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Raindrops on Roses!




raindrop on rose


Here in the UK my newly planted rose bushes in the garden were looking a little thirsty. As I watered them, I thought how the beautiful the water droplets looked and decided to show you how to paint them. Don't panic! It's quite easy actually if you follow my step-by-step recipe!

If you can master this simple technique, you'll have the compliments coming thick and fast when you paint flowers! There are some basic rules to understand. They do seem obvious when you read them but somehow we can tend to forget simple rules when we are struggling to recreate something in paint :-)

I have exaggerated the colours slightly in this demo to make it easier for you to see them on your computer screen.



Here we go then ....

  1. Every dew or raindrop is slightly different so don't draw and paint them all the same size and shape.

  2. Water is reflective so the light source on your raindrop must be from the same direction as the rest of that petal or leaf.

  3. The area furthest from the light source is lighter, nearest is darker

  4. Raindrops follow the angles of the petals. For example, if the angle is horizontal it will form a circular bead but if the petal is falling at an angle, the drop will be slightly elongated as though it's about to drip.

 light on petal  


For this demo, I'm going to put a raindrop on to this dog rose petal. I have chosen to use a ready painted petal to show the importance of identifying the angle of the petal and the light source.

Note: If you want to practice before putting raindrops onto your flower paintings, simply draw a petal outline and flood in some colour. The petal doesn't have to be perfectly finished to practice the technique.


  STEP 1
  • I have identified the top petal of this dog rose for placing a raindrop.

  • Next I have identified the light source as coming from the top left. This is very important because of the reflective quality of water. Remember, the area furthest from your light source is going to be lightest.

  • My petal is falling at an angle so next I will draw an elongated raindrop, as though, with gravity, it is starting to run down the surface.


 draw raindrop  
  • STEP 2 I have now drawn a raindrop shape in pencil onto my petal. Notice that it is falling in towards the centre of the flower at the angle the petal is lying. When raindrops start to fall like this, they become slightly fatter at their base.



paint raindrop

  • STEP 3 Next I'm going to add a slightly darker shade of my local colour (pale pink) over the entire petal area. I have made this slightly darker nearest to the light source.

This translates for all colours. For example, if you were painting a blue flower, simply paint the raindrop in the same blue hue as the surrounding petal but make it slightly darker.



reflection of raindrop on petal

  • STEP 4 Now I have deepened the darker side of the rain drop and added a cast shadow on the opposite side. Immediately this helps to make the rain drop appear 3D.

NOTE: the cast shadow is usually a mix of the local colour and its compliment



Continue to gradually build up the darker side and the cast shadow making sure that the colours are very softly blended. Finally, on the darker area, closest to the light source, add a little white sparkle of light ... et voila!

Have a go! It might sound difficult but it is actually surprisingly easy ... with a bit of practice you'll soon be producing perfect raindrops on your petals and leaves.

 raindrop on rose petal



 This Flower Painting Course is Copyright  Theresa Evans All Rights Reserved.

You may print it to share with friends but please don't copy it to your website.





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