Painting flowers as a meditative process
I went through a phase for a month or so about a year ago when I obstinately refused to paint flowers. I think every artist can relate to revolting against a process/theme/subject that at one point brought us so much joy.
Luckily, as mentioned, I quickly returned to painting flowers, only to realize even more so how much joy and comfort these delicate little pieces of nature bring me. For me, there’s no “quick fix” to painting flowers in the style that feels most authentic to me. It requires layers and layers of painting, a lot of time and a ton of patience.
Whether I’m working with acrylic paint on wood or painting on my iPad, my process for painting flowers and bouquets is quite similar. I start by outlining the general structure of the flowers and then I block in the leaves. I looooove Chromium Oxide Green and Hooker’s Green is a close second.
Then I block in the darker colors on the flowers, followed by layers of lighter colors. I may choose to paint with a thicker brush that really lets me set bold colors or sometimes I use a thin flat brush to almost draw in lines to fill in color.
I usually move through the painting thematically with colors - I’ll paint the pinks, then the oranges, then the blues, and so on. I may layer five or six pinkish tones for one single rose. The final touches mean adding in highlight and shadows, which add depth. This is when the painting really starts to come to life and also the part where I feel like I can experiment and add my style to the work.
Lastly, I choose the background color. I never know what color will compliment the flowers until I am finished with the bouquet or arrangement. Sometimes I like to fill in the background with a simple solid color but lately I’ve been drawn to patterns - circles, lines, shapes.
Voila! Hours of painting later….the final product emerges.