Friday, 4 December 2015

Painting back lit Hellebores, step by step.

One of my favourite flowers to paint are Hellebores. They flower in winter and spring, when there is very few other flowers in bloom. I have a few growing in my back garden , but usually visit RHS Wisley to see the large displays of them every year.

I take many photographs of flowers, mainly as inspiration and starting points for my art. I find back lit flowers to be really inspirational. The back lighting shows off the structure by making the leaves and petals almost transparent. This sort of lighting brings out a wider range of colours than you would see in regular light. This is just perfect for a floral artist, who likes to view things in a slightly different way!!

So this is the finished painting. Followed by the stages that got me to this point!!

Firstly I drew out the hellebores on to the canvas. My photo of this stage was not very distinct, so I haven't included it here. Next I started to fill in the shapes with some basic colours. There is very little tone and contrast at this stage. I haven't worked in to the colours much. I have only used about 3 shades of pink and a bit of purple. I am using a size 4 and 6 brush, and working with acrylic paint.

Next I decided on a major change and painted the background black.

After this I started to play around with the colours a bit more. The black background was too harsh. I added some blues to the top and some green to the base. I started to work brighter and bolder colours in to the flowers and leaves. I wanted to get the feel of sunlight coming through the painting. For this you need high contrast.

My next stage was change the background a bit more, I got rid of the green at the bottom as it took the emphasis away from the flowers. I took the turquoise out of the blues in the background by adding a purplish  blue over the top.  If you look closely you will see I have changed some of the flowers and leaves at the top to improve the composition. I have also added a lot more white to the flowers. This really helps make the petals look translucent. I am now using much smaller brushes, Mainly size 2 down to size 00.

The final painting. It may be hard to see what has changed, However there is just more attention to detail and fine tweaks to light and dark areas.

This painting was done using Chromacolor, Procolour and Golden acrylic paints. It was finished off with 3 layers of Golden UV varnish to protect the surface.

This painting was featured in the Society of Floral Painters Exhibition in Chichester earlier in the year. The society likes canvas works to be framed. So I put this in a lovely burnished gilt wooden floater frame, as you can see below.

This painting is now up for sale on Artfinder. There is a link on the sidebar of this blog. 

I also have another hellebore painting for sale on Artfinder. This one is sold as a mounted original. It is on paper (mounted on board) and then put in to an ivory mount and backboard.

Thanks for reading my blogpost! Comments always appreciated.

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