How to paint a realistic white Magnolia flower in watercolour

White Magnolia flowers (this one is from Magnolia Stellata) are such symbols of early spring.

They have such beautifully detailed centres and their petals have an almost waxy texture.

White can be a challenge with watercolour as you use the paper colour as our ‘white’ rather than using white paint.

So there’s a pressure not to take those petals too dark with the grey we use for shadows.

Here I show you the process of painting a white magnolia flower so you get a realistic result:

I hope this inspires you to try painting a magnolia this weekend!


To paint the blue sky background (it’s easier than you think), see my video here.


Happy painting,

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  1. laura on March 31, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Really lovely painting and a helpful video. I’m going to try!

  2. Maggie on March 31, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Thankyou Anna looking forward to trying this and good luck in the coming months you are such an inspiration

  3. Karen Contreraz on March 31, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you Anna for sending me this email. I think it is now time to pull out the brushes and have some fun! You are such an inspiration! Thank you!

  4. Mira on March 31, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Dear Anna,

    You are such a sweetie!
    Thank you very much for this inspiring and ‘giving’ email.

    I know , it’s not easy for you to stay home with your beautiful kids. I see how my little grandkids (5) stuck at home and driving my children crazy and I can not even come and help!

    This is life, sometimes there are challenges!

    Thank you for your inspiration and reaching out!
    Wishing you and your family health & safety!

    • Anna Mason on March 31, 2020 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you for your kind comment Mira!As you say, this is life and from challenges we can grow! 🙂

  5. Susan Mitchinson on March 31, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you Anna, good luck with your isolation with the children and thank you for making life lighter for the rest of us. I will enjoy painting the magnolia

  6. Janice on March 31, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Thank you so very much Anna!

  7. Mariajose on March 31, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    I love it.
    I’m studying it!!!!
    I have paint a lot of kinds of magnolias!!!!

  8. Margaret Axford on April 1, 2020 at 6:42 am

    Hi Anna,
    I feel for you locked away with 2 small children. How you can manage to paint and concentrate I don’t know. I think you must be a very calm person.
    I love watching you paint you really inspire me. I bought your second book and have tried painting the sun flower I was quite pleased with the results.
    I would love to do your on line classes but I am restricted as far as money is concerned but glad I have your book. Now I’m at home also I will have plenty of time to paint. Hope we all get through this trying time. Take care and stay healthy. Love your emails.
    Kind Regards Margaret

    • Bernadette Petersen on April 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm

      Hi Anna,
      Thank you for the lovely Magnolia, looking forward to painting it.
      I hope you and your family stay well, this is a very difficult time
      for us all, We will get through it and be stronger for it.
      Thanks again.

  9. Judith on April 1, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you. Anna. You inspire me and give me confidence that maybe just maybe I will call myself an artist soon.

  10. Yati on April 3, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Thanks Anna for sent the email for me..thank you so much for the tutorial..its helps me a lot on my painting..❤❤❤

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