Amaryllis Flower

Sharing another flower study. The inspiration for this is the cover of Billy Showell’s Watercolor Flower Portraits.


Remember the post where I shared my husband’s challenge before he says yes to an online class? Just to refresh you, a few months ago my husband challenged me to copy/duplicate the flowers from Ms. Showell’s book (my beloved watercolor book) and from there we would both assess if I still need a watercolor class. Well, if you will ask me, I would really love to enroll in an online class specifically of Anna Mason’s. It will hasten the learning process and answer some of my questions through demo return demo. Have I share with you that my learning skills is at its best if it is demonstrated and returned demonstrated? I discovered that during my first year of nursing school. But not to digress, enrolling in an online class is out of the budget as of now thus the challenge.

I worked and made changes on my version of the amaryllis flowers for days since I do not want to waste paper and do not want to mess up coloring. One flower at a time I told myself and this was what I came up with.


Amaryllis Flowers Β in watercolor in a Β Daler Rowney Aquafine 140lb 11.7 x 8.3 inches

Here were my curve balls:

  • color mixing
  • when to put dark colors
  • to lift colors for high lights or put lift on the second wash and show the color underneath to act as high lights
  • sketching limitations

I think I have the same curve balls since I started studying flowers and coloring them with watercolors. I am limited by my palette but I tremendously enjoyed mixing colors on the fly. The trial and error did not seem to be intimidating anymore. Putting the darkest shades will always be a problem because I am still not used to seeing things in 3D. Its a long process and it will really take long since I study on my own. Deciding how to do high lights is another long learning process because mostly I do not see them or ignore seeing them. And of course, my insecurity with sketching perfectly. Being a perfectionist is difficult to let go but slowly and surely I have been winning the battle.

In conclusion, I am very pleased with how my version turned out. It may lack the oomph in color (but that’s just between you and me, right? πŸ™‚ ) and a few other small details but it is still a thing of beauty. Also,Β I’m happy to be learning and discovering my own proper plan of attack on a reference photo.

For my next flower subject, I decided not to select from Ms. Showell’s book anymore. Looking at and studying watercolored subjects will not help me progress as I will only aim to copy everything precisely and feel frustrated if I won’t be able to do so. Thus, going back to using real photos as reference was the best way as far as I’m concerned.

Happy Friday dear friends! Enjoy the weekend!


14 thoughts on “Amaryllis Flower

    • Thank you for the vote of confidence, Larisa. ❀ πŸ™‚ I may not get the results I have in mind right now but the results I am getting are growing on me. That's a great start, I think. πŸ™‚

  1. That is a beautiful painting of an amaryllis! I think you copy very well Carrie. If you wanted an exact copy you could take a photograph. πŸ™‚ Your amaryllis looks like an amaryllis and that, I think, is very good! [I can’t draw flowers for the life of me!!] I think one of the things about painting is that our pieces are all very personal, they hold a little bit of us. The thing that frees us, as I am busy working on right now, is getting those techniques sorted. [Though I wonder if we ever feel we get everything ‘right’?] When the techniques are sorted then we can really paint something and it will be our painting, not a copy of someone else’s. Hope that makes sense to you. I think your ability to draw and colour flowers is fabulous, perhaps you might consider drawing from real life – you would present ‘flowers as Carrie sees them’. πŸ™‚

    • Oh Pauline, you said the perfect words of what is in my heart. Everything you said made sense to me. Thank you for believing and supporting me on this journey. I will try to draw from life as there are very few flowers around me and around neighbors too. I will go back to drawing from photographs for the meantime. Sorting the techniques is what makes the journey difficult but still very exciting. There were times I wanted to quit but no it will not happen. I’ve already invested a lot and discovered a lot of myself in this journey to quit. πŸ™‚

  2. I think your painting is lovely. I especially like your work on that large bloom. I’m not great at pulling out highlights either. I tend to leave the white paper to act as the highlight but need to work with pulling colour out and allowing soft, subtle glazes.

    • Thank you! In Billy’s book she explained how to create high lights by lifting color from the previous wash before it dries. I applied that here but never got the result. Maybe more practice is needed. Leaving white space is another thing very difficult for me to keep in mind. I tend to put color onto the whole space I am coloring. Maybe it will improve with practice too. πŸ™‚

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