Get your paints out and grab some chilled lemonade. Today’s post will feature a fabulous watercolor cactus painting that anyone can attempt. And there are no rules. The only thing to keep in mind is to have fun and that’s all that matters!

Watercolor cactus painting tutorial | Inkstruck Studio

It’s appalling that I’ve never done a tutorial on watercolor cactuses before. I live in the desert turned city of Doha and these things are everywhere. If you’re looking for something fun and relaxing to do this weekend, this probably is it. Enjoy!

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Materials required for watercolor cactus painting :-


Watercolor cactus painting tutorial | Inkstruck Studio

While I know it’s probably convenient for some of you to draw with a pencil first, I strongly suggest “trying” without it. Like I mentioned in my last post, “Loose watercolor painting“, this will help achieve a lot of confidence. But, if you’re looking to create something that is strictly realistic, please draw your outlines first before dabbling in paint.

Start thinking of a composition for your watercolor cactus painting. I decided to focus on the bottom half of my paper(the size doesn’t matter) with just a little bit of elevation difference. I started with a small prickly pear and added the thorns while the base layer was still wet.

For this cactus painting, I’ve used a couple of different types of cactuses. Next I painted a “Saguaro”cactus. For some of them I waited for the under-layer to dry before painting the thorns. Add a flower or two if you’d like to have a pop of color.

Watercolor cactus painting tutorial | Inkstruck Studio

The next few steps are pretty much the same. All you need to do is paint a couple more cactuses randomly. Some of which are lighter since I assumed them to be at a distance. To tie everything together, you can also add a couple of generic leaves, succulents etc. The choice is yours! Such is the freedom in creative painting!

Watercolor cactus painting tutorial | Inkstruck Studio

Adding a pop of color with a little drop of gouache mixed with watercolor will help make some of the elements stand out. For example, yellow watercolor will be lost and not visible on top of the dark green cactus below. The gouache helps to make this cactus painting by giving it some dimension.

Now all you need to do is gauge the cactus painting from a distance for corrections in composition. After that, display it proudly at home! It deserves to be seen. 🙂

Watercolor cactus painting tutorial | Inkstruck Studio

What do you think?

Opinions! Opinions! I love hearing them. What is your favorite type of cactus? Mine is the pink prickly pear which had to feature here.And I love knowing if you decided to give this painting to go. You know the drill! Tag me with #makeinkstruck on Instagram so that I can have a peek.

Thanks for stopping by!Cheers.