Unknown Succulent

This succulent actually does have a name, but I lost the label. It was curling off the pot (as you can see below), so I took it off and put it in the proverbial ‘safe place’. So now it is the unknown succulent, since I can’t find the label.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I have been hesitant to attempt to portray this succulent. It is virtually one color – green. However there are flourishes to the overall green cast. There is the glowy green, where the leaves are backlit by the lamp overhead; whitish green along the edges; the reddish green at the points of the triangular leaves; and dark green near the base. Here is the photo:

Photograph: Unknown Succulent - Photo

Unknown Succulent – Pending Label Retrieval


I love the larger format watercolor paper. To an oil or acrylic painter, my 12″x16″ paper might not seem large, but to me it is a vast expanse.

With an HB pencil, I sketched the general outline of the plant and tried to place the inner leaves within this outline. This is always a challenge. Sometimes my eyes misalign a leaf and I end up sketching the same one in two different places.

I painted the glowy parts of the foliage with lemon yellow first, making sure to leave spaces of white between. I used the darker Hooker’s green for the base of the outer leaves and the entirety of the leaves in shadow. I added Peacock blue (aka phthalo blue) to the yellow, which should have yielded the green glow.

Watercolor: Succulent with Green Triangular-Shaped Leaves

Unknown Succulent
12″x16″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


I didn’t quite get the color transitions. I think I got all the colors, but not the transitions. The one element that makes this composition is…. the white spaces.  It might serve me well to use the whole area of a 12X16 sheet of watercolor paper to paint the green color transitions and variations of one leaf.

2 thoughts on “Unknown Succulent

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