Another Paph!

by Mindy on May 14, 2012

in Botanical Art, Orchids, Uncategorized, Watercolor Tips

Painting #18- 52/52 Painting Challenge

White and Purple Paphiopedilum- Watercolor ©2012 Mindy Lighthipe

A few weeks ago I was at the Gainesville Orchid Society meeting and they had a silent auction on some of the members plants. I found this miniature paph and fell in love with it. I am used to seeing paphs with long slender stems with big blooms on the end. The flowers are almost always staked up. The orchid was very compact. As soon as I placed my bid I noticed that another member had placed a bid on it. I paced around the room and finally came back and bid on it again. It was nerve racking for about 40 minutes when I finally told the other bidder I would arm wrestle her for it. She laughed and we each decided that we were each bidding on several orchids. We discussed which ones were "gotta have". Luckily for both of us we were both thrilled with the orchids we took home.

One of the things I do when I first get a plant is to spend time drawing it from all different angles.I find that the more I draw it the more I learn and figure out what is the best angle to portray it from. With this orchid Iiked that back of it as much as I liked the front of it……. So I worked into my composition both of the drawings that I did as sketches into the final painting. I hope that you like it.

When you start a painting, how do you decide the composition?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Vicki Greene May 15, 2012 at 7:05 am


Mindy May 15, 2012 at 7:40 am

Thanks Vicki!

Wrenaissance Art May 15, 2012 at 10:53 am

Lovely painting. I like the large, reverse-S composition very much.
I tend to think of the negative shapes and flow of forms on the page when drawing for a painting, even if the core of the plant is centered on the paper. Inspiration from the plant's form and the abstract geometrics of the page layout.

Mindy May 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Thanks Wren! I draw a lot using negative space to see proportion and angles. I guess I use it for composition too…I never thought about it. Thanks for adding your comment. I will take more notice of my compositions for negative shapes.

Anita May 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm

I usually do thumbnails, trying out both vertical and horizontal layouts,and sometimes rotating the view of the object for a different objective(much as you have here).  I agree that those negative spaces are really important.

Mindy May 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Hi Anita,
I have always resisted doing thumbnail sketches. Some of my friends tease me about doing them. I have trouble thinking that abstract and that small. I know for some people they are a great way to work things out. Thanks for posting!

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