I love paper white narcissus. Their fragrance is divine and they’re so tiny and sweet. But my favorite thing about them is they’re little beacons of Spring in an otherwise dreary winter. They pop up around here even before the cheerful daffodils. I’m going to show you How to Paint Narcissus with a Layering Technique.
White, Light Ivory, Bamboo, Leaf Green, Eucalyptus and Opaque Yellow. Full supply list at bottom of post.
Paint the Background
I painted a wash of light grey-green on watercolor paper with water first. Then I dripped drops of water on it while the paint & paper while still wet.
You don’t need a pattern to paint these but here’s mine in case you feel more comfortable with one.
Paint the Blossoms
Start with Bamboo and make three petals as shown. The Bamboo provides a little shading or underpainting beneath the White.
Next, paint Light Ivory over the petals for some more dimension. If you have ridges, great! They’ll add some texture to the petals.
Then, in between the first three petals, add three more petals with Bamboo as shown.
Topcoat those 3 petals with Light Ivory.
Why paint three petals first and then three more? Because that’s how the flower is structured – three on top and three on bottom. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’ll make a difference.
In the middle of the petals, just make a tiny circle with Light Ivory that will encase the yellow stamen.
Now take White and paint the first 3 petals – the ‘bottom’ petals.
And then the ‘top’ petals and the inner ‘circle’.
Paint a long thin stem with Eucalyptus. At the top of the stem, paint in some Leaf Green and blend it into the Eucalyptus. The Leaf Green will seem awfully bright, but that’s how the stems look – and the little necks that hold the blossoms and buds.
I mixed some White with Leaf Green to make the ‘neck’ even lighter and then added some White/L.Green to the buds.
Paint a little Leaf Green inside the White center.
Finally, 3 little Yellow stamen.
I like to paint the blossoms first, then add the stems. This way I can position the flowers how I want them. Either way works, however.