Every Christmas Holiday my wonderful friend Judy Shanley gives me an amaryllis bulb to watch grow. This years lay dormant for some time, and finally started to show green in February. It didn’t bloom until just before Easter, and then it was amazing! Not red, but crimson-tinged white with green centers, eight flowers on its two stalks at first, and then, when they were done and I was about to put it in the cool back hall, four more! Definitely worth photographing and drawing, it sat in my kitchen window next to the sink so that I could enjoy it all the time.
Here’s the photo, taken at night, with the window blinds on the left and the kitchen cabinet doors on the right. I liked the contrast the dark window and door made.
Before I tried any painting, I sketched the beauty in my moleskin sketchbook with pigma micron pens. It obviously begged for color. In Sally Treanor’s Watercolor Salon on Mondays we were trying our hands at ink and watercolor on rice paper. What better subject, I thought. I had forgotten a lot about painting on rice paper, especially how you really have to be patient and let it dry in between layers.
I began the drawing with an 03 pigma micron pen, very light, knowing that I would want to darken it, accentuating the places where lines began and shapes met, at a later sitting.
Starting to paint, using hansa yellow, pthalo blue, permanent rose and quin gold. Let it dry. This is when the lines begged me to be brought to life, so I added some defining with an 05 pigma micron, and added some more color, still not much of the darker colors, though my dark reds were a bit worrisome. Must have included some brown madder at this point.
When I started to add the background, the painting took on new life for me, but then in the next sitting I began to lose the light from the darker blossom. Not good.
I resorted to chinese white to rescue the light in the darker blossom, and felt pretty good about the results. Now to finish the blossom on the left, very sparingly though that is tough for me, and to to complete the background.
And for the final touches on the lighter blossom, and the background, darkening here, lightening there, and I can call it finished! I am proud of myself for taking the time to do it right! Hope you like it.
Nice evolution! The finished painting, in ways, surpasses the real plant.
Thank you, Sally!
I love seeing your process and beautiful result!
So glad you like this, Barbara. I’m a big fan!