Amaryllis blog2 Amaryllis blog

This week, I have been teaching my classes how to paint flowers in a loose style as I have had a few students asking me how they can learn to paint more freely.
I used SAA Permanent Rose, SAA Quinacridone Magenta, SAA Alizarin Crimson, SAA Prussian Blue, SAA Viridian and SAA Lemon watercolour paints.
I used an SAA silver No 6 round brush and a size 16 SAA silver wash brush, an SAA ruling pen and Bockingford rough watercolour paper.

I absolutely love the SAA Permanent Rose. It is much redder than some other makes and I find this very useful - I use it a lot;
Mixed with SAA Quinacridone Magenta it made the perfect red for these Amaryllis flowers. The SAA Alizarin Crimson has a nice deep tone which is ideal for the centre of the flower and then I added SAA Prussian Blue to add even darker tone to the centre.
The Viridian mixed beautifully with the Prussian Blue for the back ground.
The Lemon and Prussian Blue make a lovely bright, fresh green for the stalk.

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1) Use the wash brush to wet the paper with clean water.
2) Use the No 6 brush to paint six lines in permanent rose on top of the wet paper working inwards towards the middle of the flower. These will explode outwards into the wet surface.
3) Paint Quinacridone Magenta shorter lines on top of each of the six the Permanent Rose lines.
4) Then dot the Alizarin Crimson in the middle.
5) Follow this by dotting the Prussian Blue in the very centre on top of the crimson… and watch the magic!
6) While still wet, use an SAA drawing pen (or BBQ stick) to scratch into the surface to produce subtle lines radiating out of the flower.
7) Add some speckles of Quinacridone Magenta paint with a toothbrush.
8) Wait for the flower to dry before using an SAA ruling pen (or a BBQ stick) to “draw” the outside of the petals with wet permanent rose paint. Don’t forget to leave plenty of white paper for the outside of the petals….and observe the different shapes of the petals carefully… they are all different! This will make it look more natural.
9) Add a stalk using Lemon and Prussian Blue. You could also add a touch of Permanent Rose to the side to add interest.
10) Use your wash brush, on its side, to paint the background in a loose way using Prussian Blue and Viridian. Add a touch of magenta, but don’t go mad….or this will detract from the flower.
Don’t paint round the flowers too perfectly. Miss the flower in some places and go over the petal, just slightly, in places too. In other words… be a bit careless about it!
Also vary the tones so it doesn’t become too much of a block of colour… use water to lighten it up.
11) While it’s still wet… try sprinkling some table salt to add texture to the back ground.

Tips for making salt work:
Make sure the paint is damp ( not dry or too wet)
Sprinkle just a few grains from a height.
Wait about a minute for the effects to take place.

Here are some of my students working on theirs today:

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Ali Hargreaves is an SAA Watercolour Ambassador, have a look at her SAA Webpage here.