Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lily Pond - Yupo Redo

Lily Pond #4
 8 x8 in Watercolor on Yupo 
Work in process...

Artist Note.
Not as much "stylized"
this time.
Here is a re-do of the previous post
taking into account 
all the suggestions
and observations. 
It was an interesting project for me. 
I am totally grateful to all the 
artists who took the time to share
their viewpoints.
I really learned a lot of new
ways of actually
edges -
adding -
subtracting -
tension -

My previous effort had the 
water lighter  
and pads darker.
here are my source images 
showing both ways.

MY new version reversed 
the first one.
Below are small sketches I made
on the quest for a  Yupo watercolor
painting of a lily pond.

Some of the groaners on the journey.
Below is the original wiper
then I thought what did I love?
Answer - the koi.
 LOL- conflicting  two points of interest...
decide to leave the koi for
 another painting!
Back to it being too busy! 
I raised the 
horizon and liked it 
and at least it looked watery!

Several more attempts followed 
when I discovered the  reeds.
I thought the verticals added 
something I liked. 

I thank everyone who commented 
or emailed their suggestions
or just joined in the fun of it.


  1. Stunning, Julie! I like the addition of the reeds and the dark areas of water make the water lilies really stand out. Love it!

    1. Thanks - making the water dark changed the whole feel of the pond. I like both ways. Glad you like it, Joan.
      I enjoyed seeing your watercolor sketches - especially the droopy sunflower.

  2. oh wow, julie... this is marvelous. the reeds were the perfect addition. and the dark water!


    1. Sweet Lynne - thank you. Nice to know you like it and the reasons why.

      That is a great post you wrote sharing about the different papers. I love the paintings and the feathers are very special.

  3. Another great mini lesson. Thank you dear Julie.

  4. So many solutions! How fun to see everywhere you went with this. Your finished piece is lovely and interesting. I'm admiring how you were able to do that and keep the painting from feeling too busy.

    1. Thanks Diana - your comment on the last post had me thinking in a different way about tension. I appreciated it.
      Your three paintings look a lot larger than they are. Lots of power and simple at the same time.Enjoy the show.

  5. Replies
    1. You are so gracious - thanks Sue.'
      I always enjoy visiting your blog too. Love the colors in today's post.

  6. Love the contrast of the dark water and the horizonal reeds also add a new dimenson.

    1. Thanks Carol.
      Contrast always makes more of a statement doesn't it.
      I really enjoyed seeing your Florida landscape.

  7. Ever closer! Not saying you didn't get something equally lovely as what you got previously but I know that you are working towards what you want. You are on a quest! And you know I love that!

    I'd be hard pressed to pick just one thing to focus on. And then throw in the Yupo and I would be done! Have you considered a mixed media approach at all? WC with an oil overlay? I know an artist that does that as a solution to any drawbacks that he sees with the wc.

    1. You know me so well. Yes, I love discovery and goals in art making.
      Oil over the watercolor? - yes, been there and done that. Enjoyed it but the goal is to try and get it right without resorting to salvage techniques. Multi media holds a lot of fascination for me and I would approach this in a layering way to start fresh using the tools I feel comfortable with.
      Acrylic over watercolor was an approach I used in my illustration days. The transparent washes of the watercolor could not be achieved with acrylic back then. They have far more colors and mediums now.
      Thanks for the great comment, Libby. .

  8. Gorgeous painting and I do love the addition of the reeds!! I love the Koi in the painting below, do hope you paint them next! Thank you for sharing your thought process, I get so much out of it!

    1. Thanks, Celia - yes I have done the fish on their own. I was so attracted to them. The ripples and reflections in the water and another fascination. So many things and not enough time to spend on them.
      I do like your two spider plant paintings. Clever designs and love the colors.

  9. Such great depth and life to it , just wonderful ! And your humility as always is prize worthy !!

    1. What a sweet thing to say - thanks Jane. Humility is easy when you goof up a lot!
      I did a double take when I saw your non-representational painting. The abstracts of color mosaics are truly gorgeous.

  10. Julie, the changes you made enhance the lovely original. I think the focus on the flowers and water without the koi simplifies the subject and lets the flowers be the showcased element. The vertical reeds add a marvelous new component without taking away from the flowers. It's a beautiful ensemble of shapes, line and color! I love the Yupo with its unique characteristics. I bet it would look wonderful on rice paper as well with its little bits of fiber in it.

    1. What a great idea about the rice paper. Do you recommend a certain type? It has been a long time since I painted on it. I love bark paper too for the same reason...the little bits of random texture.
      Thanks for the neat comment Carol.

    2. Julie, it's been a while since I used rice paper, and I'm sure they have many new kinds on the market now. It's fun to look at all the samples, right?

  11. Great charm of waterlily invites artists to paint many aspects of these flowers in their habitat.
    My favorite, in your brilliant collection, is the one with the erasures and koi ... I tried to look at your painting in shades of gray, making a click, with my usual viewer and this gave me a great feeling of space filled,space empty and connection between them with pleasant tones.
    A beautiful pattern for many ideas.
    This my emotional response ... "I hope you like it"

    1. What a fabulous thing to do - thanks for being such a great critique-er. I didn't place them in a gray scale so will do that now. I have just painted the Koi fish in oil and most likely will try them in watercolor BUT it is such a well painted subject in w/c that I am hesitant. Glad you liked the sketchy one.
      Your grape painting is a real beauty. The technique you used - slow and lovely layering made it a real standout!

  12. I think this one has more energy and life to it compared to the last one :)

    so we will see more koi, just maybe by themselves? :)

    1. Hi - and yes - more energy! Yes - to the Koi also. and YES...on their own!
      Hope you are finishing off the snowy owl drawing. it is looking fabulous.

  13. Love the addition of the reeds! And so many other things!

    1. Glad you like it - thank you, Sharon.
      You got great results from your students with the rabbit art project. Loved seeing their proud faces.

  14. OMGosh, Julie ... this is gorgeous. These water lilies are perfect against the dark blue waters... Wonderful work

    1. Happy you like it, Hilda - thanks. I guess we both have blue water in our posts at the moment. Looking forward to your next post.

  15. The finished one looks good. What I like best is the dash of blue here and there.

    1. The sky reflecting on the water is always special so I agree about the blue.
      I really enjoyed reading about the visit to the airport with the butterfly garden. How neat. Your photos are fabulous and I fell in love with some of them.

  16. Really just simply beautiful, Julie. I love your Yupo work!

    1. Thanks so much Sherry. Hope you manage to finish the portrait in time.

  17. Very beautiful. I like the vibrant colors and of course the whole painting. Yupo must be interesting to work on. I only tried once, so I can't really tell how challenging to paint on it.

  18. Thanks Cora, Yupo is interesting if you are used to absorbent paper. The color floats and settles on top. Sometimes this is wonderful - others - its a pain ! In other words...interesting!


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