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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Painting Flowers from Life - Amaryllis

"Amaryllis" 36x24 watercolor by Bridget Bossart van Otterloo


I began this painting in back in February. Patiently waiting for the double blossoms to open, I watered and moved my amaryllis around following the sun. Knowing I wanted to paint this amaryllis life size, I picked out a large sheet of paper and planned out the composition with a very light pencil sketch. I started with the blossom on the left, the fist one to start opening. The intricate curling green sepals attracted my attention.
I began with the first Amaryllis bud.
As the blossoms unfurled, I continued to paint with a combination of flat layers of color and dry brush detail. This classical botanical style of painting begins with light layers of color, followed by more and more layers of detail and color. Each petal has at least 5 layers, or passes, of paint on it.
Work in progress- Amaryllis blossoms taking shape.
I prefer to paint plants from life because there is so much more information and energy in the living plant. A photograph is limited as to how much detail and light it can capture, although I do use photographs to finish a painting.

I always find it hard to get rid of my plants, even after they've passed their prime. I still have the dried amaryllis blossoms in my studio, and I've been thinking about painting their delicate veins.
Finished plant and finished painting.


Come paint with me in my home studio and try out this botanical watercolor painting technique. I have two workshop dates left this spring, April 8th and May 27th. We'll be working from plants, following the technique I talked about in this post. Email me at bbvanotterloo@gmail.com with any questions and to register.
  • April 8, 2017 - Botanical Drawing and Watercolor
    Working with live plant specimens, students will learn to draw and paint plants with accurate detail. We will go over the basics of botanical drawing and watercolor painting techniques. I will be teaching the classical botanical style of working in thin transparent layers of watercolor.
     
  • May 27, 2017 - Botanical Drawing and Watercolor – Spring Flowers
    Working with live plant specimens, students will learn to draw and paint plants with accurate detail. We will go over the basics of botanical drawing and watercolor painting techniques. I will be teaching the classical botanical style of working in thin transparent layers of watercolor.
Happy painting!
Bridget
www.bridgetbossartvanotterloo.com

Follow me on Facebook (@BossartvanOtterloo) and Instagram (@bbvo_studio).

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Bridget. Not being a painter myself, it's interesting for me to read about process. I learn from your words in this blog. I also liked your line "Patiently waiting for the double blossoms to open..." Ah, patience, a great virtue to acquire!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Michael. Painting flowers is a lot of "hurry up and wait." I'm waiting for the flower to reach a certain shape for the composition, then painting really fast before it changes. It's exciting!

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