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How To Paint The Pansies From Alice In Wonderland

Updated on May 17, 2014

Even for someone who has never before picked up a paint brush, Pansies are easy. Hand painted flower pots are beautiful and very expensive to purchase. Once you learn how to paint a pansy they can be put everywhere from flower pots to paintings on the wall. You can even paint them on beads and wear them as jewelry.

Photo Credit : All photos and artwork were created by the author and are not to be used for commercial purposes. You may print and distribute with full credit.

Difficulty: easy


  • 1/2 inch angle paint brush
  • Tiny detail brush with pointed tip
  • Blank canvas or anything you want to paint on
  • Acrylic or Oil Paint. You will need two colors of your choice plus your black and white neutrals.
  • Reference photo. Choose any pansy off of Google and have it on hand. You will not be tracing it. It's to keep your perspective in check.


1. I know this drawing looks more like an alien walrus, but it's showing the structures and how the pansy is put together. There is a slight heart shape petal at the bottom, two round or slightly oval leaves in the middle and a larger more rounded petal at the top.

Using a pencil practice a few times drawing the structures. You don't have to be perfect because the shading is going to cover the lines. Once you are comfortable with the outline have fun drawing it on your canvas. Use your reference photos of the structure and the real pansy to keep yourself going in the right direction and your lines in perspective.

2. The above guidelines should be drawn very lightly. I only did it dark as an example. I would never use a sharpie marker to draw on guidelines. When I painted the red pansy in this lens I didn't use any guidelines at all. Sometimes you just get what you get and it's fun.

Start with the pedal on the left. Hold your 1/2 inch angle brush like a loose pencil. The tip of the angle should be at the top. Fill the brush with two colors or your darkest color and white. Put the lighter color on the brush first and then on the tip put the darker color. Don's skimp on the paint. There is nothing worse than running dry. That is not the same as a dry brush technique.

Bend your wrist toward you and give the brush a twirl like you are throwing a frisbee. Wiggle the brush slightly so the edges are not smooth. When you get to the end make a sharp move down to end the pedal and push darker paint onto the entire edge. Do not worry about the dark marks. Those will be added later.

3. Reload your brush in the same way and pull sideward to paint the middle. Again don't worry about details. You are only getting a color gradient onto the paper. Now turn the paper around and do the same thing on the other side so you have what looks like a bow tie.

4. Reload your brush and turn the flower so this maneuver is comfortable. Your going to repeat the same move, but make it look like the bottom of a heart. Again do not worry about details.

5. Finish up your upper pedal in the exact same way. Now take your reference photo and the pointed detail brush. Pull the paint from dark to light. If you need a little extra dark just use it. The flower will take on it's own personality. Remember in nature no two pedals are the same and no two flowers are identical so don't stress over the flaws. Embrace it and have fun!

6. If you look carefully at the photo, the flower in this tutorial is painted on computer paper. This was because when I paint pansies I like to do practice strokes before I put the brush on what ever I am painting. I used only crafting paint. If I were to paint a pot or on a real canvas I would rather use acrylic paint from a tube. Crafting paint is very watery and distinct blending is difficult because the paint blends too much and becomes muddy.

The color purple that is found in a natural pansy is called diazinon purple with a fuchia highlight.

Keep your brushes clean and then place them into the freezer. It will keep them in their original shape.


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