Notes on Becoming an Artist of Flower Oil Paintings

Getting Started as an Artist of Flower Oil Paintings

Getting started as a floral artist is easier than you know. All it takes is the desire to paint. The first thing you will need to do is enroll in some art classes that teach painting. It can be either oil or watercolor. It might take a little bit of searching to find a class but it will be worth it. Taking a painting class offers many benefits.

The first being instruction in the “how to” of flower painting. You will have the advantage of being tutored by an experienced artist or multiple artists who can help you as your painting of flowers develops. The instructor can help you select the objects of your flower still life, arrange the set up and also develop the composition that is most pleasing. As you are working on your masterpiece, an instructor can offer suggestions on how to handle problem areas in the painting and also help you figure out how to paint other areas in it.


Red Rose paintingTyler Rose
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
16″ x 12″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info


Another advantage of taking an art class are the students. They can offer camaraderie, give ideas, and also give feed back. Every artist needs this feed back as it gives them an idea of where they are in their skill level. Knowing this bit of information is important when you are ready to sell your paintings.

Starting Your Oil Painting of Flowers

To get your flower oil painting started you will first need to set up your flower arrangement in a still life setting. This entails first selecting the flowers you wish to put into your painting. If you take a walk through your yard, neighborhood or local park, you will likely find a lot of flowers, providing it is the time of year when flowers are in bloom. Be sure to take your camera with you and snap a photograph of them to use as resource material.

You could also purchase some flowers at your local supermarket or flower shop. The only problem with these is they will probably wilt and even die before your painting is finished. Therefore I suggest you photograph your arrangement once your floral still life is the way you like it. That way when your flowers fade you still have the photograph to use as reference material to finish your painting.

For more information on using reference photos of flowers see articles titled “Using Photographs As Reference Material to Paint Flower Oil Paintings” and “Flower Oil Paintings From Reference Photos“.

As part of your setting you may want to consider putting your flowers in a beautiful vase, add drapery and some other elements that hold special meaning for you. All of these added elements will complement your flower arrangement and make your painting one that you will enjoy for years.

Sources of Props for Your Flower Still Life

If you looking for unique and unusual items to include in your flower still life paintings, then there are a number of places you can rummage through to find props for your art. The first most obvious place is to look around your own home. Check your attic, basement, garage, and closets too. Anywhere you might store items you want to keep but don’t necessarily want to put on display for one reason or the other. Family heirlooms are usually hidden away in these places. These items make can great props for your paintings as they will bring back fond memories for family members who view your painting.


rose flower paintingYellow Rose of Texas
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
18″ x 18″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info


Another place to look is local antique shops, garage sales and flea markets. You can find great props to include your flower still life paintings. Then once you are done using the prop you can display it in your home as part of the décor if you like.

Getting Discovered as a Floral Artist

If as a floral artist, you’re waiting around to “get discovered”, you just might be waiting for a long, long time. Getting discovered doesn’t happen at the drop of a hat. Few artists are fortunate enough to be “found” and thus acquire fame. Most artists have to work to make that happen. Here are a few ways to get your art in front of the public.

  • Display your art in local businesses and establishments.
  • Enter your works of art in local and county art shows.
  • Get a local gallery to show your art and have a private showing of your work.
  • Have your own private showing and invite the public to come.

For more information on how to sell your artwork, see article titled “Ways to Market Your Art“.


From Flower Gardens to Flower Paintings

Paintings of Flowers

magnolia blossom flower artMany individuals enjoy flower gardens in their yards filled with their favorite flowers. They enjoy bringing those flowers indoors and making arrangements from them to display in their homes. Flowers have a way of brightening up a room, making it more inviting and enjoyable to be in. Unfortunately, most blossoms fade away in just a few days. Aside from resorting to dried or artificial flowers, a good way to preserve the beauty of flowers in your home is via flower oil paintings. This is an ideal situation because floral art will become part of your interior décor that will adorn the walls of your home for a long time. With flower paintings you can enjoy the beauty and essence of flowers year round and unlike fresh flowers, these will never fade. A painting with flowers will forever preserve the essence and beauty of them for others to enjoy for a lifetime. Artists will often capture their favorite flowers in a wall art by carefully observing the light and shadows, shapes and form of the blossoms. There are three ways to capture the beauty of flowers in a painting. These are:

  1. Still life flower arrangement with a vase and other elements. This type of still life is great for formal dining area, living room, or bedroom. Just about any room where a formal atmosphere is desired.
  2. Natural landscape setting where flowers naturally grow in a garden or open field. Flowers make beautiful landscape paintings.
  3. Extreme close-up of the blossom in an expanded point of view. This type of composition gives the impression of the flower being looked at under a microscope.

up close rose flower paintingYellow Rose of Texas
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
18″ x 18″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info


Favorite Flowers for Floral Wall Art

The most popular flowers used in compositions of floral wall art are roses, orchids, lilies and wildflowers.

  • Roses are painted more than any other flower because they can be symbolic of love and romance. There are also many varieties of colors that make them an easy fit for any color scheme.
  • Orchids are another favorite subject for artists to paint. They are so mysterious because no one knows just how many varieties of orchids actually exist. Orchids also have a such a large following that it was only natural that oil painters would choose them to be the subject of their many paintings.
  • Another popular flower is the lily because of it has such a big beautiful bloom that comes in a variety of colors.
  • Wildflowers are favored for their brilliance in the wilderness. There are many colors and shapes. Two favorite types of wildflower popular among Texas artists are the Texas Bluebonnet and Indian Paint Brush. Contrasting colors of wildflowers in the same setting makes for great art.
  • Other popular flowers in art include daisiestulips and magnolias.

Flowers bring joy, beauty and symbolism to our environment, as such it is no mystery that flower paintings continue to be a popular décor for homes and businesses.

Be sure to visit this collection of flower oil paintings for sale.

Additional Reading

Floral Canvas Art in Your Home

For the Love of Flower Oil Paintings


Flower Art Through The Ages

Flower Art In History

Since the dawn of time flowers have been admired by man for their beauty. The incredible attractiveness of flowers has also given them an added importance as decorative objects for residences and places of business. Through the centuries flowers have been used as the elements of floral canvas art as well. The first flower painting appeared on the walls of Egyptian tombs. The flower often depicted in these early paintings was the lotus blossom. The blossom can also be found in other art forms such as jewelry and architecture. Fresco paintings of flower gardens have been discovered in the remains of the buried Roman city of Pompeii. During the Gothic era, flowers were depicted in paintings as symbols of the personality or importance of particular people. Roses symbolized love, lilies depicted purity, the tulip represented nobility, sunflowers portrayed devotion. By the time of the Renaissance, flowers were used to amplify mythological subjects. In Dutch floral paintings flowers were also used to depicted the stages of human life.


Red Rose paintingTyler Rose
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
16″ x 12″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info


The Meaning of Flowers in Art

oriental poppies by georgia o'keeffe
Red Poppies by O’Keeffee

Modern artists have been using the significance of flowers in their floral canvas art for centuries. They have been cherished for more than just their beauty. The meaning of flowers has been used as an artistic expression of one’s emotions, whether it is a symbol of love, jealousy or romance. The meaning of a red rose is love. Is there any wonder why red roses are a favorite Valentine’s Day flower? A red carnation also conveys passion and at the same time a striped carnation is a sign of refusal. The lily depicts purity, tulips represent nobility, and sunflowers portray devotion. Flowers have inspired artists through the ages and have used their meaning to create breath taking beauty in their floral art compositions. Some famous paintings include Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” and Georgia O’Keefe’s “Red Poppy”.  Flower paintings make perfect house warming gifts because just about everyone loves them. They are very versatile and make great additions to the décor in any room of your home or even in the waiting room of an office. They make great conversation pieces and provide a welcoming atmosphere for family, visitors or customers and clients.

Why Artists Love to Paint Flowers

sunflower painting by van Gogh
Sunflowers by van Gough

Flowers have long been a favorite subject for many oil painting artists. The many colors, forms and shapes of flowers offer an endless diverseness within the compositions of the old masters. This is why flowers are loved as a subject matter by artists. The world over artists have immortalized the beauty of flowers in their art. Some famous floral art includes Monet’s “Water Lillies” and Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”. Monet was a French Impressionist of oil paintings. His paintings reflect the influence of light. His flower paintings are bright, colorful and distinctive and are among the most popular floral art for all time. Dutch post-Impressionist artist, Vincent van Gogh created some remarkable works of art. Among them are his famous still life paintings of sunflowers. These seem to have some special meaning for van Gogh because he painted eleven canvases with sunflowers. Other flowers van Gogh painted were irises, lilacs, roses and oleanders.

Additional Reading

The Flower Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe

The Flower Paintings of Vincent van Gogh


Using Linear Perspective to Create Depth in Your Paintings

linear perspectiveLinear perspective is a rendering technique used by fine artists to create the illusion of depth on a flat surface. It is the most basic form of perspective in which parallel lines appear to converge in the distance at a vanishing point on the horizon line. (See illustration right.) The technique is based on how the human eye perceives the world around us. Meaning objects which are closer to the viewer appear larger, while more distant objects appear to be getting smaller as they move away. Linear perspective comes into play when orthogonal (parallel) lines that recede into the distance appear to get closer together as they converge at a vanishing point on the composition’s horizon line.


bonnie and clyde car paintingForgotten Roads of Bygone Days
Landscape by Teresa Bernard
24″ x 18″
Oils on gallery wrap stretched canvas

>> More info


linear perspectiveThere are three basic elements that must be present in a work of art in order to make linear perspective possible. These are a horizon line, a vanishing point, and convergence lines. If any one of these elements is missing, the illusion of depth is weak.

Horizon line — The horizon line defines the farthest distance of the background and is the place where a central vanishing point is established. It is the level plane where the earth’s surface (or sea) and the sky appear to meet. The line at the top of mountains or buildings is not the horizon line; these objects “rest” on the horizon line.

The horizon line will ALWAYS be at eye level regardless of whether you are at ground level or standing on a mountain top. It changes as you change position. Sometimes hills, trees and buildings or other objects can hide it from view, but the horizon line will always be present.

Convergence lines — Also called orthogonal lines, convergence lines are when sets of parallel lines appear to get closer together as they recede into the distance and meet at a single vanishing point. All parallel lines will eventually converge at a vanishing point. Sometimes they can even represent the edges of objects and some objects can have more than one set of parallels lines. An example of this would be a box or cube. Depending on where it is viewed from, we can see one, two, or three sets of orthogonal lines.

Vanishing point — The point on the horizon line where all parallel lines appear to recede and converge at is called the vanishing point. It is helpful to note more than one vanishing point can be present. This is called two-point and three-point perspective. When there are two sets of parallel lines that appear to converge, there will be two vanishing points. If there are three sets of parallel lines, then there will be three vanishing points. See The Rules of Perspective for more information.

Assignment

  1. Create a rendering by drawing a straight highway or railroad tracks using a horizon line, vanishing point, and convergence lines.
  2. Use linear perspective to create depth in an illustration using a row of trees, a fence line, and/or telephone poles running alongside a road.

Additional Reading

Creating Depth in Your Paintings via Atmospheric Perspective


Creating Depth in Your Paintings via Atmospheric Perspective

Art Terms Used in a Discussion on Atmospheric Perspective

Atmospheric perspective (also known as aerial perspective) refers to the effect the atmosphere has on the appearance of an object as it is viewed from a distance. In art, and especially painting, artists attempt to mimic this effect as a way of creating depth or distance (three dimension) on an otherwise two dimensional (flat) surface.

Color saturation is a color’s purity of hue; it’s intensity.


national park wall paintingMonument Valley
Landscape by Teresa Bernard
16″ x 12″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info


Background is that part of a painting that appears to be farthest away from the viewer.

Horizon line is where the land (or sea) and sky appear to meet. This is an optical illusion however. It’s actually an imaginary line to which things recede.

Middle ground is the part of a painting that lies between the background and the foreground.

Foreground is the part of the painting that appears to be closest to the viewer.

Creating Atmospheric Perspective

Atmospheric or aerial perspective is achieved when the illusion of depth is created by depicting distant objects as paler, less detailed, and usually bluer or grayer than objects close up. Some ways this illusion can be created are by using the following techniques.

size and placement in perspectiveSize and placement — Objects appear smaller as they move further away from the viewer towards the horizon line. Larger objects tend to appear closer and smaller ones tend to recede into the background. Also related elements placed lower to the bottom of the canvas will appear to be closer to the viewer than those which are placed higher on the canvas.

overlapping objects in perspectiveOverlapping objects — The easiest and fastest way to create depth on a 2-D surface is to overlap objects. By partially covering one object with another it gives an appearance of depth. This can be accomplished by allowing the contour of one element to slightly cover the contour of another, so it looks like one item is physically sitting in front of another.

color saturation in perspectiveColor — As objects recede or move off into the distance the intensity of their color becomes less saturated and shifts towards the background color which is usually a blue-gray middle value. Even bright whites and rich blacks tend toward medium gray and will eventually disappear into the background.

  • Foreground = object are normal intense color
  • Middle ground = the color would b a little lighter in tone and bluer
  • Far distance, horizon line or background = colors would be much lighter and even more bluer

Contrast — As the distance between an object and the foreground increases, the contrast between the object and its background will decrease.

Tone or Value — Objects further away will appear lighter than those up close. Using a lighter tone on what’s in the distance of a landscape painting immediately gives a sense of depth.

Spacing — Objects that are clustered closer together seem farther away. Also horizontal lines will move closer or even converge (disappear) as they near the horizon line.

Focus — Objects tend to lose detail as they recede into the horizon. This does mean they are out of focus or blurry.

Assignment

  1. Use atmospheric perspective to create depth in an illustration or painting of only two or more mountain ranges.
  2. Create depth in an illustration or painting of a field of sunflowers or other type of flower using “size and placement”.

Additional Reading

The Rules of Perspective


Some Unearthly Landscapes Around The World That Would Make Extraordinary Space Art Paintings

lunar footprint painting
First Footprint on the Moon

Are you looking for some inspiration or ideas for that next space art painting? As you can imagine, space artists have a bit of a challenge when it comes to reference material for their cosmic paintings. After all is said and done, they can’t travel off to some other planet to paint on location. One way for these artists to remedy this situation is to travel around the world in search of suitable typography that will make them feel like they’re on another planet.

Below is a list of earthly locations right here on Earth with some rather surreal looking places featuring lunar-like rock formations or “out-of-this-world” looking dunes that, when combined with a little imagination, would make for some rather extraordinary paintings of other world places. This is by no means a comprehensive list and there are no photos, however, if you do a search for each location that is listed below in “Google images” you will find some suitable images to work with.


space art painting Neil Armstrong astronautFirst Man on The Moon
Space Art by Teresa Bernard
24″ x 18″
Oils on gallery wrap stretched canvas

>> More info


  • Antelope Canyon, Arizona
  • surreal landscapes
    Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

    Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

  • Badab-e Surt, Iran
  • Berca Mud Volcanoes, Romania
  • Black Desert, Egypt
  • Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico
  • Capadoccia, Turkey
  • Cano Cristales, Serranía De La Macarena, Colombia
  • Cariboo Region, British Columbia, Canada
  • Cave In Algarve, Portugal
  • Cave of Crystals, Mexico
  • Cenote Angelita, Mexico
  • Champagne Pool, Waiotapu, New Zealand
  • Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines
  • Dallol Volcano, Ethiopia
  • Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
  • Danau Kelimutu, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia
  • Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming
  • other worldly landscape
    Devil’s Town, Serbia

    Devil’s Town, Serbia

  • Dragonblood Trees, Socotra, Yemen
  • Egerszalok, Hungary
  • Emerald Ice On Baikal Lake, Russia
  • Eye of the Sahara, Mauritania
  • Eyes Of The Devil – Prohodna Cave, Bulgaria
  • Fingal’s Cave, Scotland
  • Fly Ranch Geyser, Nevada
  • Gates To Hell, Derweze, Turkmenistan
  • Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
  • Glowworms Cave, New Zealand
  • Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming
  • Hang Son Doong Cave, Vietnam
  • Hornocal Mountains, Argentina
  • Ischigualasto Provincial Park, Argentina
  • Jökulsárlón, Iceland
  • Kerið – Grímsnes, Island
  • Kerlingarfjoll, Iceland
  • Koekohe Beach, New Zealand
  • Lake Natron, Tanzania
  • Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil
  • Marble Caves, Chile
  • Meteora, Greece
  • Monte Roraima, Venezuela
  • Moon Valley, Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, Brazil
  • Mt. Roraima, Venezuela
  • Naica Mine, Mexico
  • Namib Desert, Namibia
  • Nishinoshima, Japan
  • Odle, Dolomites, Italy
  • Painted Dunes, Lassen Volcanic National Park, USA
  • Pamukkale, Turkey
  • Pancake Rocks, New Zealand
  • Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
  • Pinnacles Desert, Western Australia
  • alien landscape
    Rainbow Mountains, Vinicunca, Peru

    Rainbow Mountains, Vinicunca, Peru

  • Red Beach, Panjin, China
  • Rock Cave, Petra, Jordan
  • Roraima, Venezuela
  • Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
  • Salvador Dali Desert, Uyuni, Bolivia
  • Seven Colors Rocks, Mauritius
  • Seven Giants, Russia
  • Shilin Stone Forest, China
  • Skaftafell Glacier, Iceland
  • Sossusvlei, Namibia
  • Spotted Lake, Canada
  • The Wave, Arizona
  • The White Desert, Egypt
  • Tianzi Mountains, China
  • Tongariro National Park, New Zealand
  • Tsingy De Bemaraha, Madagascar
  • Tunnel of Love, Ukraine
  • Twelve Apostles, Australia
  • Uluru, Australia
  • Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
  • Valley of the Moon, Atacama Desert, Chile
  • Wave Rock, Australia
  • White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
  • Whitehaven Beach, Australia
  • Window To Hell, Kamchatka, Russia
  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  • Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, China

This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it in any particular order. When you visit these places be sure to take your camera along to take lots of reference photos for your paintings. Once you get back to your studio you will have lots of fun as you immortalize your memories of these places on canvas wall art.

Did your favorite “alien” landscape location make the list? If not, and you think it would make an extraordinary space art painting, feel free to add it below in comments.

Additional Reading

Becoming an Artist of Space Paintings

Space Art by Teresa Bernard