There is something in the air, a time of change. Our rather thin rainy season is trading places with our dry season and summer has stepped in close enough to spread warmer temperatures and bright sunshine over the islands. By now most of the Kolea, have left for their cooler northern breeding grounds, and local birds are rushing to build nests, raise their young, and in a matter of weeks, take off to enjoy the world under bright blue skies.

The birds are not the only ones feeling the energy in the air, the sense that a season’s wheel is turning even here in the tropics, the garden seems to be feeling it too.

Nympaea Colorado

Nymphaea Colorado

Passing by a group of water tubs that had laid green and dormant over the rainy season, there was a nymph waving at me, well, a Nymphaea or water lily that is, with a peach colored glow.

There is something in the air, and seeing the unexpected pop of color appear seemingly out of nowhere inspires me to get back to playing in water as well.

With an idea already in mind I start by pulling out three previously collaged watercolor papers, part of a group I did last summer to have on hand for something just like this.  Sometimes when an idea pops in for a visit I want to get to painting as quickly as possible before they leave again so it helps to have a little stock pile of prepared papers on hand.

Trio of collaged watercolor papers

Trio of collaged watercolor papers (11″x15″)

A glass of iced tea close by, reference photos at the ready, and I am off.  Starting with a sketch of the flowers using a water soluble graphite pencil, I want to take advantage of the abstract collage and draw over and under some of the papers.


Beginning Sketch


The next step is adding the watercolors and in the process lifting and blending some of the graphite lines with the paint.  The watercolors are nice enough, but wanting something a bit more opaque and with texture I reach for water soluble crayons to deepen the color and highlight the bumpy terrain of the collaged papers.

Watercolor and crayon

Watercolor and crayon

Once I have finished the flowers, my attention turns to the top border area.  Wanting to keep the water garden theme I draw out lotus leaves with a watercolor pencil. Liking the idea of a division between night and day, out comes the Moon in a cool darkened sky.

Adding the top

Adding the top border

Finally, to balance things out and bring the focus back to the bottom portion where the water lilies are blooming, I go in to the background with more watercolor, lightly adding clear water to allow for more movement and letting the color find its way over the ridges of the collaged paper beneath, pooling in the valleys and sliding over the smoother areas.

Now it is time to set this aside for a bit.  I still have two more prepared papers from this trio to play with, I like working in threes, and will continue on this path for the both of them though painting different types of water lilies for each.  When they are done I will collect all three and view them together and see if anything else will be added before moving on in my journey.  There is something in the air, the seasons have changed, and more creative paths are waiting to be explored.

Nymphaea Colorado

Nymphaea Colorado


36 thoughts on “Nymphaea

  1. Myriam (Myr's Bytes) says:

    So beautiful. I love the light blue paper that “obscures” the flowers. The flowers are rich yet dreamy. And I love the colour of your sky. It reminds of being under a lake at night looking up at the full moon. And the sweet and intoxicating scent of flowers that can only be smelled on night walks. Thanks for sharing your lovely work and your very cool and interesting process. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. occasionalartist says:

    I really enjoyed seeing the whole process of how you created this drawing, thank you so much for sharing. Water lilies are one of my favourites and you have such an original approach. The way the flowers gradually come forward from the collage and your design of the drawing are great. I like how they fuse with the collage rather than overlaying it. Looking forward to seeing the others. Karen

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sand Salt Moon says:

    Your process is a very interesting one, and the ice tea nearby – I like that too! I love seeing work in progress and your result is very textural, layered, and lovely. I like the soft colors and graceful lines of the flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill Kuhn says:

    This is breathtaking, Haunani! So lovely and calming! What did you use for your collage papers? They look like tissue paper but I cannot be sure. And I’m curious what you used as your base and your glue? I love the softness of the watercolors over the papers, something that I will have to try! I enjoyed seeing your process! I do hope you will share your other two when you complete them! 💕🎨😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • artandmoondreams says:

      Thank you Jill for always being so kind and encouraging. The papers used are a sort of mix of anything that was close enough to grab lol. Tissue paper previously dyed with watercolor, some Chinese prayer/joss paper, a smidgen of Japanese chiyogami/yuzen paper and a few torn pieces of a very thin paper bag…such a jumble of things lol. As for the base, it is Arches 300# watercolor Cold Press and I used Matte Medium and water to adhere the collage papers. I hope this helps. Thank you so much for stopping by, I always appreciate your visits.

      Liked by 1 person

    • artandmoondreams says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I am glad you liked the painting. I am still figuring my way around this thing called blogging and I am so thankful that you asked about a way to sign up and follow. I am both humbled at the notion and a bit embarrassed for not thinking about that lol. There is a button added now to help and I hope make it easier for anyone who wants to follow by email. I a so glad you stopped by for a visit and grateful for your thoughtful comments. Peace.


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