watercolor paper. (See 3.)
-------------------  Step 1  --------------------
-------------------  Step 2  --------------------
--------------------  Step 3  ----------------------
~Now it's time to paint the petals. I like to start on the larger
petals which are halfway between the center and the bottom on
this rose. (See 4.)
~Here's how: When you paint the petals, put the color on the
inside of the petal closest to the center. The petal above the
one you are painting will have a light colored edge so you are
painting the petal under it. ~Lay your color in nice and juicy
next to the inside edge. (See 5.)
~Now with clear water, paint the outside edge of the petal up to
the paint and let the two run together and blend gently if
needed. (See 6.)
Paint a petal, skip one, and paint the next. Skip around the rose so that you are painting
where it is dry and missing the wet places. Drying is important before you paint the color
next to it. (See 7. and 8.)
Click here for a
larger rose
photo image
Click here for a
larger painted
rose image
Copyright (c) 2002 Susie Short  All rights reserved. Permission is granted for individual personal study only.
I hope you have enjoyed my tips for painting roses.  If you want to print and use any of my watercolor tips for personal
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