How to paint a realistic sunflower in watercolour

If you need a dose of sunshine and you can’t get any, I’ve found painting some to be the next best thing!

In this tip video then I wanted to show you how I went about painting this Sunflower in my realistic style. Yellows in watercolour can be a challenge so I hope this will help:

If you enjoy the video, and have any tips of your own to share, please let me know in the comments below!

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  1. Barb G. on March 22, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    I have been trying to paint a Sunflower, and have 2 half done attempts.
    Thanks for the great video, will get working over the weekend.
    Also looking forward to your book!
    Love the pic of you and Ben, what a happy baby!

    • Barb G on March 22, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      so sorry I posted the above twice, was unable to delete.

    • 花园小影 on March 25, 2018 at 4:55 am

      Thanks for your video.It’s very useful. (BTW:your son is so cute)

  2. Maria on March 22, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Anna, it was a pleasure to see you with your son. What a lovely child. Good luck for all of you.
    I liked very much your video as I usually like all your drawings.
    I paint too and I am going to try to send you my sunflower.
    From Portugal my best regards

    Well it is impossible to send photos but I am sure that you would like to see.

  3. Sheryl on March 22, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks I love painting sunflowers. Great picture what a cute baby.

  4. A Visram on March 22, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Dear Anna what a great artist you are. You inspire me and I’m sure the would be artists out there. I will be ordering your fab book just as soon as I can. Thank you for the videos and regular tips. Beautiful picture of mother and son. I hope he inherits your talent. Congratulations.

  5. Susan Davies on March 22, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    This is such a lovely video – you make everything look so easy – I will try it when fresh sunflowers are in season – and the photo of you and your son is very special.

  6. Mary Caton on March 22, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Anna as always brilliant tutorial, Ben is sooo cute and grown so much x

  7. Kathy Valeri on March 22, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I’m sending greetings from San Diego, California where it’s been way too warm and sunny this winter. We are now enjoying a little rain and hoping for more to make the flowers bloom. I love the cute baby picture and the snowy landscape. Your video was inspirational and very helpful. I have been learning a lot from your videos. I like painting sunflowers and love your techniques. I would send a picture but this will now allow it.

  8. Dick & Rosalie Rollins on March 22, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    I’m going home today and try to paint your sunflower

  9. Jakkie on March 22, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Baby is adorable! Thanks for the sunflower, we’re having a snowstorm today,

  10. Kathy Muller on March 22, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Anna, Love your work! I wish I could do your class’s But I’m afraid I only get 40Gig a mth. In Australia we are now coming into autumn, But have still had very hot day’s in the high 30s and high wind’s! we are very dry here no rain for 3mth’s So I wouldn’t mind some of your snow!!!! Ha ha! Looking forward to your new book! can’t wait until it arrives. Lovely little boy I have a granddaughter the same age so much fun. Kathy M

    • Anna Mason on March 23, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Gosh so hot where you are Kathy! Glad you’ll be able to enjoy the book.

  11. Kaylee on March 22, 2018 at 10:53 pm


    Such a beautiful sunflower – they are my favorite flower, so I will be using this video to attempt painting one! Wish me luck!
    Looks like you and Ben are making the most of the colder months, such a cute baby!

  12. Ginette on March 22, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    I can’t wait to do the sunflower ! Such a great gift from you ! Thanks a lot from Montreal , Canada !

  13. Patty on March 22, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks for the tips, Your painting are lovely and inspiring. Also, wanted to mention that your baby is precious.

  14. Jan lott on March 23, 2018 at 12:45 am

    I’m so inspired Anna I just can’t thank you enough for sharing your talent and your classes I plan on taking them as soon as I receive my equipment in the mail again thank you so much I’m excited Jan Lott

  15. Carol Dunham on March 23, 2018 at 2:24 am

    I love the tip videos. I am just starting on painting with watercolours. I will not start until May or so. Are your classes good for beginners?

    • Anna Mason on March 23, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      I’ve made beginners a real focus of the School so yes Carol!

  16. Prabha on March 23, 2018 at 6:21 am

    Thanks for the class Anna. Lovely to see you and your little boy! I like the way you get your lights without masking fluid.

  17. creatingincolors on March 23, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Thank you for another great video. I must try this. And what an adorable photograph of you and your baby boy – lots of happiness there!

  18. Linda Cornelius on March 23, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Sunflower looked amazing,
    Please can u tell me where u aquired your lovely, movable, wooden , art board you are using in your classes

    Regards Linda Cornelius

    • Anna Mason on March 23, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      If you visit the Equipment section of the site (under the Learn to Paint like Anna menu) you’ll find details of where to buy online!

  19. Paula on March 23, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Just love this picture of you and your precious Ben! I have followed you from the beginning…bless you both!

  20. Roseanne on March 23, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Anna…love the photo of you and your sweetling, Ben. This vid is awesome. You make it seem doable. Keeping me motivated.
    Best to you.

  21. Catriona on March 23, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Gorgeous baby! And great hats, And Sunflower.

  22. Phyllis Kirigin on March 25, 2018 at 2:58 am

    Beautiful sunflower, Anna. AND a beautiful baby boy Ben. My first grandson Griffin resembles Ben a bit, He, too, is 6 months old.

  23. Annie on April 1, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Wow~ It ‘s Wonderful. I thought it was very difficult for me but now I ‘d like to try to sunflower.
    Thanks Anna ~~ this is first post when I join your class. I will show you my paint next time~~~I’m from Korea.

    • Anna Mason on April 13, 2018 at 9:00 am

      You can do it Annie!!

  24. Deborah Wilson-Zweig on April 5, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Love this video! I can’t wait to try it!
    Ben IS beautiful! Big boy!!!!
    Many blessings ~

  25. Diane Spahr on July 1, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    You made it look so easy! I guess waiting for each stage to dry is the hard part. I love your style!

    • Anna Mason on July 13, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Actually with the right paper it dries super quickly so I never have to wait Diane. Thanks for your comment!

  26. Ellen on July 1, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Liked the tip for painting sunflowers. Thanks

  27. Rachel on March 13, 2019 at 2:07 am

    WOW. Fantastic painting and so easy to follow.

  28. Cyndy White on July 4, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Awesome step-by-step video regarding the simple painting of a sunflower and it’s hues of color. Thank you so very much!

  29. Pat Shorey on July 7, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Thankyou Anna
    You made that look so easy, and you’re lovely paintings always look so realistic.
    I’m going to try the sunflower myself, just to prove it can be done.
    Thanks fir your encouragement.

    Best wishes, Pat

  30. Dr. Namrata Yadav on July 7, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Love love love your videos. Have learnt a lot from the ones on tmtoutube and the two free ones here – just wish I cud afford to join your school

  31. Haz on July 7, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    I love your work especially the details. I hope to join your class soon. Thank you very much for sharing your gift!

  32. Christine Davies on July 7, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    Thank you for a great sunflower painting tutorial. Love it

  33. Irene on July 7, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Beautiful sunflower! You do a great job in showing how to do tonal color values. Just wondering what kind and size of brush do you use? The brush seems great for fine detail. Where could I buy one like yours? Thanks! Irene

  34. Hilda Barone on July 7, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Thank you so much Anna for the video of your beautiful sunflower. I must try and paint one. You are an inspiration xxx

  35. Diane Fuchs on July 7, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Your explanations are so clear! I love watching your videos, as they are very inspiring to me. I took a photo of a sunflower that I’ve been wanting to paint for a while. This video has given me renewed resolve to paint it!

    • Anna Mason on July 8, 2020 at 9:35 am

      Go for it Diane!

  36. Nguyễn Thùy Dương on July 8, 2020 at 2:12 am

    Thanks for your video

  37. JoAnna Koirala on July 8, 2020 at 6:35 am

    Anna, your tutorial on painting a sunflower was explained so well. I really appreciate your remarkable skills and clarity when sharing your process. Thank you!

  38. Cecilia on July 8, 2020 at 7:26 am

    Hi from Oz Down Under.

    Another great tutorial. I really enjoyed watching the tips on painting the sunflower. Just amazing

  39. Lilia Lang on July 8, 2020 at 8:20 am

    I have already both the book, it is stunning, The first thing I attempted from it was the sunflower. Thank you so much for the hours of pleasure painting it!

  40. Annie JMathew on July 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Anna.i really appreciate and enjoy all your videos because it is well explained clear and the color tones are natural.will surely try the sunflower.

  41. JoAnna Koirala on July 9, 2020 at 5:27 am

    Thank you, Anna! It was a pleasure to see and hear your process of painting a sunflower. In such a brief video you shared each step along the way with clarity and simplicity. I’d love to see more of your painting videos! Thank you, again for sharing.

  42. Sandra on July 10, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Thanks Anna. I love the way you paint the centre without using masking fluid.

  43. Denise on July 22, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    I just finished the juicy blackberry in your book and I’m going to try the sunflower, next. Glad to see this video, first! And, I absolutely love your book! I asked for a copy for this past Mother’s Day and got it! At 57, I’m just learning how to watercolor and, with your help, enjoying my finished products. I’m still learning!!

  44. Nickie Kuhlmann on August 3, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    I would like to try the sunflower, but where is it? Thank you!

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