Saturday, 21 February 2015

A painting of 3 Canna lilies, step by step

I have just completed another painting of Canna lilies.

 I find these very interesting to paint due to their varied shapes. These were painted from photos I took late in the season. The Canna's were just starting to go over. This introduced some interesting brown faded petals, as well as the usual vibrant orange ones. I have kept these in the painting for contrast. I have not tried to pretty them up...I prefer flowers to be natural.

So here is how I did this painting, step by step.

Firstly I drew some  basic outlines. This is on canvas.

I then isolated the flowers by painting in a turquoise background. I am using acrylic paint.

Next I start to put some basic background colours in for the actual flowers. These are unmixed paints, just red, yellow and orange. At this stage I have not even thought about the leaves.

 After this I paint in the stems, and a selection of leaves. Cannas have very large leaves, that look amazing when back lit, showing a range of colours.

I then  decide to reduce the amount of leaves, as it looks crowded and distracts from the flowers.  I have darkened the top of the blue background. I have also worked in to the flowers with some additional tones,

My next stage is to  break up the background with some swirls of different blues.  I also keep working in to the flowers with smaller detail.

My finished painting.  I have worked a bit more in to the leaves, the background, and put some subtle texture and shading on the flowers.

Like most of my paintings, this is a stylized version of the plants. I do not aim to be totally botanically accurate....although I do aim to be fairly close. I just play with a few elements to make the painting more visually interesting. 

This will be for sale later in the year. I will update this post with details.

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