How to Paint Watercolor Diamonds and Gemstones

In this blog post I'm going to go through step-by-step on how I paint diamonds and gemstones. I hope you will find this tutorial to be useful and interesting. With the steps broken down, you may find that painting gemstones is a lot easier than it looks!

I love painting gems because there is structure and symmetry to each stone. However, at the same time, there is fluidness in each facet, where the light reflects and the color change. Sometimes the most unexpected colors will be added to the diamond painting, but when you look at the picture from a distance, it looks just like how the reflective colors in the diamond would in real life. 


Get all your materials ready. Tools you will need are:

- Watercolor Paper (I use Arches Cold Press, Bright White, 140 lb)

- Paintbrushes (I use Princeton brushes and Winsor & Newton Sable Brushes, sizes 0, 3, 8) Lately I've been using Da Vinci Maestro sizes 2, 3, 4)

- Watercolors and Palette (Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor - variety of colors - I have a palette with almost every color in the color wheel which I use to mix my own colors); must-have colors for diamonds: Payne's Gray, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson

- Sketching pencil (H) and sketching eraser (this is to make very light outlines for the gem).

- Ruler - the gems have facets which require straight lines. The ruler will come in handy!

- Water bucket with water & paper towel or sponge for soaking up excess water

- Photo of a diamond or gem that you would like to draw. There are several cuts for gems - I have found this Diamond & Gemstone shape chart to come in handy (found on google images). 

Diamond Watercolor

watercolor gemstone and diamond painting


Use the pencil to draw the outline and facets of the gem of your choice. I have drawn here the outline of a diamond, with the facets I will fill in later with watercolor. You will notice that there are actually way more facets to draw than the cut looks because of the reflections. For each painting I do, there are at least 70 ~200 little facets or pieces to fill in. The more facets you draw, the more reflective and shiny the diamond painting will look. 

diamond watercolor

Emerald Diamond Gem Sketch Outline

You can use the above photo as a guide  for your sketch if you would like! It's actually quite easy to draw in the facets - just reference a few photos and draw as many facets as you can. Tag me @artbyelleaiche so I can see how your painting turned out!



Fill in the facets of your diamond sketch with watercolor. I usually reference 2 or more photographs of gems (google images is my best friend here) to determine what colors I want to use. I study how the gem reflects. One key note here is that if one facet is bright, then the one right next to it is probably darker (this will give it a glistening, shiny affect). I also like using a gradient effect to show a transition from dark to light in my diamond and gemstone paintings. To achieve the gradient, fill in one side of the facet with one color, then add another color to the other side and gently blend the two together in the middle.


Emerald Diamond Gemstone Outline Sketch


Darken select facets (don't go overboard) to make the rest of the facets really shine. The darker the dark parts are, the brighter and shinier the lighter parts will look. 

diamond watercolor watercolor painting

That's it! Try it out and see how it looks. You might be surprised at how closely your painting looks like a gemstone. Happy painting! Be sure to tag me @artbyelleaiche in your finished paintings - I would love to see your artwork. :)

Oval Diamond Painting

Here are some of my other completed gem paintings (available for purchase). Follow @elle.aiche on Instagram ( and Pinterest (  for more artwork and inspiration! Thanks for reading and happy painting! :)

Watercolor Gemstone and Diamond Painting 



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