How to Paint and Draw Sweet Peas

Pretty Sweet Peas are everyone’s favorite, whether you’re a gardener, flower arranger or artist, and as well as being beautiful they have a lovely scent. In fact, in French they are called Pois de Senteur or “scented peas”.

So today I’ve picked three colors – Cobalt Blue, Permanent Rose and Sap Green, along with my Staedtler pigment liner, and we’re doing some loose sweet pea flowers sharpened up with ink drawing. So let’s get started!

For these paintings the paper requirements are very flexible. Any paper will work, although if you have some relatively smooth cold press, or better still some hot press, you will get an easier result. Watch the video to see why this is the case.

A sketch of the final painting is available for you to download for free here along with all the sketches for our YouTube videos.

Choosing your colors

I have suggested three most commonly found colors in average sets of paints which can be used for sweet peas, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue and Sap Green. You might also add Winsor Violet or another mauve. You could use Ultramarine Blue instead of Cobalt, and Opera Rose instead of Permanent Rose, and you could mix your green yourself using your blue of choice and lemon yellow if you don’t have Sap Green.

I used my A. Gallo set for this painting, and chose YlmMn Blue, Quinacridone Violet, Quinacridone Magenta and Olive Green for my palette. Once painted, I have to admit there was very little difference between another version I did using the Winsor and Newton colors.

Watch the video on YouTube here:

Material Suppliers

I often recommend Jacksons Art for supplies. They are in the UK but their prices are so good it’s worth paying their nominal shipping fee. They also have other interesting features, such as expert-written guides to materials and techniques, an annual competition with a valuable prize, free shipping in the UK for over £75 orders, and very reasonable rates for international orders. Plus they have great discounts. Click on the image below to find out more.

Other materials and equipment from Amazon

I also used a Staedtler pigment liner size 0.01. The link below takes you to sets of 6 pens so the price is not unreasonable. My paper was an unknown sheet from my stash, but I usually recommend Clairefontaine Etival from Canson, 100% cellulose cold press 140lb. I buy it in packs of 50 sheets and that means I can forget all about running out of paper for a good while. I also recommend Bockingford and Strathmore cellulose papers as alternatives, both very good value and all these are Amazon links. I would go for Hot Press for this particular painting, but it is a matter of taste which you use. You could also use handmade paper or Khadi paper, which would give a more unique result. Also lovely is the Etchr or Paul Rubens mixed media hot pressed paper sketch books.

New Mug in the Shop

Visit our shop to see our selection of mugs with my paintings on them! Great value!


My brush was a Drawell size 14 Golden Round – a very good synthetic brush from Japan. You can order them here: by contacting them direct. The prices are very reasonable and they ship worldwide at minimal cost.

I also often use a brush from ZenArt which you can click below to order. They are an ideal starter set for anyone just building up a collection of good watercolor brushes.


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