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25+ Whimsical Watercolor Turtle Paintings

watercolor turtle hdr

Turtles are some of the oldest animals around. They date all the way back to the time of dinosaurs – over two hundred million years ago! Woah.

Having one of the longest lifespans in the animal kingdom, turtles are truly special.

They are born with excellent vision and an amazing sense of direction; traveling around the sea by sensing the individual lines of the magnetic field.

This just tells us how majestic and powerful these creatures are.

Artists are constantly busy capturing the endless beauty and grace of mother nature. Just like plants and land animals, marine life too has its enthralling charm.

And the whimsical creatures of the land and sea; turtles are no exception!

Come on along and we’ll walk you through some fascinating watercolor turtle painting ideas.

P.S Don’t get confused when you see paintings of tortoises. Just remember that not all turtles are tortoises but, all tortoises are turtles. Tortoises live solely on land while turtles live in or near water.

Watercolor Turtles: An Enchanting Land or Sea Experience 

watercolor turtle green bluer

The beige and brown tortoise gazes up while slowly walking towards its destination.

Notice how the artistic approach has embedded different colors in the backdrop in order to define the subject without merging it within.

watercolor turtle blue green swiming

This majestic turtle can be seen enjoying a refreshing swim underwater.

The positioning of its flipper-like legs adds motion to the painting while a transition of colors from darks to jewel-like jade features a visual depth. 

An example of a watercolor painting that will certainly shine on your bedroom wall or enliven a dreary hallway.

watercolor turtle bellied slider

Another of our tortoises is waddling around unhurriedly while examining its surroundings.

For an added dramatic touch we can see different blots of paint spreading about in the background.

watercolor turtle black slider

This painting almost looks like a movie poster where a deadly turtle can be seen emerging from the dark depths of the sea (but don’t worry most sea turtles are vegetarians).

Thoughtful use of brushstrokes highlights the scales on the turtle’s flippers as well as the dramatic play of light and shadow.

An example of a must-have painting when you want to offer a little more grandness to a room.

watercolor turtle brown multicolor

Resting down with its intricate pattern, the subject of our painting portrays the hefty work of mother nature and its creativity. 

watercolor turtle blue

A cool and calm sight for the viewer where the turtle swims upwards in the fresh blue sea. 

What an exotic way of highlighting the scales on the flippers giving a tactile 3D effect.

wc trtl above

The extraordinary detailed dome-shaped shell of this tortoise as well as the scales has been flawlessly executed by the artistic method.

The close attention to complex details truly brings out the anatomy of the subject in such a creative way.

watercolor turtle blue slider swim

A cruise within the turquoise realms of the underwater world.

The turtle swims forth as we examine the scales on its flippers from an up-close angle. 

wc trtle wf

The shape of this guy seems to highlight the speed these creatures have as they soar through the water, perhaps riding a rapid under-current during migration.

The bright yellow-gold highlight across the shell rim is exquisite and complements so gloriously with the purple and violet shadows on the neck and tail.

You can see more photos of this one and buy it here.

watercolor turtle blue purple

It is surely a work of art to turn simple watercolors into perfectly translated and detailed pieces. 

The scales appear tactile and 3D, creating a tangible-like experience through the screen.

watercolor turtle blue up side down

Imagine you’re scuba diving when suddenly a turtle swims above you; this will be your view.

An unbelievable sight don’t you think?

watercolor turtle brown smoke

Up-close we can observe the hardness and the thickness of the scales here.

A perfect example of an anatomy study translated into a watercolor painting.

watercolor turtle brown slider

Carefree brushstrokes always add a sense of depth to a painting.

Plus, they leave an impact on the eyes of the viewer.

This is exactly what the artistic techniques look for; an impact on the viewer.

wc trtl saturated

The method adopted in this one is entirely unconventional and unique.

The watercolor painting looks closely like an intricate glass painting with its mosaic approach.

The selection of careful colors and the execution of the miniature details truly make this painting a brilliant work of art.

watercolor turtle brown yellow

An immaculate piece of art with sharp and distinguished details and features.

Each shade stands in its territory while supremely highlighting the rest. 

watercolor turtle green brown

What an eye-catching composition!

A defined angle of the subject along with a defined soft color palette help to create a true work of art.

I love how the turtle floats out of the murky waters, like as if dense clouds are revealing a most marvelous creature within.

watercolor turtle brown yellow

The colors used on this one just wow us.

Just through light and dark shades, each nuisance here is exhibited in a precise manner.

watercolor turtle blue slider

Let’s just assume that the turtle here is taking a selfie. How cute!

A sinister and mysterious yet, grand watercolor turtle painting with a deep dark background played with carefree brushstrokes.

watercolor turtle green blue brown

The artistic approach in this painting defines the external anatomy of the tortoise with perfection.

From the shell to the textures and patterns of the subject’s body, all are painted flawlessly.

watercolor turtle green slider

Hello! A mature tortoise appears from the left side of the canvas while the right side stays empty allowing for some healthy breathing space.

The use of a neutral color palette gives the painting a moderate yet still interesting look.

watercolor turtle green twin

Two turtles share a moment as they swim onward under the surface of the sea.

The darker blues and greens depict the areas with shadows whereas the light accentuates through the bright white.

watercolor turtle green under see

A soft division between dark and light blues can be seen in the background.

The green turtle surfaces through from the center creating an intriguing composition.

watercolor turtle red blue

Slowly on its way to exiting the canvas, the subject grasps the viewer’s attention. 

A clever blend between the subject and the backdrop intensifies the impact of this mystical watercolor design.


We all have heard the phrase you are what you eat. Well, turtles are LITERALLY what they eat.

The color of the turtles is determined by what they eat.

So, if you see a green turtle, you’ll know that it has been getting its vegetables.

This also gives painters everywhere the chance to experiment further with tints and shades of nearly any hue.

Turtles are indeed phenomenal creatures of mother nature. The oldest to exist and longest to live.

We bet they hold great wisdom and perhaps, some magical powers that are unknown to mankind. 

The watercolor turtle paintings shown above executed each and every detail of the marine creatures in an utterly impeccable manner leaving the viewers (that’s us!) in complete awe.

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