Planter des graines d'inspiration pour l'art floral

Cultivate Your Floral Art Skills

It’s April, and you know what they say about this month: “April showers bring May flowers.” And flowers are perfect art subjects. They are beautiful, plentiful and able to “pose” for hours without a break. The forms, colors and textures of flowers delight and challenge. And, whatever your preferred genre and medium, you can learn a lot from painting and drawing floral art.

Flower Still Life by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder | Floral Art Prompts and Tips | Artists Network

Flower Still Life by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, 1614

Ready to add fresh blooms into your art-making mix this month? Below are a few floral art prompts and tips from top botanical artists.

Anatomy of Flowers

Artist Eric Wert recommends studying botanical anatomy. “No need to get a degree in botany,” he says. “But understanding the structure, function and ecology of a plant will help you reason out problems in your painting in the same way that understanding human anatomy would help a figurative painter.”

Peonies by Eric Wert | Floral Art Prompts and Tips | Artists Network

Peonies by Eric Wert, oil on canvas, 36 x 48

Blooming Sketches

Create several quick sketches of the same flower from different points of view — from above, below, the sides, front or back.

Try zooming in for a close-up sketch. Lay the flower on its side, or suspend it upside down.

Many Shades of White

Paint a white flower. Notice how many actual, reflected and shadowed hues go into the “whiteness” of the flower.

Photo of White Flower by Getty Images | Floral Art Prompts and Tips | Artists Network

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Edgy Blossoms

For Louise B. Hafesh, hard edges in a painting can go a long way to catch the viewer’s eye. “A few well-placed, harder edges on the star of the show (outer petals, for example) help viewers [hone] in on the focal point and lure them into your painting,” explains Hafesh.

Illuminating Florals

Want to emphasize the three-dimensional form over the two-dimensional shape of your flowers? “Alter the direction of a single light source onto an arrangement of flowers to create variations in the shadowing and highlighting,” advises John Sollinger.

Photo of wildflowers by Getty Images | Floral Art Prompts and Tips | Artists Network

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The Great Outdoors

Give plein air a try when it comes to your floral subjects. Set up an easel in your garden or a nearby park.

Hand-Picked Arrangements

Pick up some blossoms at a local florist or from your own garden and try your hand at arranging them. Then, paint or draw your arrangement.

Refrigerate your floral arrangement between sessions to help retain the freshness. Replace buds as necessary, or work the wilted flowers into your composition.

Vibrant Values

Go black and white. Think of flowers in terms of their values instead of colors. Or, try altering the colors of your flowers.

Paint a red bud in blue or a purple blossom in orange. Either way, remember to think in terms of values rather than the actual hues you see.

Photo of black-and-white flowers courtesy of Getty Images | Floral Art Prompts and Tips | Artists Network

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Single Studies

Treat your floral art as portraiture by painting or drawing studies of single blooms. In doing this, you can think of your flower subject as a unique individual with personality and gesture. Want to give it a try? Click here to see how Katie G. Whipple paints a single rose, petal by petal.

Budding Details

“Every flower has specific characteristic’s that make it ‘that flower’ and special,” states Jane Jones, who recommends buying some flowers and drawing their structure in as much detail as possible.

“Take a couple of them apart to see how all of the parts go together,” she continues. “Grow your own and see how they form and mature.”

Ascension by Jane Jones | Floral Art Prompts and Tips | Artists Network

Ascension by Jane Jones, oil on canvas, 26 x 32

Floral Art Displays

Once you have created your floral composition, put it on virtual display by sharing your work with us on Instagram! Tag us @artistmagazine using #artistmagazine_Prompts to show us your fresh floral paintings and drawings.

These floral art prompts and tips, with contributions by Holly Davis, first appeared in Artists Magazine. Subscribe here.

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