Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Remembering Last Summer

Last July I sketched the gorgeous Asiatic lilies growing next to the patio in our back yard. They only bloom for a few short weeks, but their delicate beauty and sweet scent bring a smile to my face very time I walk outside. They're just so beautiful!

5-1/2" x 8", ink & watercolor in Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook

I drew the flowers on day 32 of the 75 Day Sketch Challenge that I worked on last summer, but didn't have a chance to paint them until recently. It had haunted me since July that the page in my sketchbook which could have had some of the richest colors out of 75 days of sketches, had languished as a simple black and white drawing.

With the start of the new year, I decided to finish up some unfinished projects, and this sketch was one of them. Painting it brought back memories of the warm summer afternoon when I drew it. Using a photo I had taken as a color reference, I painted the flowers primarily with Permanent Rose, plus a bit of Carmine, and Ultramarine Blue added for the darker areas. That deep fuchsia color is so rich and intense!


I painted the background first, then the first layer of leaf greens, then the deep pink flowers, being careful to paint around the stamens. After I had the leaves and petals as I wanted them, the green and orange stamens were painted. Finally I added the dark maroon speckling on the flower petals. I tried spattering the dark flecks, but the spatters went everywhere, so I blotted them off and tried again, painting each spot with a small brush while trying to keep them random-looking.

It was a lot of fun escaping from the dreariness of January through the pages of my sketchbook. Spring is just around the corner, and I'm daydreaming of sunshine, flowers and warm breezes. How about you?


  1. So beautiful! Lovely work, Leslie.

  2. This is so beautiful that I've left this page open on my laptop to keep looking at it as I walk by. And Carmine is a color I've been thinking of adding to my palette, so double thanks!

  3. these lilies are one of my favorite flowers - you really captured the color perfectly; lovely to see on a cold winter day!


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