Wednesday 25 July 2012

Process of Botanical Painting

Early mornings are my quiet time. I often see the sun rise and experience some wonderful sunrises, which I will share with you in the future. While the city sleeps, I begin my day by checking my emails and critiquing my External Students work. Luckily I am a morning person and I love what I do.

A friend emailed me a quote last night that says "time expands to fit in what has to be done." This is certainly true in my case, as I juggle about 3 or 4 projects at a time.

Today I want to take you on a journey through the creation of a botanical painting, and will use my Callistemon to demonstrate this. The final painting of this was in yesterday's post. It is all about the process.

1st wash. The subject is painted with a diluted wash (layer of colour). At this stage you can check to ensure the work is balanced tonally and spatially. Alterations can be made at this time.

2nd wash. Another layer of paint is appled to all areas, except the flowers. Many layers may be necessary to achieve the required colour intensity.

3rd wash. The shadows are added and more detail is applied.

4th wash. The flowers are added and more still more detail is applied. There must be colour harmony throughout the painting. There must be  balance in Tone, Space and Colour.

Detail. My love of botanical art is in the detail. Many contented hours are spent working on the final stages of a painting. 
I look forward to sharing more of my work and thoughts with you as we travel along this journey through art.

Today I am finishing off a magazine article for a publication called Artists' Back to Basics' where I am a regular contributor, and also completing an article for the Botanical Art Society of Australia's Newsletter. Will keep you posted as to when my articles are published.

There are another two articles awaiting publication for Australian Artist magazine. And last but not least, I would like to begin a new painting as I have several wonderful and exciting subjects I recently acquired, and they are begging to be painted!


  1. Hi Leonie, thanks very much for sharing the process of painting this beautiful plant.
    I love to see more in future:-)

  2. Its very generous of you to share the process step by step Leonie. I love this composition as well as the plant. I understand your comments about love of adding the detail - indeed that is the best part of the process eh! regards Jacqui :)