Finished painting of Show Off

I’ve got a new painting that I’ve completed this week to share. It’s a painting of a rare flower called a Black Bat Flower. It’s a work on paper, which I’ve been doing lately. Now, I’ve never seen one of these in person but I would love to have one. I used various photos I found for reference and some of it, well I just sorta made up as I went along, like I’m also known to do. Creative License. That’s what my dad calls it.

Isn’t this a fantastic creature? It almost looks like it’s out of a Sci-Fi movie. Some call it an orchid and it does look like one. But a Black Bat Flower, I found during my research through some forums and Wikipedia, that it is in the yam family. What?! Yep. The yam family. The Black Bat flower has bat wing-like flower petals or bracts actually (like a poinsettia). The flowers average 12″ across and have whiskers that can reach 28″ long! Now that’s a “Show Off”, right? Oh I’d love to have one. There are different types including a White Bat plant with white petals, obviously, and purple veins. The Black Bat Flower plant prefers shade and a lot of humidity. Maybe I’ll find a white one and paint it, too.

I get my inspiration from so many places, but none more than that of nature. I need not really go any further than my greenhouse and gardens. This is the first of a new series that I’ll be working on indefinitely. I know I could live a thousand lifetimes and not have enough time to paint all the beautiful creations around us.

I was attracted to this plant to paint initially because I’ve got a thing for dark flowers and leaves. Also a thing for bats, I’ve got one hanging from my rear view mirror in my van. I didn’t paint the darkest Black Bat Flower I found in my reference quest, I made it sorta maroon color – a nice mix of crimson and brown or in my case burnt umber. I have to admit I made this up, too. In my defense, I did read in a forum that the Black Bat Flower does come in maroon shades as well. Really, a “black” flower is never truly black, usually a dark purple or maroon. No matter, I’ll take it.

Below are my work in progress photos. I’d love to hear from you, leave me a comment below especially if you’re lucky enough to own one of these bat like beauties!

First up the initial sketch.

initial sketch of Black Bat Flower

Then I quickly added color for the underpainting. This is usually an ugly phase of the painting.

underpainting of Black Bat FlowerAdding detail.

adding detail

More details and darkening… oh and I couldn’t stand it I had to add some whiskers to see how they were going to pan out.

Show-Off-Bat-Flower-painting-WIP_1692

Yet more details and tweaking.

tweaking the painting of a Black Bat Flower

More fussing around. Then, I’m using pastel pencil to sketch in the whiskers.

sketching in whiskers of the Black Bat Flower paintingTada! Finally… drum roll please…

Finished painting of Black Bat Flower

This painting measures about 8″ x 5.5″ and I’m going to make a special white mat for it and I’m thinking of framing it in a simple 11″x14″ black or wood frame. As soon I’ve got that accomplished it will go up for sale in my shop (which is here on this site, you can buy directly from me). I’ll probably have prints of it as well.

UPDATE: The original painting has sold. Prints as well as note cards are available!


If you’re new to my blog and website have a look at my ‘About’ page in the menu at the top. I’m an artist – a painter mostly. I paint a variety of subjects including cranes, ravens and crows as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees. If you’re interested in my art, I have a newsletter mailed about once a month that gives you special status for invitations, birthday greeting and more. Sign up here for it.

paintings by New Harmony, Indiana artist Jaime Haney

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