Minerva Amaryllis Watercolor

Minerva Amaryllis 01This is a photograph of one of our blossoming beauties named, “Minerva Amaryllis”, that I will be painting in watercolor. It’s petals range in color from salmon to pink with white tiger stripes extending out from the center. My husband grows this one, and many others in our kitchen window. When they quickly spring-up with their bright blossoms it can literally take-your-breath-away. Amaryllis always cheer-up the house in the winter.

Step-By-Step

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First, I sketch the shapes using a 2H pencil, drawing very lightly so lines are erasable later on.

Next, I wet the first petal area being very careful to reserve (keep dry) the area in the middle. This dry area is where the white stripes will be. Proceeding on, I combine colors “wet-on-wet” in this pre-wetted area. Start with a mixture of orange and gambouge yellow, then apply drops of quinacridone magenta and alizaron crimson for the darkest edges. It is fascinating how the watercolors do almost all the work themselves. They combine in expressive gradations till they make edges that are sharp right where the wetness stops. This picture shows very bright the colors look when wet, but, remember that they will fade as they dry.

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Minerva Amaryllis 04The approach for the second, third (behind), and fourth petals are pretty much the same except for the lighting changes as they stack.Minerva Amaryllis 05 Minerva Amaryllis 06

Now, is when I look at the beginning of where the light and shadow occur on the flower surfaces. The stem below the blossom is heavily darkened.

Minerva Amaryllis 08Following this, I apply a light wash in the background petals that is more muted in value to exaggerate distance.

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With a light wash showing the light sky background and greenery texture from below to eye-level, I am ready to begin painting the details.

Chakras Mastik Prep

Happy Day After Thanksgiving!

Now you can see how my desk is arranged so that I can see my reference materials as I work on this painting.

The first task is to apply mastik or watercolor resist wherever I want to reserve white paper. Doing this allows me to paint wet on wet without worrying about avoiding where I will need clean white to be. It makes my hands much more sure of themselves. You probably notice how confusing the darker color where the resist is, but you easily get used to it and are able to know it will look way different soon.