Easy Watercolor Cactus Tutorial

April 25, 2018
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Watercolor Cactus #4


watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting

This little round cactus is especially cute in a cooler tone green!

  1. First paint two thin long crescent shapes that face each other. These are the outer edges of the cactus.
  2. Continue painting in the ribs inside the cactus while leaving a small gap of white between each. This created the definition of each rib on the cactus. Odd numbers look best, so aim for 5 ribs with 4 white gaps in between. Let it dry completely.
  3. Using a darker shade of green and a fine tip round brush, paint the spines along each rib. Have the spines run along the white gaps facing into the painted parts and aimed upwards. Your cactus is looking spiky!
  4. To paint the pot, paint a small flat oval shape around the cactus base, and then paint a flat U shape underneath that. Add some dots for design and you’re done! This pot didn’t turn out quite as great as the others, but I wanted to share it anyways. Not everything I make turns out perfect either 😉

Watercolor Cactus #5

watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting

watercolor cactus painting

This cactus is just two simple paddles with some details and that’s it! Super simple. I decided to paint the post first before the details on this one, which you can do with any of these if you want!

  1. Paint a large popcorn kernel shape that is slightly angled to the side. Start with outlining the shape and while it’s still wet, filling in the shape with paint.
  2. While the paint is still wet, paint a second paddle that is slightly smaller and meets the first paddle at the bottom.
  3. Add darker greens to help create variation in the paint. Let dry completely.
  4. To paint this lil’ pot, use black watercolor to paint a squished oval around the base of the cactus. Then paint the outline of a sort of bubble-shaped pot down from this. Paint vertical stripes to create a pattern. Then take some dark brown watercolor and fill in the pot where the soil would be.
  5.  Once the watercolor cactus is dry, take a darker shade of green mixed with brown and create small X’s all over the cactus. This is a fun variation to create spines on your cacti!

Watercolor Cactus #6

watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting
watercolor cactus painting

This last watercolor cactus is another take on a prickly pear type cactus. It’s perfectly imperfect and nearly foolproof.

  1. Using a light green watercolor, paint a longer paddle that veers off to one side.
  2. While the paint is still wet, add smaller paddles on the top of the cactus and then add another on top to stack the paddles. When you add the paddles to the cactus, be sure to paint them all at angles so that they seem to jut out from each other. This helps it looks more organic – the more wonky, the better!
  3. Once this is dry, you can add the spines to the cactus with some dark green dots all over.
  4. To paint the pot, I used a very light pastel blue and painted a tall skinny pot.

watercolor cactus painting

WE DID IT. Phew! I hope you found this tutorial useful and insightful. It’s a long one, but I wanted to show as many photos as possible. These cacti really are so easy to paint and just take a bit of practice to get the hang of.

If you loved this project, you can spread the love in one of these ways!

watercolor cactus painting

 

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8 Comments

  • Mercedes

    June 13, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Somehow art seems so much easier when you can see the steps to get to the end. This just goes to show that art and design don’t have to be complicated!

    1. torrielynn

      June 13, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Totally! I love showing people how easy art really can be. I’m glad this tutorial is an example of that!

  • semi

    May 29, 2018 at 1:24 am

    Thank you very much for the tutorial. I`ll try it:)

  • carolina

    May 13, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Thank you very much for your tutorials!!

  • Claire

    May 2, 2018 at 4:34 am

    I love cactus and these are really sweet. Thanks for the tutorial.

    1. torrielynn

      May 2, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      Awesome – I hope yours turn out amazing!

  • Johanna

    May 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    These are so adorable!! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing tutorials! 🙂

    1. torrielynn

      May 1, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks Johanna – so glad you like it!

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