After Monet produced his series of water lilly paintings, can anyone else take them on? It is a beautiful subject and coincidentally the “birth flower” of July. When I was at Lake Alta recently, I took a number of reference photos. I wish I’d done some onsite sketches, but the photos I took are making pretty good reference.

Water Lilly Shadows, Lake Alta CA

Waterlillies, Alta Lake – Oil on Linen – 11×14

I found the shadows left by the water lillies on the shallow lake shore intriging, along with the reflected sky. I added the flowers towards the end (they were not in this reference photo, but others). I wonder if it’s too much? Perhaps one of them should be closed, to add variety? I think I’ll leave out flowers in the next painting, or focus on them alone. Adding too much to a painting takes away focus.

I’m happy with the color harmony. Most of the leaves were green, but some were aparently in their later stages, so were turning brown. It was a challenge to separate these turning leaves from the warm colors of the lake bottom. As always, to separate the colors, I used different base colors, eg, Hansa Yellow Orange for the lake bottom, and Yellow Ochre for the turning leaves. Similarly, when I want to separate differnet leave types, I’ll use different pairs of blues and yellows.


3 thoughts on “Water Lillies on Lake Alta

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