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Making Art

Flower Power: Painting Flowers in Acrylic

"The earth laughs in flowers." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is your art ever inspired by photographs? I can't begin to count the number of stunning flower photographs appearing in my Instagram feed this time of year (Peonies in the early summer? Gorgeous). I would love to turn some of those beauties into paintings that will liven up my walls, even into the dark and dreary winter months.

I have a special spot in my heart for orchids. They decorated the tables at our wedding reception and are generally such interesting flowers. They are delicate yet intricate and faithfully bloom each year, despite remaining dormant in the cold. How to Draw and Paint: Flowers gives detailed directions for sketching and painting orchids—as well as other flowers—with acrylic paint!

Since orchids come in many colors, feel free to use whichever color inspires you. I love the ones with purple hues, but the yellow and cerulean in the example are equally as stunning. It's fascinating to see how the flower takes shape from an initial mess of color—layers of blue and white provide a canvas for details to follow on top.

Look at the incredible progression from the first image to the final product.

Images excerpted from Oil & Acrylic: Flowers

I love the depth the acrylic paint adds as opposed to the softness of watercolors. But perhaps you want your flowers to stay abstract instead of transitioning into realism. With Oil & Acrylic: Flowers as your guide through the world of acrylics, you have the freedom and tools to dream big.

Are there any flowers that hold a special place in your heart that you'd like to commit to art?

Heather Linder

Heather is a journalist and writer living in Chicago with her composer husband and art-loving puppy, Lancelot. She's on an endless quest for the city's best coffee and is endlessly inspired by Chicago's magnificent skyline. Heather is a bookworm, aspiring chef, and NPR fanatic. She's in the process of teaching her beagle to use a French press and overcoming her fear of DIY.

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