|Orange and Yellow Iris 7x5 oil on canvas panel|
Flowers are difficult to paint especially if you're painting them outside. Bugs, wind, changing light, they're all there to add to the frustration and intimidation of painting something so delicate. Probably the biggest difficulty painting flowers is wrapping your mind around the complexity of all of it. Flowers are simple shapes but the foreshortening of the petals is tricky and all of the stems and leaves around them make for a confusing composition. What you have to do is simplify the scene. This goes for anything really. What I do is draw in the lines of my primary interest. My focus was on that one particular iris so I only drew it in and left out all of the details from the other leaves and stems. You can see I went in at the end with some random strokes to suggest the tall leaves that grow around the irises. Only drawing in my primary focus helped me keep the painting about that one flower and made it easier for me to paint. I wasn't looking all around trying to figure out what I left out or if some random leaf was leaning right or left.