Painting Flowers – Create Floral Compositions You Can Be Proud Of!

by Neadeen Masters on December 7, 2011

Our love of painting flowers can result in amazing compositions!

Whenever we are painting flowers there are key points to remember. The success of our flower paintings depends on them. Here are two subjects to pay close attention to: Focal Area and Compositional Design. Regardless of the media you paint with, all successful oil painting, acrylic painting, and watercolor paintings of flowers will depend on the following concepts.

Focal Area:

How to paint flowers - art apprentice online Create a focal area – Art Apprentice Online

This is the most important area of the painting. It is the area that will first attract the viewer. Get this wrong and the viewer will have no sense of direction. The focal area or focal point can be a single flower or it can be portions of multiple flowers that stand out from the rest of the painting. Always remember that outside the focal area, everything else becomes secondary. These are still important, but they play a subordinate role to the main focal area.

How to Paint Flowers - Online Classes at Art Apprentice Online How to Paint Flowers – Online Classes at Art Apprentice Online

Painting Flowers – Composition In Art and Design:

The first few questions to ask yourself are…How can I make my composition work? Have I considered the formal elements of design such as line, balance, movement, shape, variety, unity, emphasis, and proportion? Sounds confusing? Not really, if you think about them one at a time and in the context of something like a flower painting, the elements of design can be learned very quickly.  So let’s break them down, relative to a floral composition. Here are a few basic areas we can begin with…

  • Variety – Have you used a variety of flowers that demonstrate different shapes, sizes, color or types? Any of these will create variety.
  • Variety – If the flowers are all the same type, color, size or shape…have you positioned or placed them so their profiles look different? Do some face out, up, down, to the left, to the right?
  • Shape – Do some of the stems and leaves show? These can be different shapes from the flowers.
  • Movement – When painting flowers, movement is key. Do the flowers or leaves point out of the picture plane, or lean too heavily to one side or the other?
  • Do leaf shapes act like arrows pointing somewhere they shouldn’t?
  • Balance – Is any particular color dominant, or isolated? How can you create balance with color?
  • Unity- Have I created a mood with my choice of flowers or container?
  • Emphasis – When painting flowers, we want our viewers to focus on one main element first. Ask yourself, “Where is my focal area?’
  • Proportion – How do the flower sizes relate to each other? Is there a gradual variety of sizes?
  • Proportion –  How does the container relate to the proportion of the flowers as a whole?

This is a good starting point. There is quite a lot to consider when painting flowers, but these key points will get you on the right track.

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