Watercolor Cactus Painting on Wood

Is there anyone who doesn’t like a good cactus project? When I visited Plaid Headquarters a few months ago, we created this fun little painting using the new FolkArt Watercolor Acrylics. Not only was it easier to make than I thought, I was so surprised by how well the watercolor worked on wood! I thought it was only for paper, but I was totally wrong. Check out how you can make your own in just a few simple steps.

Watercolor Cactus Painting on Wood

Watercolor Cactus Painting on Wood


FolkArt Watercolor Acrylic Paint

FolkArt Watercolor Paintbrushes

FolkArt Brushed Metal Paint: Gold

Unfinished Wooden Surface

Step 1: Lightly sketch your cactus shapes with pencil.

This is actually really easy to do; they’re just basic shapes. I started with a short oval on the far left, then a taller one next to it. Then, I drew a tall, thin oval shape with a little “arm.” The next cactus I drew was a short, squat oval with smaller ovals branching off the top. Then, I made a circular shape that overlapped the previous cactus, and I finished up with one more tall oval shape with an arm. You can draw whatever size and shape cactus plants you like.

Step 2: Fill in your shapes with the watercolor acrylic paint.

I created different shades of green by mixing together the Turquoise, Pale Turquoise, Sap Green, and Ochre in different combinations and amounts. Just squeeze a small amount of the paint onto a palette or a paper plate, then wet your brush to add water. This paint is super easy to use; all you have to do is thin it with water for a soft, muted look, or leave it concentrated for a different, darker, effect. The more water you use, the lighter and more transparent your color will be.

Watercolor Cactus Painting on Wood

FolkArt Watercolor Acrylic Paints are unique in that they are permanent once they dry, so if they get wet again, the color won’t run or bleed, which is great for things like overlapping shapes and backgrounds. I filled in my cactus shapes first, then went back and added dots and lines for detail. Next, I added the little flowers with Pink and Light Purple, and finally, I applied the Ultramarine as a background all around my design.

I used the two larger brushes for the cacti and the background, and the smallest brush for the details. The soft synthetic bristles are designed to hold a large volume of water and release it in a controlled manner. They’re also easy to clean; just wash them out with soap and water while they’re wet, reshape them with your fingers, then let them dry with the bristles up.

Once my painting was dry, I gave the outside edges of the shadow box a coat of gold FolkArt Brushed Metal paint. You could, of course, use any color of paint you like for this step, including another of the Watercolor Acrylic paints.

Watercolor Cactus Painting on Wood

You can easily recreate this project just like mine, or you can do it on other surfaces too, like a different wooden shape, a wood slice, a canvas, a tote bag, or anything else you like. These paints work on canvas, fabric, wood, paper, and even glazed ceramics. What do you think? What kind of masterpiece would you create?

Watercolor Cactus Painting on Wood

Don’t forget, if you like it, then you ought to put a Pin on it!

Watercolor Cactus Painting on Wood

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