23 Beautiful Watercolor Painting References

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If you love to paint with watercolor and aren’t feeling inspired, I’m sharing watercolor painting references to inspire you.

I’ve collected a variety of watercolor paintings, from flower paintings to animal paintings to step-by-step tutorials, and more.

If you’re looking for additional inspiration, consider painting the things around you. You can’t paint the trees and flowers outside your window, household items, and so much more.


1. How to Draw a Plant

Learn how to draw a plant with this simple step-by-step tutorial. You can also use this as a guide to add watercolor to your picture.

green plant watercolor painting
Credit: magdalena.illustration

2. House with Balloons

Here’s a gorgeous painting of a house that has tons of colorful balloons coming out of the chimney. This wonderful piece of art would make a great gift.

house with balloons watercolor painting
Credit: fernanda_watercolor

3. Pastel Watercolor Flowers

If you enjoy painting flowers, you should consider using this gorgeous floral painting for reference. Frame your painting and present it as a gift to a loved one.

pastel flowers watercolor painting
Credit: shazserene

4. Large Watercolor Rose

If you want to practice drawing flowers, use this large rose painting as a reference for your next floral art piece.

rose watercolor painting
Credit: nina_tyunina

5. Quick Flower Sketches

Practice drawing flowers by doing simple sketches and coloring them in with watercolor paint. Choose your favorite flowers for your painting.

poppy flowers watercolor painting
Credit: paintingwithminey

6. Lighthouse and Seagulls

Lighthouses are some of my favorite watercolor paintings. This artist did an amazing job with this piece. The colors look so good together, and I love how you can see the time and attention that was put into the painting.

lighthouse watercolor painting
Credit: anna_petunova

7. Sky Through the Trees

I love this painting that showcases a beautiful bright sky and the sun shining through the trees. If you love nature paintings, you’ll love this one.

the woods and sun watercolor painting
Credit: mari.yandreeva.art

8. Colorful Beetle

Hey, not everyone is into bugs, but if you’re into them, then this painting may be right up your alley. I love what the artist did in terms of color with this painting. I’m not sure my gradient could look this good. The addition of the leaf border is great too.

beetle watercolor painting
Credit: mariuletela

9. House in a Bottle

I just love nature in a bottle paintings. This painting features a small wooden house located in the woods. You’ll notice a red balloon floating in the background.

painting in a bottle watercolor painting
Credit: emines_paint

10. Beautiful and Elegant Flowers

I just love the simplicity of this floral painting. The colors go so well together and the artist did a great job with the shading.

white flower watercolor painting
Credit: hanyaoxie_art

11. Owl Tea Cup

This owl teacup is the cutest. Something like this would make a wonderful print to sell or a great handmade card for a friend or family member.

owl tea cup watercolor painting
Credit: natanazarian

12. How to Paint a Bouquet

Drawing and painting a bouquet has never been easier. By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a beautiful painting to show off.

how to draw flowers watercolor painting
Credit: magdalena.illustration

13. Six Cacti

If you love the look of cacti, you’ll have fun painting this beautiful cacti-themed piece. When practicing, choose your favorite colors for the flowers, and switch up the pots to make the look your own.

cactus and succulent watercolor painting
Credit: alicelovesdrawing

14. Spooky House

I just love the vibe of this old spooky house. The house itself is so creative, and I love the addition of the pumpkins sitting throughout the property.

house with pumpkins watercolor painting
Credit: jp_gravity

15. Large Flower in Jar

Here’s a realistic painting that features a large flower placed in a jar with stones and water. Use this reference for help painting realistic flowers.

large white flower watercolor painting
Credit: watercolor_guide

16. Chameleon Watercolor Painting

I’m actually a fan of the chameleon. Call me crazy, but I think they’re super cute and fun to look at. I like how the artist chose to go with a unique color palette for this awesome creature.

chameleon watercolor painting
Credit: mariuletela

17. Beautiful Red Flower

I must say, the artist did a wonderful job with shading and blending on this watercolor painting. This is such a beautiful red flower.

red flower watercolor painting
Credit: k.petrowskaia

18. Realistic Leaf

Yes, you can make items look realistic with watercolor. It’s really helpful if you use a real leaf for reference, as this artist decided to do with their painting.

green leaf watercolor painting
Credit: sophneu

19. White Lighthouse

Lighthouses are some of my favorite watercolor paintings. If you’ve been looking for a great lighthouse reference, this painting is a great choice.

lighthouse with gull watercolor painting
Credit: natali_dmitrieva24

20. Sea Turtle

Turtle lovers will kick a kick out of painting this cute little sea turtle. If you have a friend that loves turtles, consider painting this as a loving gift.

turtle watercolor painting
Credit: vuvie__

21. Real Flower Reference

Try your hands at using a real flower as the reference for your painting. Find a flower in your own backyard to give your art a personal feel.

realistic flower watercolor painting
Credit: _e_f_f_l_o_r_e_s_c_e_

22. Watercolor Horse

Horses are such beautiful creatures and this artist did a great job painting one. If you enjoy painting horses, this painting makes a great watercolor reference for you to use.

horse watercolor painting
Credit: kadantseva_natalia

23. Colorful Flowers

I’m in love with how bright and colorful this painting is. If you do something similar, it would make a great gift for a friend or family member.

carnation watercolor painting
Credit: dang_go

I hope these watercolor painting references have helped you find some inspiration today. For more awesome painting ideas, make sure you check out a few of the posts listed below.

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