How to Paint a Gerbera Daisy

Learning How to Paint a Gerbera Daisy is a great way to grow your skills for painting flowers. Jump into this quick lesson for a step-by-step guide to learning where to get inspiration for your painting, how to color match, and the essential techniques, tips, and supplies you will need to create your own beautiful Gerbera Daisy. 

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Acrylic Painted Gerbera daisy. Yellow center, a row of short petals, accented with white paint pen. then the full petals in shades of cactus flower, berry cobbler, cranberry wine, watermelon slice, matcha green, , and black. White highlighted edges on some of the pedals.

Why paint gerbera daisies

Like so many of my paintings, my inspiration came from a photo I took of this gorgeous daisy. And of course when I think to myself, “What is the happiest flower?” I can’t help but automatically think of the gerbera daisy.  They come in so many sizes and colors. They are like a little sunshine in a flower and will add a pop of bold color and fun to any room whether in a painting or a vase. And are great to share with a friend to brighten up their day!

My photo inspiration.

What will I need to paint Gerbera daisies?

Materials Mentioned

*In this tutorial, I am using the following paint colors by DecoArt: cactus flower, berry cobbler, cranberry wine, watermelon slice, matcha green, white, and black.

How to find your desired flower colors.

Print off a photo.

There are many ways to pinpoint exactly what colors you want to use. You could take a printed photo to the store with you and match them that way. You can easily walk into the store, hold up paint bottles to your photo, and match up paint colors with a printed image this way.

Use Procreate on a tablet.

Probably my favorite way to find the colors of paint I want to use when painting any flower is to use the platform Procreate.  I simply open up Procreate on my tablet.  Then, I will open a photo of a gerbera daisy.  Hold your finger down on a section of the flower that you want to know the color swatches.  When you do that, you will see a circle or bubble that changes the images a bit as you move your finger around.  From there, you can begin selecting colors.  

A Gerbera daisy photo with a color matching circle on the petal of the flower.
Color matching using Procreate.

As you hover over those colors you love, start a new palette and begin adding the colors you want to match to your paint bottles.  You can also look at the pallets that Procreate will automatically create for you as you hover over your desired areas of the flower. It is such a handy tool to use!  It is super helpful when you are looking at a photo and just are not quite sure what colors you need. Procreate gives you something to base it on. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and mixing colors is a great way to create the exact shade you want.

Use Adobe Capture on your cell phone.

While I mostly use Procreate, I know many people that use Adobe Capture. You basically follow the same instructions I listed out above for Procreate. It really doesn’t matter which app you use, but just think of it as a tool to help you get started on picking out colors. You do not have to use exactly what you see on your apps.  Feel free to take your own path when it comes to color choices! That’s the fun thing about art… it can be whatever you want it to be!

The circles on each section of the daisy indicate the color of that part of the image. The blocks on the top of the screen show cool red, orange red, burgundy red, dark pink and gold. This is used to color match a photo colors to be able to match paint colors.
Color match using Adobe Capture.

Using tracing paper and carbon paper to start a painting.

Tracing paper is an excellent tool to use when you are needing a little help getting started on a paint project, specifically when it comes to painting something that is not abstract.  Start off by finding a beautiful picture, print it off, or blow it up on your tablet.  Then place your tracing paper over the print or screen.  Begin doing light tracing along the silhouette of the item you want to paint.  You do not have to get super detailed here.  Use tracing paper to help you get an idea of shape and size.

A picture of a Gerbera daisy on an IPad. A tracing paper over the image. Christie holding a pencil.
Using tracing paper to outline the design.

Once you have the silhouette shape on your tracing paper, you will begin transferring that onto your canvas or mixed media pad.  Place the shiny, black side down first, and put your tracing paper on top.  Then you will trace over the top of your tracing paper pressing downward on your carbon/transfer paper which will create the same shapes you created on your tracing paper onto the canvas or mixed media pad paper.

How to add dimension using your Photos app.

Sometimes it can be daunting to figure out how to create dimension in your paintings. Grab your phones again and explore another phone app option! Start off by pulling up the photo you would like to paint.  Then turn that photo into a black-and-white image using the black-and-white filter or fully desaturating the image.  This takes all the distractions of the colors away and you can really focus on the dimensions in the image.  So, instead of guessing where those lights and darks need to be in order to create dimension, you can easily see right where they are in your photo.  

A black and white filter on a Gerbera Daisy.
Black & White filter.

Take a few moments to notice where you see dark shades and light shades. Also, notice the mid-tone grays.  Use these visual variations in the photo to see blocks of color instead of a whole image. By looking at shapes instead of the whole photo, you can easily see dimension and then implement that into your design.

Let’s get painting!


Gather your supplies and a photo of a gerbera daisy to use as inspiration.

Step 2

Begin selecting your paint colors. You can use one of my tips above for using ProCreate, a printed image, or Adobe Capture to select colors.

Step 3

Begin tracing the general silhouette of your gerbera daisy. Check out the helpful tips above about using tracing paper and carbon or transfer paper.

Step 4

The first paint color you want to add is your darkest petal shade. Begin to fill in some of your petals.  Here is where I like to use my Filbert brush.  The nice curve shape makes for great petals. We want to add dark first to create some depth. We will be adding lighter colors on top once this layer dries.

A Filbert paint brush with red paint pressing down to create a petal.
Filbert paintbrush.

Step 5

Next, after your first layer dries, add on a lighter shade of pink. Here is where I begin adding in the hot pink on top of the darker pink.  This is a great time to transition to your round brush.

A gerbera daisy with multiple shades  of cactus flower, berry cobbler, cranberry wine, watermelon slice, matcha green, white, and black. A paint brush with watermelon slice paint on one of the petals of the flower.
Adding layers of paint to create petals.

Step 6

Just begin adding layers with the shades of pink – starting with the darkest shade and adding in the lighter shade in order of darkest to lightest.  You may want to start mixing some of the shades to create even more variations here. The more variety in shades you have the more depth it is going to give your flowers.

A pallet with globs of paint mixing together with a paint brush. The colors are cactus flower, berry cobbler, cranberry wine, watermelon slice, matcha green, white, and black.
Mixing colors to create more shades.

Now is a great time to remind yourself to not get too caught up in what the strokes look like. The goal here is to just build those layers

Step 7

As you add in petals, you may want to add in some along the sides of your main petals that are different shapes.  For example, you can add in more narrow petals to the background or foreground.

Step 8

Once you have added in several shades of pink, start working in your white and black to your pink shades for extra dimension.

Step 9

Next up, begin working on that center section of your flower.  This will give your petals time to dry a bit before we add in any other layers.  You want to give the petals a few minutes to dry and set so you don’t keep mixing the colors underneath.

Step 10

To begin the center of your daisy, start to add in a lime green paint color if you would like to have one similar to mine, but you don’t have to do it exactly the way I show. Feel free to play around and find inspiration from photos.

Step 11

Once you have that center shaded in, you can add in a little bit of the reddish pink with the green to tone down the green. Opposites on the color wheel can help desaturate each other or tone your colors down. I suggest getting a color wheel if you don’t have one already because it is essential if you want to start understanding how colors work together.

Different shades of green paint.
Mixing colors to create different shades of green.

Step 12

After you have added a little of that pink to the green, begin to work in some of the more muted green.  This will help give some variation in that center area.

Step 13

Next, take a touch of black and add it to your green.  Remember, a little bit of black goes a long way! Begin adding in a little of that darker green around the edges of the flower’s center.  In this case, the black made the green turn a bit of an army green shade.  Mix that in with the lighter color along the edges and it creates the illusion of shadowing and dimension. 

A plate with all the colors in the acrylic painted daisy. The colors are cactus flower, berry cobbler, cranberry wine, watermelon slice, matcha green, white, and black.
Create shadowing and dimension.

Step 14

Now that your petals have dried a bit, this is a good time to start adding in those tiny petal details between the flower center and the big outside petals.  Begin towards the center, and add some white to your pink mixture here so you have some contrast. Then, come in and just do little dabs of that lighter pink color.  You don’t want to cover up that whole section completely because you want that dark to come through too.

Step 15

Next, take some of the darker berry pink and begin picking up and touching down your round brush around the outer edge of the center to add depth to the center of the flower.

An acrylic painted Gerbera daisy with a paint brush making a brush stroke over the petal.
Adding depth to the center of the flower petal.

Step 16

You also want to grab that darker pink and do the same dabbing technique around the outer edge of the tiny petals towards the center.  Again, you are playing with contrast to give depth to your painting.

Step 17

Next, start to work in some brighter pink to give a bit more detail to your full-sized petals.  Do quick, little brush strokes, and you will notice your flower start to come to life a little bit at a time.  Between a few strokes, change up your pink colors.  Work all kinds of shades around the flower petals being careful never to fully cover your back layers. 

A Gerbera daisy with a paint brush adding some brighter pink to give a bit more detail to the petals.
Adding more detail.

Step 18

Now it is time to add your stem!  Let’s grab a little green while keeping a tiny bit of pink on your brush.  This will help tone down the green a bit.  As you begin to work on your stem, be sure to rest your wrist on your paper, and don’t forget to grab plenty of paint on your brush so you can do one pull of color. This may take some practice to figure out the right amount of paint to have on your brush. Don’t be afraid of filling up a whole page of brush strokes until you get this the way you want.

Globs of paint on a plate, white red, pink burgundy, green, and black. A Painted Gerbera daisy with a green stem.
Painting a stem.


Step 19

For the final touches, I recommend grabbing small Art Owl pens in white and gold.  Then, do some tiny scribbles in the center of your flower, the middle tiny petals, and along the edges of your larger petals.  This seems to really make the flower pop in my opinion.

A paint pen creating details on the shorter petals around the yellow/green center.
Adding details with the pens.
A white paint pen highlighting the other edge of the daisy petal.
Adding details with the pens.

And there you have it! A beautiful and happy gerbera daisy to display and share with pride!  

I hope this gerbera daisy brings you as much joy as it does me. I love painting these flowers this time of year.  Consider painting a whole collection of them for a beautiful and vibrant display of colors.

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Watch the How to Paint a Gerbera Daisy video:


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