Painting Cypress Trees and Lily Pads

Painting the lily pads with my liner.
Painting the lily pads with my liner.

Painting Cypress Trees and Lily Pads – Today I will try to complete the last of the Cypress trees and begin the lily pads. For the last Cypress tree which is in the foreground I’ll be adding the grooves in the bark. Using a somewhat hard pencil like a 2H, I draw the grooves on the tree. (see photo below) Using a liner, I paint over the pencil lines using a custom mixed dark brown like a Burnt Umber mixed with Jet Black. I have a pre-mixed palette of tree bark colors from the other Cypress trees that were painted so I’ll be using those colors for tree color consistency.

Now that the Cypress trees have been finished, it’s time to add the lily pads to the lake. To do that, I take the tracing paper hinged at the top of the painting that has a tracing of the original drawing on it, flip it over and ‘carbon’ the portion of the drawing that has the lily pads (see pics). Once the portion of the drawing with the lily pads has been ‘carboned’ on the back, I flip the tracing paper back over onto the painting and re-draw over the drawing which transfers a drawing of the lily pads onto the lake (see pic). With pencil lines now impressed upon the painting, I take my liner with some watered down Permanent White gouache paint and begin drawing over the lines with the brush. Once this process is complete, I take my Robert Simmons 785 Series #4 White Sable brush and begin filling all of the ovals. Once that is complete, I repeat the process using a custom mixed green. The Permanent White undercoat really helps to give the green a lot of brightness and contrast on the black water.

Here is our last Cypress tree to paint before we put the finishing touches on it. Notice the pencil lines.
Here is our last Cypress tree to paint before we put the finishing touches on it. Notice the pencil lines.
This is the lake before we add the final reflections in the water and add the lily pads.
This is the lake before we add the final reflections in the water and add the lily pads.
The largest Cypress tree in the painting is almost complete.
The largest Cypress tree in the painting is almost complete.
To transfer a drawing of the lily pads to the lake, we take a tracing of the original drawing, we 'carbon' the back of it using a soft 5B pencil.
To transfer a drawing of the lily pads to the lake, we take a tracing of the original drawing, we ‘carbon’ the back of it using a soft 5B pencil.
This is a tracing of our original drawing hinged at the top of our painting, flipped over. You can see carboned portions of the tracing paper of the painting that is now complete.
This is a tracing of our original drawing hinged at the top of our painting, flipped over. You can see carboned portions of the tracing paper of the painting that is now complete.
Adding the lily pads. To accomplish this we have to paint a base coat of gouache Permanent White to make the lily pad green color really stand out.
Adding the lily pads. To accomplish this we have to paint a base coat of gouache Permanent White to make the lily pad green color really stand out.
The trees in the background now have reflections in the water.
The trees in the background now have reflections in the water.
Look closely at the water and you can now see that the drawing of the lily pads has been transferred to the painting.
Look closely at the water and you can now see that the drawing of the lily pads has been transferred to the painting.
My Robert Simmons 785 Series #4 White Sable and my Robert Simmons E51 Series #2 Liner.
My Robert Simmons 785 Series #4 White Sable and my Robert Simmons E51 Series #2 Liner.
Painting the base white coat of the lily pads with my liner.
Painting the base white coat of the lily pads with my liner.
Painting the outline with my Robert Simmon E51 Series #2 Liner. Afterwards I fill with a white base coat of the lily pads with my Robert Simmons 785 Series #4 White Sable.
Painting the outline with my Robert Simmon E51 Series #2 Liner. Afterwards I fill with a white base coat of the lily pads with my Robert Simmons 785 Series #4 White Sable.
Now that all of the lily pads have an opaque white fill using Windsor & Newton Permanent White, we'll paint them green knowing the green will look really vibrant with that white base coat underneath.
Now that all of the lily pads have an opaque white fill using Windsor & Newton Permanent White, we’ll paint them green knowing the green will look really vibrant with that white base coat underneath.

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