Learn / Create

Jeff Koons

Puppy Watercolor Painting
May 19th, 2020


Paint your own Puppy using watercolors!

Rising 43 feet from its paws to its ears, Jeff Koons’ Puppy is formed from a series of stainless steel armatures constructed to hold over 25 tons of soil watered by an internal irrigation system. Over 70,000 multi-hued flowering plants grow from this steel and soil structure, including marigolds, begonias, impatiens, petunias, and lobelias. First created in 1992 for a temporary exhibition in the German city of Arolson, Puppy—a symbol, according to Koons, of “love, warmth and happiness”—embodies the artist’s sculptural imagination. (Public Art Fund)





  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paint
  • Watercolor tray for mixing colors
  • Paintbrushes (a variety of sizes – a medium sized flat or filbert brush for the wash, and several small round and detail brushes for the flowers)
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Paper towel for blotting and cleaning your brushes
  • Cup of water



1. Set up your paper, paint, water cup and paper towels.

2. Using your pencil, lightly draw an outline of the Puppy (download optional template here)

3. In your watercolor tray, mix your “wash puddles”. These will serve as the background color of the Puppy and help establish shadows and highlights. Mix a “wash puddle” of light sap green (which will be the majority of the Puppy) and darker a “wash puddle” of sap green mixed with Payne’s grey (which will be your shadows).

4. Using a flat or filbert brush, lay down your wash. You can use a “wet on dry” technique for a more controlled look, or a “wet on wet” technique for a more organic look.

5. Allow the wash to dry for a few minutes before proceeding.

6. One the wash has dried, use a “dry brush” technique to start dotting in the flowers. A small, round brush works best, alternating the angles and pressure to vary the shape and size of the “blossoms”. Use a wide variety of colors to create clusters of flowers until most of the puppy is filled in.

7. Fill in the remaining spaces with dots of green, using a dry brush technique.

8. Lastly, dot in little highlights and shadows on top of and around the flowers to add depth.




Reimagine Jeff Koons’ Puppy for a chance to win a limited edition Puppy beach towel and $25 gift certificate to The Brant Foundation Shop!

Using the materials of your choice, create your own version of Puppy. Your artwork can take on any form (painting, sculpture, poem, etc.) that expresses your interpretation of this monumental sculpture. Submissions will be judged based on creativity, execution, inventiveness.