I love growing amaryllis bulbs in the winter. Every November those boxes with bulb, soil and pot appear in my local grocery store and I usually buy a few of them. Then I pot them up, set them on the windowsill and wait for the magic to happen. Usually about four to six weeks later (often just on time for Christmas), an incredible stalk appears topped by a bulbous flower bud. Soon a glorious amaryllis bloom appears to astonish us and cheer up those gloomy winter days. This year I decided to paint one too. Here’s how my painted version grew, from initial “potting up” (i.e., concept) to final flowering.
My amaryllis started out as a sketch in my iPad Pro.
Then using an oil stick I transferred the sketch to a cradled wood panel to be painted. In this case, I created a grid to aid in the accurate transfer of the sketch. I’ve painted the panel with a base coat of bright acrylic paint. Some of it will show through even after the piece is finished, especially around the edges, where I like to leave things a bit rough.
My first layers of paint are usually quite bright and often in complementary colours to my final version. Because of my painting style, where I don’t try to cover each layer completely, bits of these interesting first layers will show through here and there.
Further along, I’ve added more detail and shading to the plant. The background colour is darker than my vision for the final painting. Once it’s dry, I’ll paint over it with a lighter layer, then etch a design into it.
Below, the lighter layer is being painted onto the background and while wet, etched in an interesting pattern with a small, metal tool (you can just see it there on the amaryllis stem).
Here’s the final piece with the amaryllis in full bloom. And this one has a second stalk coming along—bonus!