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Amaryllis painted Wet-on-wet.

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Amaryllis painted Wet-on-wet.

amaryllis flower painted in oils

The Amaryllis has six petals, three in front and three behind, arranged alternately. The flower can be shaped from a deep to shallow 'cone'. A majestic flower and a good subject to paint for practicing long brush strokes. It is best if you can complete the painting in a day. To see the flower head in more detail please click the link.
Materials and equipment. Brushes:-
(sable or synthetic) " Flat, " Flat, " Filbert, No. 6 Round, 1" preparation or varnish brush and a " blender.


Oil Paint:- Green Earth, Ultramarine, Ivory Black, Cadmium Yellow, Permanent Geranium, Vermilion, Titanium White.

Mediums:- Zest-it Clear Painting Medium, Zest-it White Medium, Zest-it Brush Cleaner and a pot to hold it for washing your brushes. (For more information about Zest-it, please see the Zest-it and Products pages). (To make the White Painting Medium just add about " of tube white oil paint to about 30 ml of Zest-it Clear Painting Medium and mix well.)
Canvas or canvas board/panel.

Other bit and bobs:-
palette, easel, palette knife and kitchen towel. You may print this for personal use only.



outline of amaryllis flower for oil painting

To prepare the canvas, load the preparation brush with a small amount of White Medium, apply a thin even coating all over the canvas. It is important that it's very thin.

Use the round brush and a small amount of Permanent Geranium thinned with Zest-it Clear Medium, to outline the position of the six petals on the canvas. About a third of the way down and to the right of centre. It doesn't need to be a perfect shape, use a loose flowing stroke. !Try to keep the petals clean when painting the background which is put in next.



flower painting background applied

To make the background, leaves are practiced and then brushed in. To do this use the " Flat brush and any mixtures of 'green'. Green Earth or 'Sap' green' made from a mix of Cadmium Yellow and Ultramarine (use the palette knife to mix). To paint the wide tapered leaves, load the brush with 'green', touch the brush to the canvas, apply a small amount of pressure, keep the pressure to paint the broad part of the leaf, turning the brush onto it's chisel edge to make the tip. This should be one continuous flowing movement. Lay another stroke, next to and slightly overlapping the first, this will give the wide Amaryllis type leaf. Practice lots of them on the background, around the flower area. Then use the preparation brush to blend them into the background area using 'x' strokes, criss-cross is the best for blending, plenty of wrist action to spread the colour towards the edges of the canvas.

When you come to add the final leaves, use lighter coloured paint for the right hand side of the leaf to give a highlight and darken the left hand side with a touch of black on the brush. Add the stem using the same type of stroke, making it lighter on the right than the left. You could also add a few dark lines with the rigger to the leaves, following the contour of the leaf, add a touch of dark to the steam where it stops below the petal. Also add more dark areas to the background, left side of the flower, steam and leaf.

centre of flower added

With the flower area wet with the white medium, the green centre area of the flower needs to be positioned. To do this, load the filbert brush with a mix of Cadmium Yellow and Ultramarine, blend on the palette without any medium. Choose a position above the centre of the flower, touch the brush to the canvas and using a flicking action with the brush, pull the green colour out from the centre in a fan shape and in the direction the flower is facing, starting at the same point each time. When complete, blend the outer edges of the green towards the edge of the petals using the blender brush. Wash and dry the filbert brush. Clean the blender brush by rubbing on kitchen towel dampened with Zest-it.



first three petals of flower painted with oils

To paint the petals use the " Flat brush and a small amount of clear medium, load the brush by pulling through Permanent Geranium paint with both sides of the brush, until loaded with smooth, silky paint and comes to a chisel edge. Choose the three back alternate petals and paint these first. The brush stroke needed is effected by light pressure at the start and a 'flicking' action at the end. Finish before reaching the green paint, make sure the direction is towards the centre of the flower. Keep the edges of the petal uneven and slightly overlap the stroke as you work round each petal. Use the blender brush for blending the red and white areas together, do not over blend, as some of the lines left by the flat brush are good in this particular painting.


Using the same " Flat brush, which has been wiped on kitchen towel and the same paint, put in the three remaining petals. Again don't over blend. You can also add some strokes made with Permanent Geranium and Vermilion to the darker areas of the petals. Add the lowlights more on the left hand side than the right. This darker colour will give depth to the flower.

final highlights to amaryllis flower painted in oils

The final highlights are added with a shorter stroke and Titanium White tinted with Permanent Geranium, and very little medium. To finish the painting add the stamens, using Titanium White thinned with Zest-it on the rigger brush and pull long curved strokes from the 'green' centre area, ending in a point. Add one longer line which finishes with three lobes on the end, this is the stylus. Add pollen dots on the end of the six stamens, with the same brush and Cadmium Yellow. The seed pods behind the flower are added with light and dark 'greens' using the round brush. Assess your painting for any finishing touches you feel it may need, then sign and date your work.

You may print a copy for your own use but not for use on any other web site or commercial use.

Design and Artwork Jacqui Blackman (from a workshop).

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Suitability for Use
The information contained in this document is furnished without warranty of any kind. Whilst every care is taken to maintain the highest standards of quality, J. & T. Blackman Ltd. whish to make it clearly understood that it is the users responsibility to ensure that the goods are suitable for his or her own particular requirements. In no circumstances can claims be entertained for the value of work alleged to be spoilt by the use of a product which proves unsatisfactory, the makers liability being confined to replacement of any product proved to be defective in respect of materials or workmanship.