Stargazer Lily

Yesterday I promised that I will post the finished watercolor painting I started the other day. Below is the reference photo I used.


And this is my watercolor version.




  • canson 200gsm watercolor paper
  • lemon yellow, winsor yellow, winsor orange, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, permanent sap green, olive green, winsor violet, payne’s gray and ivory black from winsor and newton
  • cadmium yellow deep, quin magenta and mineral violet from holbein
  • brushes from escoda, cotman and daler rowney in sizes 6,2, and a liner brush
  • masking tape

Lessons learned:

  • No first times on a first big painting. As I have been warned before in my many mixed media groups, to test materials first before using them in bigger pages. I did two first things in this painting. (1) I used a practice paper with a wet on wet technique in mind. Though the paper at 200gsm was quite thin, I was banking on what the label claimed it to be, a 200gsm paper. Also there were no previous practice of the technique with this kind of paper. The last practice paper I used for the technique was a moleskine watercolor paper also at 200gsm. Bad move. (2) I used a new brush (because I was so excited to own an artist grade brush) that I did not try it on any paper. Turned out it loved water like no other. I’m used to using synthetic brushes, how come I decided not to use the brushes I am already comfortable with. Beats me (angry face emoticon here).
  • Do not put confidence before skill. I learned this the hard way. I was confident I could tackle the task because I was the one who dared myself. But lo and behold, not even half way through the process my confidence deflated faster than a balloon. I relied so much upon the small (A6 size) practice piece I did prior (apologies I have not posted it yet, but I will next week).
  • Do not aim for something you do not have training for or better yet, no substantial amount of practice time rendered. Truthfully, I wanted a realistic watercolor painting. The resulting painting was far from being realistic. If realistic is the route I want to take, then I should get classes. Maybe an online class can give me a kick start.
  • No matter the outcomes whether you like it or not, continue. When you stop, there is no learning. No learning leads to no progress.
  • Give yourself credit for deciding to do something and finishing it. I gave myself a pat on the back before this posting. Love your own as my husband would always remind me. I do love my painting. I am proud of it. Its my first big endeavor. I will have it framed and display it in our living area. It will be a reminder for me to dream more, push myself more and be an inspiration to others.

I dared. I conquered with hope. I am grateful for His blessings.

I will try to make another lily painting on a more sturdier paper and with more control of water and usage of brush and with my ever reliable motto – lets see how deep the rabbit hole goes.




12 thoughts on “Stargazer Lily

  1. Oh don’t be too hard on yourself! I think it is well done for a first big watercolor painting. I do agree that it’s easier to practice on smaller pieces though. And never give up. You will only get better. Just have patience!

  2. I love that you have recorded what you learned from this one painting. Multiply that by all the art works you have produced and you will see how much you have developed as an artist and as a person. For what it is worth, despite your frustrations and the gap between reality and expectation, this is a delightful painting.

    • Thank you so much, Laura. I needed that reminder. It did not occur to me to take in consideration all the projects I’ve done and the mini journeys I’ve had with each one of them. Thank you. And now that you have mentioned it, I am happily smiling to myself. The hard work is slowly paying off and yes, the gap between reality and expectation will always have a solution. Only time and practice can tell. You gave me the best gift this weekend, Laura. Thank you again.

  3. So many lessons in one painting! I really like the finished effect but I know the frustration of it not going the way it’s planned. Great observations, esp the last two. You have a wise husband !

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