I recently painted this piece Sanctuary. I have painted many scenes with water in watercolor and it seems to be a most natural media for the subject but this was the first in acrylic. Painting waterlilies in acrylic made me think of Monet… and the effort it took made my admiration for him grow even more. I had no idea it would be so tough and take so many layers of paint.
To do so I worked at using a wide range of the blues for the water and then used the lighter values of these same colors for the lily pads. In acrylic I started with the dark water first gradually highlighting the reflections and and then placed some of the lily shapes. I ended up using a small brush even though this looks quite loose. It took much patience. When I finally resorted to simply wriggle-ling my brush in a zig-zag like motion the lilies started to float. Surprisingly, I would stroke over and atop the lily pads with the water ripples and it seemed more real. It took hours to get this all to my satisfaction.