Celebrate the season by painting graceful Easter lilies. You will face two challenges: how to show the backward curling petals and how to paint a white flower in a medium that uses no white paint. Once you know how to tackle those, you’ll be well on your way to painting beautiful Easter lilies.
- Collect and organize your supplies. You will need a pencil, a sheet of 11″ X 14″ watercolor paper from a pad, an eraser, a support board, primary and secondary watercolors in tubes or a set of dry pads of paint in a tin, an assortment of watercolor brushes, a water bucket, and tissues or paper napkins.
- Look at pictures of lilies. Google pictures of the Easter lily, which is traditionally white. See how others have drawn the flower by looking at pictures online.
- Study an actual, live lily from all angles. If one isn’t available, purchase a silk, artificial one. These craft store flowers are very realistic and have good details. Bouquets from the dollar store give you the shape of the flower but lack essential details. Just add the details from pictures you’ve looked at.
- Draw a lily from many angles. Use a page or two from a sketchbook, or another piece of watercolor paper. This will allow you to see the lily’s shape and how various parts relate to each other.
- Color you preliminary sketches. If you would like to practice how to apply color to the lily, sketches are the way to go. Use your watercolors for practice applying them, too.
- If you prefer, color your sketches with colored pencils. Artist’s quality are the best. They cost a little more but last for a long time and there is more and a better grade of pigment in them than in the child sets.
- Begin your painting by drawing in pencil. Either orientation of your watercolor paper is fine. Vertical will allow you to include many blossoms and some buds on one stem. Horizontal lends itself to placing the flowers in a row, perhaps showing many different angles and views.
- Look at your paper and try to imagine the flower in place. Sketch your flower in pencil, making it life size. Correct as you go by erasing bad lines and making new ones.
- Draw all parts of the composition. Include the stem and make it sturdy enough to support the heavy lily blossoms. Draw the leaves.
- Think about ways to make the white flower stand out and have depth. One way is to immediately paint, in very thin, transparent watercolor shadow shapes on the lilies. Mix a gray on your palette, from various amounts of the three primaries. Then, dilute a small amount of the gray with clear water and paint with that.
- Paint the background first, if you wish. Not only will you commit to a color scheme, for example, traditional Easter colors of yellow and violet, or any other three colors you desire. Use a big brush for the background, but change to a round, pointed brush to go around the flowers.
- Mask the lilies quickly. Cut their shapes from contact paper, place them on your paper and paint the background first. This is another way to achieve a liquid and fresh background.
- Do the stem and leaves. If there are buds, do them, too.
- Use a liner brush to do growth lines on the petals, leaves and buds. Use a pale version of any of the colors in your painting for this.
- Add the final touches. Have four or five stamens coming from the center of the flower. Do this with a liner brush and in one stroke for each. At the top, make a short, horizontal stroke for the pistil.
- Admire your work! Easter can be rich and satisfying without relying on chocolate and other candies. A painting of an Easter lily is lasting and can be enjoyed by all for many years. Creating art can give you a feeling of accomplishment and serve as a special gift to all who view it.
- When starting a new set of colored pencils, always preserve the information printed on the pencil such as the name of the color and its number. Do this by sharpening from the opposite end of the pencil.