Painting Water Lilies with Oil: Palette Knife, Abstract, Fine Art

Anton Zhou, Impressionism and Contemporary Fine Art

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5 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Introduction to Water Lily Painting

    • 2. Part 1: Base Layer and Background

    • 3. Part 2: Middle Row and Layering Petals

    • 4. Part 3: Main Water Lilies, Reflection, and Water

    • 5. Part 4: Flowers and Final Touches


About This Class


In this course, we'll be learning how to transform ordinary water lilies into an abstract work that is vivid in color. This type of painting utilizes a strong sense of color theory and mark making. More importantly, this painting is huge and looks great from a distance! 

I recommend that you develop a strong feel for color and the palette knife and experiment with oil color if you haven't painted with the medium. It is very different from acrylic and is more suitable for this piece because I will be working wet on wet in this demo. 

Here is a list of my supplies for this artwork:

  • Winston and Newton's Linseed Oil Medium
  • Turpentine solution (any brand is fine) 
  • Full range of colors on the color wheel (I used various brands, but buying a complete set works too)
  • Fluorescent pink and metallic colors will come in handy
  • Any 1-inch brush and assorted brushes (flat, fan, etc.) 
  • Big palette knife (Liquitex sells some), normal sized palette knife, long palette knife, and small palette knife 
  • 40 x 60 Canvas (I got mine from BLICK)

Stay tuned for upcoming videos! These will likely be demos with more explanations step by step. This particular lesson is rather long mainly because of the grand size of the painting. Feel free to leave any suggestions for future videos in the comments!