What amazes me about amaryllis is the fact that a homely brown sphere the size of a softball can contain within it the potential for bold red blossoms to burst forth from its interior with a minimum of effort on my part. How incredible! I realize that onions and garlic are capable of similar feats, but it’s hard for them to compete. This is the last day that this particular bulb will fit on an 8-inch page at full size— it’s growing at about a half-inch a day— but you can be sure I’ll revisit it in a few weeks when the flower will make another beautiful subject.
Tips and Techniques: Let me start with a confession: I drew the amaryllis to avoid working on a complicated owl painting I started last week. I started the owl to avoid working on a commission for a house painting I’m struggling with. So, my tip is that when you’re out on an artistic limb, it can be helpful to return to techniques you know well (for me, drawing in ink then adding watercolor). You may just regain the confidence you need to push yourself back out on the limb.
And another tip: Did you know that you can load watercolor paint into a dip pen? That’s how I created the letter A. Mix the paint and load the nib with a brush. Give it a test run to be sure the paint is flowing and you’re good to go. You can even change up the color midway through writing if you want. Fun!
Your paintings are always clear and fresh
The power of leaving some white space!
Your “confessions” remind me of the old lady who swallowed a fly. Just don’t go swallowing any spiders, that probably wouldn’t help…..
Wonderful page, as always. Finding a new posting from you is like a little present.
I thought of that rhyme too Melissa. Now I just have to get back to the house painting. But instead, I’m poking around the internet. Bad.
Love your work! I operate in a similar way at times…..I call them “avoidance techniques”…lol….
Yep. I don’t do it often, but every now an then… I am nearly ready to wade back in to the pieces left on my desk.
I love your drawings Jean – I keep practicing my drawing. I’m sure you’ll manage to get your commission done okay – you’ll just have to gradually creep back out on that limb…. !
Indeed. I really like drawing and find I have a sort of tug of war with painting and drawing. When I go too far on the painting side, I tend to swing back.
Wow, this is a beautiful rendering.
Thanks Sharon. I was pleased it came together so well with the split view.
A really lovely painting, and a dignified way to avoid that commission! 😉 I’m partial to white amarylis, but they’re not as common as the red ones, so this year, once again, I think I missed the boat. I didn’t see any white ones so I didn’t get one. They are so wonderful to watch…enjoy!
I’m curious about the white ones, too. In my research for this post I discovered that there are two distinct species sold as amaryllis– one from Africa and the other from So. America. The reds tend to be So. American Hippeastrum species…which is what I have. Maybe next year we’ll find the white!
I took a quick look online and there seem to be plenty of bulbs around to order. Guess I need to make a note on my calendar…. 😉 I do love your drawing, and the way you balanced the roots on the left with the bud on the right, clever! Yesterday I saw individual tulips for sale that went stem to stern – i.e. root to flower. It was interesting, a good marketing ply, I think, I may get one!
I like the idea of seeing the full flower, root to blossom. I wanted to plant my amaryllis in water so that I could see that, but didn’t have the right stones. Next time!
It probably says something that I killed mine. I look forward to seeing the end result.
Yikes…maybe you had a bad bulb…or did you drown it?
I think I neglected it to the point of death. Apparently plants are too much of a commitment!
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Beautiful! Your drawing captures it.! What is it about bulbs? I love to just go to the farm supply and look at the bins full of them. It must be the mystery packed inside that intrigues us? I just started sketching some of late. But wow! Love this!
So right Erica. I also like seeing the full plant…roots to flower, which we seldom do. It is a great opportunity to really look at a botanical specimen. Good luck with your sketches!
Beautiful painting! Great tip too.