Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air

Another day another blog post. I am really enjoying some sunnier days here in my Devon studio, and trying to ignore the damp grey ones! Just outside the studio the snowdrops are emerging from their winter sleep .



So today I thought I would share with you a simple snowdrop painting , hopefully one that you might want to have a go at.

It involves negative painting as the snowdrop is white, so the background helps to describe the shape of the flower. It will become more apparent as I show you what I have done. I have only painted one snowdrop but you can do as many as you like.

Here goes.....

Firstly sketch the outline of your flower

I have added a little drop of water.

I painted this first, just a touch of cerulean blue and paynes grey. Just paint exactly what you see and don't worry that it is water . I am using my very smallest brushes that come to a lovely sharp point so I can control the paint.

Now to add the details of the flower , the tiny green splash between the petals, done with lemon yellow and then a darker sap green 


Now to add some shading , between those petals with a shadow colour made up of cadmium red and cobalt blue, and paint the top of the flower, with lemon yellow, moving into darker greens . Don't forget the tiny stem. 

Now to subtlety move onto the petals, I just use a very pale cerulean blue and the shadow colour ( above) to suggest shape. I wet the petals first, you just need a touch of colour.


Now for the rest of the greenery, making sure i add lights and darks where I see them on the flower stem.

Now if you aren't feeling brave, or you are happy with it, you can leave your snowdrop just like that. But if you want to you can now add an exciting background, and the darker the colour next to the whitest part of the flower, then the brighter it will appear. Keep the puddle you are working from wet, then I dropped in indigo and intense phthalo  green and blue. Also some Indian yellow, keep moving but control the paint, and try not to go over the lines.


Keep moving and if you want to sprinkle a little table salt into the wet paint. This adds a frosty texture.


Go all around the flower , I sprayed the edges of the colour because I wanted the edges to be lost. But your in control ( hopefully so do what feels right) 

You can see where the salt is starting to react. Now when you are happy, stop !

Leave it, let it settle down and come back when it is dry.

You can try this with just one colour, or different colours. 

Have fun with backgrounds enjoy the contrasts.

Remember it's only paper and paint, have fun and enjoy the magic.

Happy Springtime x




Back to blog


I just discovered your website this morning when this beautiful watercolor Snowdrop painting appeared in my Pinterest feed. Love the simplicity of it and your blog post about it is so clear. I am going to have to try painting it because Snowdrops are one of my favorite Spring flowers! Thank you!

Patricia Lane Evans

I painted this a few times and give it away as a gift in this dark days. Thank you


Thank you Rachel ,I have just started watercolor painting and will be trying out your demonstrations ,you make easy to follow not complicated like some artist.i love the lose style with the water and detail with the salt . Love the Robin and snowdrop ,that will be my first painting to try . fingers crossed 💕






Leave a comment