Painting White Flowers in Watercolor


I have white Calla Lilies growing in my garden.  I call them survivors as they didn’t look very healthy when I first moved into my house and I left them to see how they would fare.  They are doing incredibly well and are my favorite flower in my small garden after the beautifully scented jasmine that covers one wall.


I have loads of reference photos of them.  Yesterday I drew two that were flowering in the garden and one that was in a vase in the house.  Now, this next picture is not pretty, and you will automatically see why.  I am almost embarrassed to post it.

Calla Lilies - Watercolor on Paper-A4

Calla Lilies – Watercolor on Paper-A4

It started off well, until I got to the leaves, and the more I tried to save it, the worse it got.  I am really rubbish at painting leaves and stems in watercolor and is something I will need to work at.  I have no problem drawing them, painting them in acrylics, or using watercolor pencils, or pastels.

27.06.11 - Lilly - Acrylic on paperboard - 9x12"

27.06.11 – Lilly – Acrylic on paperboard – 9×12″

06.06.11 - Lillies - Watercolour pencils and pastels on paper A3

06.06.11 – Lilies – Watercolor pencils and pastels on paper A3

10.07.11 - Lilly - Chalk Pastel on Paper - A4

10.07.11 – Lilly – Chalk Pastel on Paper – A4

So I decided to scrap the leaves and just paint the lilies.

Calla Lilies-Watercolor on paper-A4

Calla Lilies-Watercolor on paper-A4

As you can see, the flower is not all white.  In fact, my flowers actually have a lot of yellow in them, with lots of shadow.  I used a purple grey for the shadow as purple is the compliment to yellow.  To compensate for the lack of leaves, I added a lot of green to the bottom half of the painting.  I am happy with this one.  Next!


About Arlene

Arlene Toth is all about new beginnings and trying new things. There is so much to see and do in the world and she wants to do as much as she can while she still has her health and the time to do it.

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