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How to paint a realistic papery poppy flower in watercolour

Poppies are such beautiful summer flowers.   The combination of their vibrant colours and their delicate papery poppies makes them a favorite to paint.

But when working in watercolour, how do you go about achieving those papery effects and getting them looking really real?

In this video I show you how I go about it:

I hope this inspires you to get your sketchbook out and give these papery effects a try. If you do, please let me know how you get on in the comments below!

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36 Comments

  1. Jodi on July 27, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I loved the video!!

  2. Victoria de Carvalho on July 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    You are amazing painter, I love , I learnt a lot with you. My money is very short now , but when I can will get the class online e books. For now just YouTube. Im paint just 2 years still learnig Thank you.

  3. Mary Ruthenburg on July 27, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    I love your paintings and did one of your classes with wonderful results. Thank you!
    Mary Ruthenburg

  4. Mary Soto on July 27, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you seems easy. I will do this. I want the 3D effect.

  5. Mary Soto on July 27, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I started watercolors 2 years ago. I have pictures paintinh all over. I can tell the difference. Thru now.. So I need all the ideas that are valid. Thanks again. Good work. Good teaching.

  6. Kathryn on July 27, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    beautiful poppy. I’m going to try your method and will let you know how it turns out.

  7. Iva on July 27, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Anna!
    Thank you for your video! I painted poppy last week and I can compare – your is better!

  8. Iva on July 27, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Anna!
    Thank you for your video! I painted poppy last week and I can compare – your is better!

  9. Liz Robinson on July 27, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Really clear demo and description. Details of brush size and colour etc really helpful. A brilliant website.

    Many thanks…yes making time to paint is so important!

    Liz

    • Liz Robinson on July 28, 2017 at 8:03 am

      Loved the demo. Easy to understand and follow.

  10. Everett Leeds on July 27, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Hello Anna, you make it look so easy! Wonderful technique, wishing you every success.

  11. Cathy Veselka on July 27, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Thank you again – your videos are really helping!!

  12. Camille on July 27, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Lovely! That’s exactly what I am painting now, several ones, their little petals in the sunshine!

  13. Lydia on July 27, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    That’s beautiful Anna. How would I paint that loose? Thanks.

  14. Liz Robinson on July 28, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Perfect demo. Thanks!

  15. jenny wilson on July 28, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Hello Anna ,I would like to buy your dvd ‘s of your flower paintings ,can you please let me know how to order them ? Thank you ,I love your beautiful paintings ,xxx jenny

  16. zobrist on July 28, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you Anna
    Beautiful as always i will paint poppies and study your good video
    have a nice Summer!

  17. Kerry on July 28, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Beautiful…. such exquisite detail in your painting and articulate explanation in how to do this. Now for me to practice , practice and practice. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your beautiful technique.

    Kerry

  18. Neli Rahneva on July 28, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    You are not only amazing painter, you are amazing person! I love all your videos I have seen!

  19. Wendy on July 29, 2017 at 7:22 am

    You are so talented it is Beautiful. My favourite flower. Can’t wait to have a go xx

  20. maria kellner on July 29, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Hi Anna,I would appreciate you taking a look at my product that i developed for glazing I always enjoy your clear demo’s.
    Maria.
    link
    http://www.marylkaart.com

  21. Hilda Barone on July 30, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Absolutely beautiful. You help me so much. Thankyou x

  22. Hilda Barone on July 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Absolutely beautiful. You help me so much with my watercolour flowers. Thankyou x

  23. Susan Baich on July 31, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Anna,
    I absolutely love, love your work! I am going to ask for your online classes for a birthday present from family and hope they buy it for me! I took your class through CRAFTSY and I am hooked! You are a wonderful teacher and I just know if I keep practicing I can get there.. I was not intimidated at all and really enjoyed the process, I loved that you walk through every step of the class leaving nothing to question! You are amazing! thank you!

    • Anna Mason on August 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Thanks so much Susan – I’m delighted for you that you’ve found a technique that ‘clicks’ for you. It would be lovely to share your painting progress with you so I do hope you’re able to join the School soon!

  24. suzanne linch on July 31, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Wonderful colour.Buy the book everyone.
    It is amazing, you cant go wrong.
    Thank you Anna

  25. Diane P on August 13, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    This was great. I know what I am missing, patience.. I need to slow down… but this was fantastic, loved this video… My problem is keeping it so light to get that paper thin look… but I did it, not great, but not too bad neither. Thank you so much, Anna…

  26. Margaret Bemrose on March 8, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    I loved the video Anna, your ;papery poppy is remarkable and watching your video inspires me to pick up my paint brush! I have recently bought a set of Winsor and Newton Cotman water colours and I am eager now to start painting!

  27. Natalie Ingaunis on May 12, 2018 at 3:49 am

    Wonderful tutorial. Thank you for sharing.

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