How to paint a small watercolor bee

When you’re creating a flower portrait, it can be a really fun touch to include a pollinator in the composition. As well as adding visual interest to the piece, it can make your artwork extra informative and interesting from a nature perspective.

Of course, one of the most common pollinators is the Honey Bee. Worldwide, Honey Bees are responsible for 80% of pollination, and researchers believe that a single honey bee can visit up to 5,000 flowers in a day. 

They live in fascinating colonies with highly organised social structures. And when they find a good food source, they perform a ‘waggle dance’ to their fellow worker bees, so the others know the direction and distance to fly so they too can find the food source.

So in this mini class, we’re going to paint a small watercolor bee to celebrate these hard working insects on whom we depend so much. 

The version we’re painting here is small, so you can fit it into a bigger composition. Because it’s so little, you can paint it in a short time, and I’ll lead you through it step-by-step.

I hope this mini class has inspired you to paint a small watercolor bee and add them to some of your other compositions. In another mini class I show you how I painted the rest of the painting shown in this video.

If you’d like to paint a bigger, more detailed Honey Bee, check out this mini class where I share an overview of the process.

And if you love bees as much as I do, have a look at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. They’re a fantastic UK-based charity that carry out loads of projects and research into helping to save bumblebees. We make regular donations to them, and you can find loads of information on their website.

Please leave a comment below if you’ve enjoyed this small watercolor bee mini class. I love to hear from you!

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  1. Neetika on August 23, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    Beautiful little tutorial, thanks. It always helps to see how many layers of patience goes in to give that great look that you achieve.

    • Anna Mason on August 23, 2022 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks Neetika, glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Carol Baxter on August 23, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, I have been painting bees for awhile, but I just love your bee!

    • Anna Mason on August 23, 2022 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks Carol!

  3. Eileen on August 23, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    Is there an outline for the bee?

  4. Susan Gruner on August 23, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    Anna, You are simply the best.
    Your gentle ways always shine through your words and your work.
    My 8 year old neighbor girl and I painted the pear. Hers was so well done that she gave it to her grandmother for Christmas. That was before Covid.
    Your light reaches far and true.
    Thank you,
    Susan Lions, 70

    • Anna Mason on August 23, 2022 at 9:19 pm

      Aww thanks so much Susan, that’s really touching. Has really made my day to read that.

  5. Julie Evans on August 23, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Great mini lesson of a small honey bee. Love your tutorials!

    • Anna Mason on August 23, 2022 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks Julie!

  6. Teresa Fiorentini on August 23, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    What a wonderful tutorial! The results are beautiful, detailed and carefully executed. What an ARTIST ! Thank you. TF

    • Anna Mason on August 23, 2022 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks Teresa!

  7. Eneida Heck on August 23, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Obrigada. Tutorial esplêndido. Adorei. Vida às abelhas e Viva as flores! Parabéns!

  8. Colleen on August 23, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    Anna, I havevyet yo get around to painting the pear, but this bee looks so sweet! I have your links kept safely and the time will come when I get hooked and do these. Thank you in advance

    • Anna Mason on August 23, 2022 at 9:19 pm

      Ahh thanks Colleen – I hope you’re able to find that moment sooner than you think 🙂

  9. Emarie on August 23, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    Enjoyed the mini lesson on bite-sized form. And love the opp to wade in first by painting the bee, then to probe deeper and try a larger part of entire composition.
    Please advise: what kind of paper/surface is best to use for this watercolor?

  10. Jacque on August 23, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Anna, Can I enter my artwork in shows and sell?

  11. Cheryl Gilliam on August 23, 2022 at 11:53 pm

    I love, love, love the honey bee. I can’t wait to try it..

  12. Ana Dohmann on August 24, 2022 at 10:40 am

    Beautiful !! Thank you!!

  13. stephanie Zobrist on August 24, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you it is always a Pleasure to see how you paint this wonderful Natur.

  14. Hashi on August 24, 2022 at 9:50 pm


  15. laura crotts on August 25, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    Anna this was so enlightening thank you so very much I enjoy your demo s so very much
    Regards Pat

  16. Nancy on August 28, 2022 at 4:10 am

    Thanks for the beautiful tutorial Anna. You are amazing. They way you teach it’s so easy to do it. Thanks for providing these beautiful beautiful tutorials.

  17. Loose bee painting - Nature Studio on September 4, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    […] mini classes where you can paint this larger than life honey bee, full of close-up details and a small honey bee that could fit well into most […]

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