Water Lily- Painting Challenge

Acrylic 11×14 Canvas. I think there are 24 petals, but I may have miscounted!

I  have always admired beautiful flowers, especially on my blogger friends’ photography blogsites.  A lily pond I painted a few years ago was a colorful, dismal failure, though it was my own photo reference from visiting the Big Island’s  Hilton Waikoloa lily pond.  At the resort, the world renown, originally Chris Hemmeter’s gallery of art collected from around the world, has a large lily pond painting by Monet.  Since looking at  lily ponds peaked my interest, I dreamt to do a very impressionistic pond with lilies on a  small scale one day.  Well, a single blossom is my  beginning. . .

I looked for a free, uncopyrighted photo online and recently found the flower that I thought was clearly simple enough to try to paint my first water lily! Only thing is that I think there were 24 different petals, so it was a bit difficult for me who has a problem with astigmatism.  That was a LOT of petals! I had to watch the size, shape, line designs, shading, plus shadows for each individual petal. If I didn’t pay close attention, then I would be redoing a petal that I just finished!

THE PROCESS. This was my ‘process’ if you want suggestions to paint your own lily:

  • Determine the size of flower for the canvas to be painted on.  Check proportions and placement.  
  • Make a detailed sketch or tracing to transfer to canvas.  I copied the picture with a clear sheet protector and water color pen; put a sheet of paper over it, taped both to my plate glass window, used pencil to trace.
  • Prepare palette*with paints; get water container, medium; select brushes.  *Magenta, cad red medium, cad yellow light, UMBlue, sap green, titanium white and glazing liquid for medium.  All of the color values could be mixed with 5 colors which included greens, oranges, and violets, besides pinks.
  • Set up easel/work surface and begin painting by blocking in flower and   background; work in value contrast to details.  Note below that I began painting the petals in light and medium values and worked toward the darker values using glazes to deepen the colors of the center petals.
  • Post on my favorite forum- http://paintbasket.com