Monday, May 25, 2015

Surprise! Lilies or A Splash of Watercolour and Dashes of Colored Pencils

Watercolour and Colored Pencils
11x14 inches from my own reference photo

This time I'm talking a bit about a recent watercolour/coloured pencil piece, Surprise! Lilies. I began this piece with a concept I'd had......I wanted to showcase the morning light coming thru the trumpet petals of some of our surprise lilies that bloom each August. In case you aren't familiar with surprise lilies, they are blubs that send up daffodil-like leaves in the early spring. And that's ALL they do in that season. But, come late August, when things are dry and the most that's around are roses and goldenrod......up they shoot....(It's a SURPRISE in this season).....a half a dozen or so foot tall stems, and soon they bloom into these lovely lilies.

I'd watched them on my morning walks, and noticed that at a certain time in the early morning, the sun shown into the lovely blooms, and made the loveliest glow shine thru. So I took photos......and more photos.....and more till I got the glow just right. Then I got to work painting.

Partial detail showing parts of the watercolor wash before and after the colored pencil layer.

I laid in the dark background, with a watercolour wash, then went over it all with colored pencil circles. Just drawing small circles of various dark coloured pencils, till I got the blurred textured background I wanted.

I did the same with the blooms, I laid in a watercolour wash for the intense pinks and yellows of the blooms. Watercolour was perfect for this layer, because of the gradient you can get with a wash. I also was able, after the first layer was totally dry, to wash over some blue shadow values over the pinks without dulling the first layer.

Then I started in with various pink/peach/yellow colored pencils over-lining the blooms. This particular flower petal's structure actually did have faint lines going from the center almost out to the ends of the petals. They gradually disappeared towards the tips of the petals.

I had a ball using both media, coloured pencil and watercolour, for exactly the results that each excels in........watercolour for it's gradient colour washes, and colored pencils for it's texture and definations. It was a win-win!