Yellow Lotus Botanical ~ Nelumbo ~ Work in Progress
Everyone knows I am a little bit of a Lotus fan… Theres no denying it, they are magical and so powerful to me, and somehow embody everything i love about nature, life and my work in botanical art. The Lotus is indeed one of my favourite plants and subjects to work on as a botanical artist and a subject Id happily paint for the rest of my life. I have illustrated them many times already, light pink, dark pink, purply pink, pinky red, reddish pink, white with pink frilly edges… you get the picture, but I have never painted a yellow lotus before, so I was especially excited.
This one was discovered not far from my home in a large lotus flooded pond filled with the gorgeous pink and white blooms. The flowers standing tall over the waters surface in their prime, and they seem to almost float amongst the saucer shaped leaves as the wind filters through. It is so divine you feel it to the core of your being. The pink is so delicate and feminine, the white is just so pure and elegant, but in amongst them all was this gorgeous simple bloom nestled amongst it all with its yellow green tinges and simple warmth. So i edged my way closer through the ponds edge, which is never easy, for a better look. If you saw me there, yours realise that Botanical Art is actually a precarious form of extreme sport at times, but I managed to reach it, gathered my all important reference, locked it into the image vault of my mind and headed back to the studio triumphant.
Yellow is such a different colour to work with in botanical illustration. It can be a real challenge keeping it vibrant yet earthy, the pigment is so forgiving in some ways and brutal in others. As an artist, it never hurts to practice understanding it better. Botanical painting also tends to be extremely feminine and in this instance I wanted to achieve a more neutral result in my painting. I wanted something with simplicity and a contemporary feel to it. This subject was so ideal. With its butter warm palette, splashed with delicate greens and the tinges of powdery blue to break it all up with interest, it was exactly the change I had been looking for. The composition shows the flower, the seed capsule and the dragonfly, so commonly seen resting amongst the Lotus, and the painting itself reflects the subjects simplicity, delicacy, elegance and purity of this subject.
The seed capsule bring a new range of colour and texture to the painting, its gorgeous blue top bringing a wonderful new point of interest to the image. The dragonfly tells a greater story of pond life and the environment as a whole, adding an element of interest and whimsy to the painting too. And so i got started, laying my lightest yellows in watercolour in to start with, broken up by the tinges of green. Layer upon layer the richness is developed until the flower and seed pod came together. Work on the dragonfly is so intricate, tiny brushes and dry brushing to capture him nicely. Finally, the stems tie all the elements together for a simple, delicious end result, and the completion of my Yellow Lotus botanical illustration.
Now I want to paint more Lotus!