Watercolor Botanical Doodles

Grab a pen and doodle with us as we create some lively houseplants, succulents, and cacti.


  • Watercolor paint
  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paint brush
  • Paint palette 
  • Water
  • Waterproof pen
  • Tape (optional)
  • Other options: Don’t have watercolors? Use markers, colored pencils, crayons, or paint instead!


Begin by drawing your plants. You may want to sketch your plants out lightly in pencil before using a pen. Start by breaking down each plant into its basic shapes: leaves, stems, flowers, etc. Don’t feel like you need to draw every single line of a plant though, adding color later on will fill your plants out. 

After drawing the basic shapes, add inner linework that curves with the shape of the plants, these will make your plants look three dimensional.

For hanging plants, be sure to ink the portion of the plant that hangs off before drawing the planter.

For leafy plants, don’t draw your leaves perfectly uniform. Try drawing some smaller, some with imperfections, and others overlapping one another. This will make your drawing look more natural.

If you’re drawing a cactus, draw needles both along the contour curves and inside the body. This will make your cactus look three dimensional. 

For plants with larger spikes, like aloe, leave gaps while you draw the contour lines. Afterwards, you can fill these gaps in with spikes.


Now, it’s time to add some color. If you’re watercoloring, start with a light, translucent base wash on your plants. Don’t feel limited by painting inside the lines. As you paint each plant, try not to use the same color for each one. Use different shades of green, yellow, even purple. If you’re painting succulents in particular, many of them are a mixture of vibrant colors. 

After painting an initial wash, start layering new washes atop these. Apply darker layers at the base of each plant to create the illusion of shadows. Add as many washes as you’d like!

After your plants have dried completely, paint the soil and planters. If your plants have not fully dried, the colors from your planters will bleed into the plants. 

Add any decorative details to your pots, and then you’re done! 

Music Credit:

Music from https://freemusicarchive.org/ ⁠⠀⁠⠀

“Comedie” by Jahzzar ⁠⠀⁠⠀

License: CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/)⁠⠀⁠⠀