How to Paint Alliums

Written by jamie farber
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How to Paint Alliums
Alliums are a relatively easy flower to paint. (Dynamic Graphics/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Alliums are a family of flowers that bloom in early summer. The perennial bulbs are planted in fall and do best in full sun. The flowers are large, brightly-coloured and resemble large puff balls. The flowers have an X-shape at the end but, from further away, the buds look more like a long, straight line. Alliums bloom at the end of a long, thin green stem and normally do not have any flowers. Because of the nature of the flower, they are one of the easiest ones to paint.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Canvas or paper
  • Pencil
  • Size 2 paint brush
  • Size 6 paint brush
  • Size 10 paint brush
  • Green acrylic paint
  • Acrylic paint in two to three shades of the same colour

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  1. 1

    Sketch out the basic design of your painting. For alliums, draw a long, curving line for the stem and a large ball for the actual flower. You can choose how many alliums you want to include and the height of each flower. Step back and look at your work; make any needed adjustments.

  2. 2

    Paint the stems green using a size 2 paint brush. You do not need to follow the line you drew exactly, but use it as a guide. The stem should be fairly thin and looks best if you paint it in one motion. Practice on a scrap sheet of paper if you so desire.

  3. 3

    Paint an X-shape in the centre of the circle you drew for the allium with a number 6 paint brush. Use any of the shades of the colour you chose.

  4. 4

    Paint lines coming from the X with the number 6 brush and the shade that you initially used. Don't fill the circle with these lines, but have several on each axis.

  5. 5

    Paint additional lines coming from the X, using the remaining shades of paint and the number 2, 6 and 10 paint brushes. The differences in colour and size gives the allium depth and makes it look more realistic. The placing of the different lines should be random, as a pattern makes it look fake.

  6. 6

    Paint small X-shapes on the end of some of the lines with the darkest shade and the number 2 paint brush. This is optional, but gives the flower more depth. Allow the paint to dry.

  7. 7

    Paint any additional lines on the flower after you allow the paint to dry. This step is optional, depending on how you feel about your creation.

Tips and warnings

  • Darker colours such as purple, blue and red look most dramatic, especially if you leave the background of your painting white.
  • While getting the hang of painting alliums, paint a single flower or a bouquet of two or three flowers tied with a ribbon, which can be easily done with the number 2 brush and a sideways 8 motion, followed by long strokes for the tails.

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