Flower paintings are timeless
Henri Fantin-Latour was a French painter of the late 19th century and one of his most famous flower paintings is ‘Vase de Pivoines’ (a vase of peonies).
I have great admiration for this artist, as in his day painting a vase of flowers would have had to be immediate. Not for him the taking of photographs in various lights and poses!
Sketches and notes yes, but the colours and form of the flower would quickly be changing over the days. In fact, paintings of flowers from different seasons were necessarily painted over many months.
It is amazing then that this particular painting is almost as lifelike as a photograph.
Luckily, in these modern times, I am able to photograph the blooms and shrubs from all angles and at many different times of day and ensure that I can portray the flower in a way that fits in with the background of the painting I have planned.
As with my wildlife art, painting a flower involves a whole gamut of colours from my palette. Expressing how the light is hitting the blooms, the shadows across the leaves, the texture of the petals that are young and those that have fallen and somewhat dried.
I love to try to capture their fragility and elegance. Long may they retain their charm.
Flower Paintings Gallery
Flowers give the colour in a landscape as well as being the still life of the natural world.
It is worth remembering that although when we view a bunch of flowers we perhaps don’t see individual flower heads in intensity or focus, a flower at the front of a bouquet will be more intense, with more colour and sharpness, whereas those to the rear will be less intense and somewhat out of focus.
Yes, it’s possible to take photos and portray the flora but how much more exciting (certainly for me and ultimately I hope for the viewer) to use colour and paint texture, warm and cool highlights and contrast to give the flower substance.
Of course a field can be filled with bluebells, or a river bordered by flowering shrubs. As with the other genres of painting – landscapes and nature – I enjoy the painting of flowers to fit within these other categories.
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