This week on our Youtube channel I posted another watercolour tutorial –  How to Paint Watercolour Chinese Lanterns. I’ve also painted them in a beautiful willow pattern vase. A beautiful and elegant plant and a fantastic illustration project that would look great in your bullet journal. I hope you enjoy watching this tutorial as much as I had fun creating it. To watch the tutorial please visit

We upload tutorials twice a week on Youtube so why not grab your paints and paint along with me after reading these tips and tricks below?

Using Pencil In Your Watercolour Painting

Similarly to a lot of my other tutorials I start this piece by using a pencil first to create a guide to follow. As well as drawing the outline of the vase for the Chinese lanterns to sit in, I also use the pencil to mark out the measurements of where I want everything to sit.

As well as the vase I also suggest you draw in the stems of the physalis before you start painting so that you have a clear guide.

Using pencil in watercolour painting

Painting Chinese Lanterns

When I think of Chinese lanterns I always think about the vibrant colours. For this painting, I mix together Cadmium Red and Cadmium Orange to create a few different swatches of paint. This allows for texture and variations within the painting.

Using a small brush I start by creating a small lantern shape with the diluted colour but whilst it is still wet I add in more of the concentrated colour to help create the depth and shape. I like to create definitions within each lantern but leaving some unpainted space as well.

Each Chinese lantern is different so for this painting you can play around with the shapes and colours and I think this is what makes it so fun to paint!

painting Chinese lanterns

Painting The Willow Patterned Vase

In this tutorial, one of my favourite parts is painting the vase. I love the colour of the vase and I will show you how to create a shine over the vase to give it a realistic look.

Before painting the vase make sure to have a look at reference photos and pick a pattern that you like. My top tip for painting this vase is to work in sections.

For each section, I decide on what pattern I want to achieve and create small markings. I then repeat the markings around the vase, making sure I keep to the curved lines to achieve a realistic look. Once finished and dry I like to create a faded look by rubbing water over the patterns and then re-adding detail.

Painting the patterned vase

Let me know how you found this tutorial – How to Paint Watercolour Chinese Lanterns. I’d love to see your take on them, which was your favourite part to paint? Do you have any questions? You can comment on our youtube video – or follow us on Instagram – @dewintonpaperco. 

The materials I used in this tutorial were:

Paint: Winsor and Newton Artist Quality –

Brushes: Pro Arte size 3/0, 4 –

Paper Daler Rowney Aquafine cold-pressed paper –

You will also need some kitchen roll.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our tutorial this week and until next time, happy painting!



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