Watercolor Snake Plant Tutorial + GIVEAWAY!May 21, 2020
Are you ready to learn how to paint a snake plant?
Hi Friends! It’s Eunice of Electric Eunice. I’m a watercolor artist that started my creative journey in pointed pen lettering, which led me to explore other mediums of lettering and eventually brought me to the wonderful world of watercolors. My new book, Watercolor Botanicals released in April and if you can’t tell by the title - I’m obsessed with painting plants and florals.
A particular favorite is painting our beloved house plants in the cutest pots, because let’s be honest - if we can’t keep them alive, we might as well paint them, right? (But also props to everyone keeping their plant babies alive!) One of my favorite plant babies to paint is the Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’, or the snake plant! This type of Snake Plant has long sword-shaped leaves with yellow lining and various green details. On top of being a fantastic house plant (it’s an ideal indoor plant that doesn’t need a lot of attention) the snake plant happens to purify the air by absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen - so, a win-win if you ask me!
Here’s what you need:
- Watercolor Paper: Any will do! I’m using Strathmore Ready Cut 5x7” sheets.
- Watercolor Brushes: I’m using a size 4 and 0 round. You need one for painting and one fine tip for details.
- Watercolor Paints: I used Winsor and Newton’s Payne’s Gray (blueish gray), Hooker’s Green Light (a light green), Hooker’s Green Dark (a dark green), Cadmium Yellow (a yellow), Burnt Umber (brown), and Dr. Ph Martin’s Bleedproof White (an opaque white).
- Paper Towel for cleaning your brush between colors and for absorbing excess water on your brush.
- Water jar and water.
Step 1: Let’s measure and paint!
The snake plant is a tall narrow plant, and since we’re painting it in a pot with a stand, we can expect to paint within a narrow, vertical rectangle in the center of your paper. Take your size 4 brush and Payne’s Gray to paint a cylindrical pot with the bottom of the pot starting at ⅓ from the bottom of your paper. Start with a flattened curve motion for the bottom of the pot, build up and match the curve at the top of your pot. Don’t close your pot around the back, we’ll be painting our leaves there.
Step 2: Paint Leaves
Next, using your size 4 brush and Cadmium Yellow, paint sword-like strokes starting from the center of the plant and coming out of the top of the pot. I start from the center of the pot and then paint the left with some leaves peaking out from behind the previous leaves, and then paint the right.
Make sure to vary the sizes and thicknesses of each leaf and have the points end in different directions to make it look more natural. Wait for this layer to dry before moving on to the next step.
Step 3: Add Green
Then, using your size 0 brush, take your Hooker’s Green Light and paint the centers of each leaf, leaving just a thin outline of yellow showing on the edges of each leaf. Wait for this layer to dry before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Time for the details!
Using your size 0 brush and Hooker’s Green Dark, make tiny and thin vertical line marks in the shape of a loose triangle all the way across each leaf within the green base.
Step 5: Can’t forget about the details of the pot!
Take your size 0 brush and Bleedproof White paint, and really - do any design you want (I like to google “cute house plant pots”). Here, I chose to do white stripes with smaller sections of vertical stripes.
Step 6: The Pot Stand
Next, for the pot stand, use your size 0 brush and burnt umber to paint two thin and equal lines on the left and right of your pot, and then one slightly lower and longer in the center of your pot. Then, paint two straight lines that match the bottom of the pot for where the pot sits in the stand. And, you’re done! Here’s your darling little snake plant! And you don’t even need to remember when to water it :)
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!
I’m also excited to share that Peggy and I are doing a joint giveaway of our books, Watercolor Botanicals and Peggy Dean's Guide to Nature Drawing and Watercolor! Head to Instagram Monday 5/25 and enter to win on this post. @electriceunice & @thepigeonletters
Eunice Sun is the author and watercolor artist behind Electric Eunice. Along with illustrating and creating custom designs, she teaches watercolor illustration and lettering workshops. Her book, Watercolor Botanicals is now available for you to learn how to paint your favorite plants and florals. She is known for her loud laugh, love for painting house plants, and is every girl's BFF. You can find more about her at electriceunice.com and her everyday shenanigans on IG @electriceunice. She is based in Orange County, California with her husband, baby boy, and senior citizen corgi mix.