So many flower petals, so little time to paint them!
A big hello again, and I'm glad you've made it to my flower petal demonstration part of the lesson.
This photo shows completion of the color layer in the background and down the left side. The middle and the right side of the blossom is showing the dead underpainting. Plus, there are on dew drops (bling) in the painting yet either.
One of the things that I think brings this painting to life is the out of focus petals in the foreground. It really makes you believe you have your face right up close to the flower blossom and are gazing into the center.
I talk about this elsewhere in the site, but essentially, your eyes can focus mostly on the center and on one thing. Stuff in the peripheral and really close will be out of focus, as will the things behind the object you're viewing. Now a camera can be adjusted to mimic this, but most folks set the exposure long enough so that everything comes out in focus.
Stick with me, and I'll explain how to paint these flower petals and out of focus foreground.
The photo below shows paint being laid into the middle petals. This paint isn't thin, it's a thick opaque layer of color.
Here's a close up of the same shot. The color is blocked in with some of the gray layer peeking through. Notice too that the paint strokes are broad and loose.
This paint is quite thick and is applied quickly.
I want to get the colors on the canvas and then stand back to see where I will begin the blending process.
Blending is usually done with a round or filbert tips dry brush. Dabbing at the transitions of color makes for a nice smooth transition. Following up with a mop brush with light touches soften the edges a bit more.
In this photo, we see the blending that has occurred on those middle petals.
And as we back away from the work to see how it all looks at this point. I begin here too to add color to the very center of the blossom.
The color is blocked in very loosely.
Here's a close up shot of the center flower petals color blocked in.
Now in this shot, we begin to blend the paint for each and every petal.
Note that I drag paint out of it's boundary in the big petal in the foreground.
This is where I begin the process of over blending, which will make the petal become out of focus. This is merely pulling paint over its boundary with a dry brush and then hitting it again with the mop brush to soften that outer edge. Doing what Bill Alexander (Bob Ross's predecessor) used to call "Hypnotizing" the paint. Stroking from the outside moving in to pull just a touch of paint off the canvas around that outer edge. I'll have to check my YouTube channel to see if a have a demonstration of this. I do know on the page for painting grapes, its better shown.
Below is a view further back that shows most of the painting completed.
The photo above shows the initial blending that takes place with a dry blending brush. The photo below is how it looks after using the mop brush.
I get asked sometimes how I can stay with painting these flower petals over and over. My answer is similar to how can a person run 23 miles in a marathon. One step at a time. But also, I get into a zone of concentration where time stands still. When I worked 2nd shift at the factory and would come home around midnight, I never could go straight to bed. To much on my mind from the plant, so, I would paint. After getting into the zone, I noticed my legs were beginning to ache, and then realizing I had been standing for hours working a passage and not realizing I wasn't shifting my weight. I've always painted standing up too. Something about proper blood flow to the head but also preserving a wrecked back.
Here you can see the size of mop brush I use in final blending of the individual petals.
I also use a much larger brush over the entire canvas before it gets too tacky to set and soften all edges.
In the final layer, I place some dew drops and reflections on certain petals.
They aren't readily seen from the distance, but as you step closer into the painting these little touches become evident, and are a pleasant surprise.
I hope you've enjoyed this demonstration. Was it helpful?
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Interested in this artwork?
The original is on my online gallery page .
Thank you for your time, and if you decide to paint a flower with loads of petals like this, share it here on the site!
Folks really enjoy seeing others art work here, and it's amazing how well some of it really is!
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