Of course all water lilies need the sun. By mid and late summer the lily buds really need to push their way up, out, and around the densely surrounding, colorful, lily pads. Sunshine Lily has just found enough space to start opening up. I wanted to show the underwater complexity of her environment, and the variety of tones on the partially submerged pads.
Technical painting notes: Doing small paintings of parts of the pondscape is a way to experiment with different approaches to the subject. In this painting, I wanted to try a varied palette and feature the layers of vegetation. I blocked in the subject using monoprint techniques – rolling up a layer of dark oil paint with a soft rubber brayer, then wiping out highlights (especially the petals). Once that layer was dry, most of the painting was glazed in greens and a bit of pink and ochre. When that layer was dry, I worked the entire surface almost as an a la prima painting. One more day was devoted to a few last touches in the highlights, and when that was dry an overall glaze. Throughout the process I experimented with mixing complementary colors to achieve a range of grayed tones in the lily pads.