Creating my lily painting

lily painting

Or maybe I should call it my lily collage., because I am never really sure what to term these works. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

The finished work, shown above, is  available in my Etsy shop.

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I love lilies. I love their sensuous lines, both the leaves and the flowers. Their shapes are graceful, and rather forgiving for an artist to interpret. No wonder they were a favourite motive for Art Nouveau artists.

The first step was to understand the leaf ~ the shape of the edges, and a tonal picture  to show me the darks and lights that will create the illusion of 3D.

Copyright: Anne Lawson 2018

The drawing was traced onto Arches watercolour paper. Then it was ready for the watercolour paint. The tonal picture gave me the map of where I needed to add the darks and which areas to leave as light highlights.

I was intending to sew around the edges of the leaf. However, I liked the effects I achieved with the watercolour. It would be a shame to make a mistake!

Copyright: Anne Lawson 2018

Putting the leaf to one side, I began the flower, again with a tracing onto a different sheet of watercolour paper. I wanted the flower to be created with sewing but I knew that there needed to be some watercolour wash, just a light touch along the stem and up the side of the flower.

Copyright: Anne Lawson 2018

Then the crazy fun of sewing on paper began, creating all those wonderful Art Nouveau lines and building up the tonal areas of the base of the flower and stem.

Copyright: Anne Lawson 2018

Then to carefully cut around the edge.

Copyright: Anne Lawson 2018

When I began this sewing on paper I was surprised at the toughness of the paper. However I do find that sometimes the paper softens with the stitching, such as the area where the flower sits on the stem.

Copyright: Anne Lawson 2018

The last step was to put the two elements together ~ the flower over the leaf.

Copyright: Anne Lawson 2018

In other works I have done I have sewn around the edges. I wanted to experiment with this one, only sewing down some areas. And adding a little extra hand stitching to the delightful curlicue at the end of the flower. You can see how I have used removable tape to hold down the flower. it is important that it is removable!

Copyright: Anne Lawson 2018



Copyright: Anne Lawson 2018

Time to sign it, scan it and add it into my Etsy shop. And that’s where you can find it now. Jump over to find out more details.

Or, contact me here at

  • $60.00 (plus postage)
  • 21 x 30 cm
  • 8 x 11.5 inches
  • Unframed

2 Replies to “Creating my lily painting”

  1. What a beautiful piece! I keep looking at Arum lilies and wondering if I could silk shade one. Your leaf in this one is particularly inspiring. It is just perfect.

    1. A silk shaded one would be sensational, Catherine, especially if you did it on a non-white background, so that the white really stood out.

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