Painting Flowers Step by Step: Pansy Power

Little Pansy, 10x15 watercolor by Birgit O'Connor

Watercolor artist Birgit O'Connor demonstrates painting a close-up view of a pansy.   She writes: "When painting small flowers like pansies, it’s often hard to recognize a good composition from a poor one. The immediate response is usually to clump the small flowers together and make a bouquet. I recommend, instead, treating the pansy as you would any other flower: Focus on shape, shadow and color—the elements that can transform these small wonders into a bold composition."

Birgit O'Connor teaches workshops in her studio in Bolinas, California and has published instructional books including Watercolor in Motion: How to Create Powerful Paintings, Step by Step and Watercolor Essentials: Techniques for Exploring, Painting and Having Fun, both available at


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