In the Studio: Dahlia Botanical Portrait

Thursday, September 29, 2016

It has been busy period in the studio as I am now creating a new collection of paintings and mixed media collages.  Recently, this robust pink dahlia became the subject of a botanical portrait to be painted in acrylic on canvas.  The flower was placed in a white embossed vase to enhance the clarity and contrast I wished to achieve within the background I envisioned.  It is shown in front of a new and inspirational mood board I created which has some similar colors and values.

A myriad of petals catching the light made this bloom particularly interesting to paint.  Also its large size was quite spectacular, nearly matching the width of a dinner plate.

I challenged myself to paint this image spontaneously and directly on the canvas rather than relying on a preliminary drawing.  It was fun to intuitively layer the petals with strokes of vibrant paint as shown in the unfinished image above. The resulting effect was a much looser and more painterly style in the final artwork.

The dramatic mood of this work pleased me.  Perhaps the painting of an object of such beauty could be seen to evoke a sense of hope and joy which can be discovered even in the presence of darkness.

I hope you enjoy this piece!

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