Long before the larger, white water lilies dare to reveal themselves, the tight yellow “fists” of yellow, bullhead water lilies thrust through the water’s surface like an invasion of periscopes. They make me laugh with their slightly ungainly deportment and reluctance to really open up. These are the tough guys. Surrounded by lily pads and underwater vegetation, the blue ripples connect and work to abstract the composition’s elements. The strong orange stems, just visible drifting under the water, add a note of complementary color. Details below. Enjoy!
Technical painting notes: When I started this composition, I knew I wanted to paint the yellow lilies, but I also wanted to emphasize the range of color (not just blue) that can be seen at the pond. The colors just beneath the surface, with their muted red, violet, and orange tones, are as much the subject as the buds. I also wanted a crisp, bold play of contrasts in the brushwork, achieved by letting the initial layer of textures and streaks show through.