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watercolor painting, 12 x 9 inches

White Water Lily ,watercolor painting, 12 x 9 inches

So there it was, pristine and tucked under some lily pads in my small backyard pond- a white water lily. Each day I take a tour of my gardens in my small yard, seeking new blooms, creatures, ripening of vegetables, and visiting my fish in the pond. On this day the waterlily was spectacular, I fetched my camera.

I had painted waterlilies in the past and knew how challenging their many petals were to capture. It had been a long time, I was ready to try it again. Here is my approach.DSCN8243_21655

I like to create a sketch using paint. Pencil can dent the paper, and can sometimes be difficult to erase. I used a diluted paint mix to outline the basic forms, knowing I can blend the paint later with water to delete the lines.

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Next I painted a strong concentrate of ultramarine blue for the dark water. As it dried, it was way too pale. It would need more layers to be glazed on.

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Completing the negative space in washes, I decided to add the center of the flower before finding all the petals.

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I began to shade the petals, and add the lily pads that were underneath the other forms. DSCN8272_21684

I glazed on another layer of blue to deepen the water, then continued to shade the petals. DSCN8273_21685

Glazed the water again, then began to add shadows to it. I carefully preserved a few pure white areas in the water. A long time ago a professor told me his secret to keeping watercolor fresh and unique to the media was leaving some paper white. He felt it added sparkle and light to a painting.

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On to the lily pads again;I began to add more color, working wet on wet for these. I began to show the structure and the veins of the leaves as I painted.

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Glazed another layer of blue to some areas of the water. Then I tackled the small stamens in the center of the flower, adding detail.

watercolor painting, 12 x 9 inches

watercolor painting, 12 x 9 inches

Done after I tweaked it some more. I added several layers of color to the lily pads, finished the stamen detailing, added more green reflective shading to the top petals, tightened the edges in some spots, softened the edges in others. Finished the stems, added color to the flower shadows, and added some deep shadows all over the place!

This painting took a lot of patience, but it had to be right. I could feel it when it was. If you are an artist, you know what I mean by that.

This morning I sat on my back porch with coffee, and watched the show nature put on. I have bird feeders, and have planted my gardens to include flowers used by birds and butterflies, of course bees. As I watched the sparrows, blue jays and hummingbird perform amongst the busy bees, I felt much happiness.

I wish you all a chance to get outside today and enjoy the show!

 

 

 

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