Many artists have found their “fit’ and become well known for a particular type of painting – portraits, animals, landscapes etc.  Me, I paint what appeals to me at the moment.  I try to challenge myself by trying subjects that I haven’t yet painted, hoping one of these days to find my perfect “fit”.  I have shied away from painting flowers, don’t know why but I have, and so I took a deep breath and chose a reference photo I took this summer at the Denver Arboretum.  It’s of a water lily and my photo was shock full of floating leaves, many many HUGE leaves.  The more I worked on them the more I enjoyed the process.  Here’s the work in progress and, remember, I love using colors.  If you look very very closely at nature you will see colors where you didn’t think you’d find them.

Lilly 1I had already drawn the composition in my sketch pad and then transferred it onto the pastelmat paper before I decided to take progress shots, so in this first photo I have worked a lot on the leaves.  I’m saving the dreaded flower until last!Lilly 2AStill avoiding the flower and working on the water.  Lilly 4Started to work on the flower.  Lilly 3Here’s my little corner of the world showing the flower progression.Denver Lilies Final lightHere it is finished.

I can’t say that I loved doing the flower as it was very difficult to get that inner glow, but I’m satisfied enough with it to stop.  If you find yourself in Denver make time to visit the arboretum as it’s a beautiful place to spend a few hours.


  1. Susan Jarrell says:

    You do so well painting anything and everything, maybe you’re not supposed to settle on one genre. It just wouldn’t be fair to my eyes!

    • artfulsharon says:

      Wow, thanks for the wonderful comment! I think I drive myself nuts sometimes on these paintings – like this flower – I thought it was finished and then I looked at it a bit closer and realized it was TWO flowers! So now, I have to go in and rework it a bit so it’s more apparent. And, I do think I’d be bored painting the same old same old. Thanks again Susan, you’re the best!

  2. This is beautiful!!! I love it. All the colors in that flower are amazing.

  3. artfulsharon says:

    Well, the flower is still bothering me a bit. I think it’s really two flowers so I need to make it look like two so it’s back to the pastel board for this one! Thanks for the marvelous comment.

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