Thursday, June 13, 2013

Art Tip #112

Breaking Down Florals

I'm often asked how do you paint flowers without indicating every petal.  It starts with the basic shape, as with anything you paint.  As you see in the photo below, with the blue flowers, I painted the darkest blue first in a general rectangular shape.  The white flowers were circular & blocked in a half-tone greyed bluish purple.  Side note:  I can paint but evidently drawing on a painting is not my best skill.

I work from dark (transparent) to light which enables me to lay the lights on top with a minimum number of strokes.  I always try to create form by painting from the outside in (see below).  Defining my shapes from the background allows me to keep from getting too detailed. Also, leaving a little of my underpainting showing thru helps balance the need to over define. The leaves are added at the mid-point, in half-tones and are there to support the flowers not overpower them.

The last strokes are the lights (which are opaque & heavier paint).  If you look closely you will see that my lightest lights are the smallest portion of the flowers.  Without the darks & half-tones, the lights will appear flat.  Students are always so anxious to place the highlight on an object without realizing that what's underneath the highlight is more vital to creating form that one light stroke.