Painting a Lily Pad Pond - Watercolor Process and Tips

Painting a Lily Pad Pond - Watercolor Process and Tips

In today's blog I'm going to share with you how I painted this little scene of a little waterfall pond with pink Lilly Pads. I'll share my tips for painting light and shadows on the rocks as well as my struggles with portraying the bright yellow/green plants floating under the water. I'll share some of my favorite paints and brushes that I used for this painting. If you'd like to see the full list of products that I use and recommend check out my Kit page. If you would like to support my artwork by purchasing from my store, here is the link to this art print - A Pleasant Pond.

This painting was inspired by the Rock Garden area at FA Seiberling Nature Realm, a metro park in Summit County Ohio. After taking a short 1.4 mile hike through the woods I enjoy taking a stroll through all the unique things this little park has to offer which includes a rock garden with this lovely little pond.

I always start by sketching out my composition and mixing my paints. It's also helpful to make swatches of the colors to be used in the painting.

Here is my pencil drawing of the scene. I try to get a feel for the composition and which areas are going to have more detail and which areas will have less.

Now I'm tracing the sketch onto my watercolor paper with a light pad. This is the one I use: Huion L4S

I always get excited on painting days!

Here's my watercolor palette. Ever since I started using pans I've never gone back. I used to use a giant palette with the paints all around the edges. Now I use this kind that folds up and I mix my paints in the sides or in other containers. I label the side of each pan with the color and brand name. After a while I pretty much had them memorized.

I used this masking fluid to keep the whites of the water bright. I ended up using a combination of the white of the page and some opaque white paint to create the light parts of the water. After I removed the masking fluid it looked a bit too sharp so I softened the edges with some white ink. I like to use this calligraphy ink because it is very opaque.

Here things are still looking pretty messy. This is the awkward stage of the painting.

I use that paper towel to dab excess paint and water off of my brush.

Now things are starting to come together. Besides the end this is my favorite stage of the painting. Parts of it are looking crisp and beautiful but you can still see through to the lower layers, the foundation underneath. I think that's pretty neat.

The area with the shadows on the rocks might be my favorite thing that I've painted so far. I just love the way it came out. And it's really a pretty simple thing. I think what helped me to be successful with this painting was focusing on painting light rather than objects. I really have been fascinated with light and shadow lately and I made a point to work on my representation of light and shadows here.

It's tempting to be very harsh with texture and outlines on the rocks but I had to hold myself back and paint the contours, the shadows and highlights rather than make outlines of the rocks. Also I kept my colors very light so as to give a nice contrast to that bold color of the water.

Here's the completed painting! I left the background pretty simple to allow the water and rocks to stand out. I hope you've enjoyed seeing my process and will consider supporting me by purchasing something from my shop! I have original paintings, fine art prints and stickers available here. You can find links to the products I use including brushes and papers here.

I hope you'll keep in contact and stay tuned for more process pics and art updates! I hope you have a blessed day and are able to take some time in God's creation!

Kimberlee Everhard is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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