How to Paint a Cactus in Watercolors | Easy & Fun Project for Beginners | Suzanne Kurilla | Skillshare

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How to Paint a Cactus in Watercolors | Easy & Fun Project for Beginners

teacher avatar Suzanne Kurilla, Watercolor & Acrylic Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Watercolor Cactus pt1

    • 3. Cactus Shadows pt2

    • 4. Cactus Details and Background

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About This Class


In this class, you will learn how to create your very own summer cactus watercolor painting. This project is great for beginners and those looking to expand in watercolors. First, I will start off with a light yellow-green all over the cactus. Next, I will move onto the shadow areas with two deeper shades of green. (hookers green and olive green) this will create depth and dimension throughout the artwork. This project is also great for illustrators looking to practice plant life and nature. 

After your cactus is complete then I will show you the wet on wet technique using a bright pink and orange, beautiful colors for summer. For the background, you can get creative and make your own design. This project was designed to be easy and would make a great addition to any artists portfolio. Also, this class is great practice for those of you who are new to watercolors. I have included a reference photo down below. 

Supplies used

  • Watercolors
  • Brushes - S M L
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Watercolor Paper
  • Paper Towel/Rag
  • Black brush pen (opt.)


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Suzanne Kurilla

Watercolor & Acrylic Artist






    Some areas I specialize in are Watercolor & Acrylic Painting. I have worked with adults of various ages and artistic levels. I enjoy creating content and helping others on their creative journey.

You can find my work on Instagram and FREE mini-tutorials on YOUTUBE, ArtwithSuzanne!
Also, l have Art prints for purchase and more in my Society6 shop.  

Now on TikTok, mini tutorials, Artwithsuzanne. 

See full profile

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1. Intro: thank you so much for joining in an for today's lesson. I will be showing you how to create a nice cactus there and a nice summary background. Um, there is some orange and, like light pink mixed in there, and there's a few different shades of green than I will go over. And this class is great for beginners and those who are just getting use to water colors, so let's jump right in. 2. Watercolor Cactus pt1: and first up, we're going to start off with the first color here. This is the yellow green. And then after we get a light wash of that all over the cactus thes two other colors here, this hookers, greed and an olive green that we're going to be using for, like, the deeper shadow areas. And then when we get to the background, there is a bright orange in a permanent rose, really? 3. Cactus Shadows pt2: 4. Cactus Details and Background: and for the background. I want to use the wet on wet technique. I am going to place some of the water down and then some of the orange first, and then I will add drops of the permanent rose on top. And again, you can make this as it's dark as you would like. I just wouldn't recommend anything too crazy because you don't want it to take away from the cactus seek and you could make a speckle design and then just drop the colors. Or you can keep blending them out after your background and all of your artwork is completely dry. Then we're going to go on and put some of the cactus, the little thorns on there. So, um, this I'm going to give a few different ideas. And, of course, like I did here, you could test it out on your sample sheet. Here, your scrap Teoh. Make sure that you like the way it's coming out. You can use a Sharpie, or if you have Blackwater color, you can use a very, very fine brush and try to put them on that way. Or if you have an actual um, if you do a lot of drawing an illustration. You might have a black brush pen. That would probably work as well. You. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you enjoy this tutorial and be sure to check back for more.