The powerful language of colour, shape
and movement that goes to make a flower
has compelled me to try and preserve their beauty in my flower paintings.
I work in pastel, which I love for it's immediacy and
richness of hue. Pastel allows me to work quickly and capture the movement and light
on a particular flower. I also enjoy photography so taking flower
pictures enables me to grow my flower paintings, with overlaying veils of
colour, at a more considered pace. I hope you enjoy the drama and impact I have
tried to capture in
Most of us have a favourite flower. We plant them
in our gardens, we buy them at the florist, we are given them as bouquets to
celebrate a a birthday, anniversary or to wish us a speedy recovery. Unfortunately,
most blooms have a short life. I adore flowers and as an artist, I have learned to
preserve something of their essence in a flower painting forever. If you have ever
wished you could do this with a favourite flower, then read on.
Flower painting has a wonderful history. Botanical art has
been used to document numerous species of flowers and plants. There is something very
satisfying and magical about painting a flower and preserving just what it was like
forever. Of course, flower photographs can do the same but when you paint you have
the added pleasure of carefully examining the curves and colours of each petal,
stamen, stem and leaf. You have to observe the way the light catches the flower and
use this information to give it a 3D presence on your paper. By painting flowers, you
get to know them intimately.
I would advise anyone wanting to start painting flowers to
begin with their favourite flower, no matter how complex it might seem. By choosing
your favourite, you will be motivated to try again to render it well. Your feelings
have a better chance of being transferred into your flower painting too. When a
flower painting makes you gasp, it is because it initially did the same for the
artist and they have found a way of sharing that with you. It doesn't matter if your
attempts aren't perfect. Each time you try you will become more familiar with it's
shape. It will seem easier to paint and you will notice more about the nuances of
colour and the way light can affect it.
Of course, there are some useful techniques which might
help you learn flower painting. Many excellent art books have been written about this
topic and your bookstore will certainly have several. But be wary of simply copying
another artists' techniques. You may be surprised to find that you are less satisfied
with the results than you are with simply observing your favourite flower and
perfecting your vision of it with each attempt.
Try drawing with different materials, have fun and keep all
your attempts. You will be encouraged to see how your vision and skill improves
simply by practise. I use pastels, both the soft powdery ones and the deliciously
oily variety. I love them because of their beautiful range of colours, from very pale
to vibrant hues. I can extend this even further by overlaying thin veils of colour,
allowing the underneath ones to sing through. Or perhaps you could try watercolour?
This has long been a favourite of flower painters and botanical artists and for good
reason. The way you can allow one luscious colour to randomly bleed into another,
just as it does in nature, is very mouth-watering!
As you can tell, I am fanatical about flower painting but I do hope I
have managed to awaken a little curiosity in you. Have a go! What have you to lose?
free lesson to get you started!
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Theresa Evans 2005 - 2010 Flower Paintings