Lillies from Tom


About a week before Christmas when my daughter came down to visit and partake of Christmas Part 1, her boyfriend, Tom, sent along a bouquet of lillies.  They were just buds when she brought them down and this is how they looked about a week later.  The scent was just heavenly.  I took loads of photos thinking I might try and paint them.  I have tried painting them before, but without much success.

Here are two I have recently completed and are the first for 2016.


The one above was the first one.  It took me a lot of time as I made a composite of three different flowers (from 3 different photos!).  I wanted to show a bud, a partially opened flower and a fully opened flower to fill up the page.  The background did me in at first.  It was so vibrant that you could barely see where the flowers were.  I ended up toning the background down with Indanthrene Blue (2x).  Although I am not 100% satisfied with this painting, it is growing on me. The flowers were painted with Alizarin Crimson and Winsor Violet.  The leaves were a mix of Sap Green and Winsor Blue.  All by Winsor & Newton.IMG_2128

Because I wasn’t crazy about my first attempt, I decided to simplify things and only paint one lily.  I used Alizarin Crimson and Cadimium Red for the petals and Lemon Yellow and Winsor Blue for the leaves.  I didn’t do anything fancy, just wet the paper and applied wet paint.  I used the same Indanthrene Blue for the background to start with, but it didn’t bleed out enough into the paper, so I added Prussian Blue to the mix to darken some areas and tried to tease the paint out with a wet brush.  There was a lot of white on the left hand side of the paper and so I did a bit of spattering with a combination of Yellow Ochre and Raw Sienna to simulate pollen and I splattered the blue mix and gave it a little spritz of water.

So now I have two completely different paintings.  What do you think?  I might have to put them in frames to get a better idea of which to keep.  I also used a new paper for me this time too!  It is called The Langton, 140lb, not, by Daler Rowney.  It is on a pad usually used for plein air painting, but as my painting area was being renovated and space was tight I thought I would try it out.  The paper is in a block and glued on 4 sides.  There was minimal cockling.  Not sure I would use this regularly, but for traveling and painting outdoors I think it would be great.

So there we are, the first of (hopefully) many paintings for 2016!  Thanks Tom!


3 thoughts on “Lillies from Tom

  1. What a beautiful way to start 2016 Arlene! I like both, but am particularly drawn to the one on the bottom simply because it’s loose and more painterly, if you are going for ‘photograph realistic like’ then the top one. Nice to see you back at it!

    1. Arlene

      Yes Deb, I did try to be more loose for the bottom one! Have a look at it framed. Finding time to paint is challenging at the mo as I am working full time and have husband and dog! 🙂

      1. Oooooh, I like it in the black frame, that really ties it all in, doesn’t it?! If you have an old mat you can always place that over the picture to give you an idea of how it looks too. Robert Burridge does that and it really helps to isolate the image. It’s great to see that you are still making beautiful art in spite of your hectic life! 🐶👍

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