PAINTING & ILLUSTRATION
With all this warm weather and sunshine it is a wonderful time to catch some floral energy and reflect it in a painting.
It's already June and the nature is fully blooming and preparing for the summer. At this time I go and photograph flowers and colorful landscapes, sunrises and sunsets, calms and storms.
Painting flowers is a gem among still life themes. Although flowers fall within the category of still life they are, in fact, very alive and vibrant. That's why it is so worth to use their beauty and energizing colours and transfer it to make an artwork.
For those of you who are not sure what 'still life' means here's a short recap from the art history:
What is still life?
Still life is a painting featuring an arrangement of everyday objects (natural and manufactured) like flowers, fruits, books or food. These objects don't move. A painter usually paints a scene with a bottle of wine, fruits and a dead fish. This is just an example. Many well known and recognized painters painted still life and it became a genre of its own in 16th century. In the next century, it reached its heights in 17th century Holland. I am sure you remember Flemish or Dutch paintings of flowers on a dark, usually black background.
My paintings of flowers are strongly influcenced by 17th century Flemish paintings. I often use the black backgroud, because I think it brings out the colours of the flowers even more. It makes them stand out and gives the whole painting a touch of elegance.
This painting "The midnight bloom" was exhibited at New York Contemporary Art Fairs "Art Expo" in April 2017.
The floral texture depends on the way each separate flower is painted - take a look and you will notice that peonies in pink-red-white are painted with different strokes of the brush than the small yellowish flowers.
I would like to share with you some useful tips on how to paint flowers in a dynamic way.
1) FLOWERS ARE BASED ON GEOMETRICAL FIGURES
If you take rose and sunflower you notice that they are of a different shape. Composition is a process of taking several basic elements and arranging them into a unified, visually pleasant motif.
All forms in nature can be reduced to a few basic shapes - a circle, oval, square or triangle. A tulip seen on the above painting can have a form of an oval - when it's buds are not fully opened whereas small blue flowers of hyacinth are based more on trangles.
2) BACKGROUND CHOICE AFFECTS COLOUR
Your entire painting will be affected by the background colour.
A warm background pushes cool colours forward. The contrary happens with a cool background: it pushes warm colours forward.
Let's take an example: if you are planning to paint a yellow sunflower it will stand out more on a blue background.
3) TECHNIQE - OIL OR ACRYLIC?
I am sure many of you use different techniques for flower painting. It can be acrylic, oil or watercolour. I usually use oil with a bit of acrylic. Why oil?
I think oil helps me best to 'sculpt' the flowers and gives them a rich texture and coloring.
"Lover of life" - oil on cardboard
"Flower composition" - oil on cardboard
Flowers are associated with the feminine.
Quite surprisingly, paintings of flowers have almost exclusively been created by male artists. Still, painting flowers is a classic subject with a history much longer than the 17th century or even reneissance.
Flowers are sensual, of magical smell and delicate touch. No wonder that they resemble women in many ways. Their erotic lines, richness of colours, shapes and sizes are straightforward allusions to feminine body forms. In fact, a woman's body is the part of the world of nature just like a flower.
We are flowers, dear ladies. We bloom and give life and beauty to this world every day.