Paint Day Lilies On Hot Press Paper

This lesson is a sketch exploration of day lilies

We’ll try to capture the look of day lilies with only their silhouette and some color information.  The characteristics of hot press paper will help us get subtle blends of color and allow us time to work on some of the intricate parts of the  unique contours.

Sketches For Exploration And Effect

There is a very blurry line between a sketch and a painting.  It is often the case that a casually approached, loosely executed “sketch” ends up having more life and energy than a finished painting of the same subject.  In my thinking, the casual approach relaxes our thinking and frees our vision and creative flow. The result is certainly a more honest and open expression of our personal feelings about the subject.

Whatever the result, the sketching process is certainly about exploration and discovery.

Economic Expression

In this sketch lesson – as, really, in all of them – we’ll be trying to express the simple beauty of the day lily. Flowers and floral subjects seem to demand a realistic, and even photographic, approach.  One of the benefits of sketching is that it develops your ability to express a subject by including only limited information about the subject.

We often recognize a subject when only seeing a silhouette or part of the silhouette. The addition of other bits of information without adding every detail is usually more than enough.

In this lesson, we’ll capture the essence of the day lily with only some shape and color information.  The buds, blossoms and stems all have unique silhouettes that we’ll use to depict the flower.

Another interesting characteristic of this beautiful flower is that the various colors shift and move and blend into each other.  To help capture those subtle blends, we’ll use wet, fluid washes on hot press paper.  Water and color tends to sit on the surface of hot press paper, allowing more time to blend washes, colors and edges together.  We’ll use that characteristic to our advantage in this lesson.

Transferring the Drawing Layout

The downloadable layouts are done with heavy lines to make it easy to see and copy onto your watercolor paper. It is best not to draw the lines too heavy on your paper, especially in the sky, since there is a good chance the lines will show through the paint. It’s not a deal-breaker, but those heavy pencil lines are sometimes a distraction.

What you’ll need

This is a Premium Learning Library Lesson.  Access The Entire Library  With a Premium Membership – Cancel or Pause  at any time.  

More Premium Member Info Here.

 Already a Premium Member? Login Below

Just browsing? Check out these FREE lessons.

Related Lessons

Paint A Pink Peony Blossom On Hot Press Paper

watercolor painting of a pink peonyThis lesson is about creating an impressionistic floral painting on hot-pressed watercolor paper. Peonies are beautiful and fragrant. We can’t re-create the fragrance, but we can capture the beauty without trying to make a photo-realistic painting.

Subjects like this peony tend to lead us toward photo realism. There is so much going on in this one single blossom and we want to catch every bit of it. Instead of that, I like a more impressionistic approach that allows for some interpretation and addition of our own sense of the subject while still getting the character and beauty of the subject.

We’ll work loosely in this project, applying wet-into-wet and dry-into wet technques to try to pull this subject together, capture the light and the character of this beautful subject.

Landscape Painting Lessons

rural scene with barn watercolor painting

Seascape Painting Lessons

Still Life & Floral Painting Lessons