||Rhododendron by James Sulkowski, 2001, oil painting. Notice how the
flowers are arranged in a curving S-shape, starting in the back and bring
your eye to the foreground.
Most artists have a love-hate relationship with floral
painting. There's plenty to learn from the genre, but I've found that what I truly
get out of it depends on what I put into it.
I certainly know there have been times when I wasn't as
excited as I am now about it because I didn't know what it was capable of
teaching me. But floral paintings are not just exercises in how to paint a
rose. There is so much more! And when I put my own personality into it, it
allowed me to explore my art on my own terms. It gave me the freedom to
experiment without being self-conscious, and I was able to work on painting
essentials like form, light, and color that I can carry with me to all the
other paintings I'll ever create.
From a sensitivity to color combinations to gaining
confidence in the way I put down brushstrokes by mimicking the organic forms of
flower buds, stems, leaves and more, I've really grown as a student of art
through painting flowers. Most of all, I've discovered how creating a really
interesting flower oil painting composition has made me attuned to composing other
scenes almost instinctively, which is progress for me! The more I paint without
thinking the process to death, the freer my work looks.
Detecting how I can put visual action into a scene by
arranging objects in certain ways-a diagonal or circle, for example-means I can
work on creating compositions that aren't dull or static. And starting with a
good composition gives me so many creative options that I can take advantage of
as the painting process continues.
The credit, however, can largely go to our latest eBook, Painting Flowers with Artist Daily: How to
Paint Flowers and Create Dynamic Action in Floral Painting. Artist and writer
James Sulkowski analyzes his own floral paintings in terms of their compositional
arrangements and forms, and he gave me such solid instruction and really
interesting tips for identifying unique compositions. This has allowed me to
start painting with more confidence and surety-and those aren't feelings I
often have about my work. That's why I'm especially glade
to share Painting Flowers with Artist
Daily: How to Paint Flowers and Create Dynamic Action in Floral Painting with
you. Download your free copy now!
P.S. If you have a friend and fellow artist who would enjoy getting
"flowers" from you, in the form of Painting
Flowers with Artist Daily, send this email to them!