Friday, February 17, 2017

Water reflections

Two summers ago, when I vacationed in western North Carolina, I spent some time exploring Moses H. Cone National Park, which is located near Blowing Rock. In addition to some historic buildings, there are acres of trails winding through woodlands and some beautiful scenery around the lake there. I did some sketching en plein air, and took a lot of photos of waterbirds, flowers, trees, etc. 

Today I started a small painting of some water lilies, using my vacation photos as a reference (although the lilies at Moses Cone were white, not pink). I'm interested in trying to capture the reflections cast by the lily pads and the flowers -- definitely not an easy task.

I sketched the basic outlines, and began by using a mix of mostly Green Gold and Sap Green to fill in the lily pads -- I did use a touch of Winsor Green (BS) in a few places to ensure that the lily pads didn't look too "flat." I then added a line of Yellow Ochre to indicate the upward curl of the edge on each pad.

Next, I began to work on the petals, using several colors:  Opera, Permanent Rose, and Magenta. I worked wet-in-wet at first. After the petals had dried, I added shadows using a wash of Winsor violet and Magenta. I also did some light dry-brush work on some of the petals, using Permanent Rose.

Finally, I painted the reflected water lily petals in a pale wash of Yellow Ochre.

My next step will be to apply a smooth wash of blue to indicate the water, while preserving the reflections and adding a few more shadows.

The finished painting...

"Waterlilies"   SOLD