Focal Area: Composition: Painting Flowers

by Neadeen Masters on November 24, 2012

Creating the Focal Area in a Flower Painting

There are many things to think about when painting flowers in a composition. One of the decisions we need to make is how will be portray the flowers we have chosen and what ways can we add interest to the ‘Focal Area’ to make it stand out from the rest of the flowers in the bouquet…That is, relative to the elements of art, and the principles of design, how can we place emphasis in a certain area? Here are just a few ideas to consider if you were painting a more ‘formal’ flower painting or floral bouquet.  You can select the largest flowers within the design, or perhaps the heaviest area of the floral composition or even look for the flowers that seem to embrace or face the light source. The latter always works well.

Artists who are interested in painting flowers need to learn how to stage their floral compositions so there is always a star among the players. Once you have settled on a focal area you may also wish to add some additional details to the area to really make it stand out and be different from the rest of the flowers. This is called creating emphasis, which is a design principle.  Consider the following:

  • try to mix textures of the flower petals
  • look for detail markings or visual patterning on petals and leaves
  • overall flower color
  • study the color of the flower’s details

Complex Flowers can offer great Interest for a Focal Area 

Build your Focal Area with Drama! Create Emphasis!

Within the main ‘focal area’ of a floral design artists may want to add some of the following additions for extra drama and to help support the area with the greatest design emphasis. These additions can help the flower painter tell a story and describe the composition with greater finesse. Each of these features can become supporting cast members for the main star (flowers) of the show…Remember the painting is a stage and the flowers are the payers. Who is going to be the star and how will they be dressed in the center of interest?

  • Water drops and clusters of water drops add sparkle and detail.
  • Intensity – Increase the intensity of the elements in this area, remember that they receive the most amount of light.
  • Details – add more details such as veins in leaves, veins on rose petals.
  • Leaf-tears – and rolled edges, dried edges etc.
  • Bugs, butterflies, caterpillars, dragon flies, bees, and insects, etc.
  • Bug Bites – and other details on leaves such as texture, shines etc.
  • Texture – look for the different textures between the flowers and the leaves.
  • Pay close attention to the differences between types of flowers. In the examples below, one can see the common colors, but can you see how different the shapes of the petals are and the overall shape of the flower head?

Look at the complexity of the Flower Heads – Are they interesting? 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ALICE S Jackson March 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Thanks for the info! Enjoyed reading this.


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