How to prepare a Floral Subject for your Upcoming Art Projects

Koch&Co-A-floral-masterpieceWe have been immersed in the beauty of Spring this past month and the blooming flowers it has brought in its wake. Flowers have always been a common focal point amongst artists from Monet to O’Keefe.

With this season in full bloom, you may like to take inspiration from the natural world. Whether you’re creating a photography spread or painting, we are going to give you some pointers to consider for preparing a beautiful floral subject for your next project.

1. Choose Your Floral Subject
This is a large consideration that requires a lot of factors to think about before your final decision. Here are some questions you may want to pose to yourself when deciding on your floral subject:

One or a bunch?:
Do you want your art to focus on a singular rose? Or do you want a whole bouquet instead? This will be important to consider as this will likely influence the type of flower you use, and where it will be positioned in your artwork.

Flower type:
Now that you know the amount of flowers, which type speaks to you artistically? You may want to really lean into the Spring season and have one or many daffodils as the subject. Or a bundle of lilacs which represent the joys of youthfulness. Flowers have different meanings, so choosing one with a meaning that resonates with you will add even more depth to your artwork.

Which colour will your floral subject be? White flowers represent innocence and humility while red represents desire and passion. Flower type and colour work hand in hand to convey meaning, so deciding on these two factors in tandem is important.

Real or not real?:
When creating your floral subject, you may like to possibly consider artificial flowers to make up part of the arrangement. This will also depend on the medium of artwork. If you are taking a series of photographs, you may want to use just real flowers, as they will be a more authentic subject matter. However, if you are creating a painting, artificial flowers can be more inexpensive plus require less delicacy when moving around and arranging.

Try out some greenery:
You may like to add a different element to your floral subject. Adding plants to your subject is a great way to break up the flowers and add some greenery to the arrangement. Whether they are real or artificial plants, they will bring texture and a freshness you may be seeking to your artwork.

2. Arrange & Position
Now that you have chosen your floral subject, it needs to be arranged and positioned within the frame. As this article is about preparing a floral subject, it will have to be positioned in a focal point in the artwork or photograph. This will likely be in the foreground, although it can still be in the midground and be the focal point of the space.

Its arrangement will also influence how it is positioned. Many floral subjects come in vases, which likely means the vase will be placed atop a table or even held. While arranging flowers is an art in itself, here are some key takeaways from the process:

  • Cut the stems of the flowers at a 45 degree angle. This will tidy the ends of them up, as well as allowing them to absorb more water.
  • Choose a vase that is tall enough to contain most of the stem, and wide enough to of course place all the flowers easily inside.
  • Place the focal flower/s at the centre of the vase. Then add the other flowers and foliage around the focal one if you are using multiple flowers. You may want the aid of floral tape to secure the stems in place, particularly if you want them perfectly positioned for a photo.

The flowers don’t necessarily have to be placed in a vase either. You may like the flower/s to be held for your photograph or artwork. This may be in an aerial angle, where outstretched arms and the top of the flower arrangement are the focal point. Or a close up of a midsection of a body holding the flower subject in front of them.

No matter how you configure it, the floral arrangement should be the subject of the artwork wherein the other elements work around and complement it.

3. About The Background
While this article is largely about your floral subject, it is important to give some thought about the background of your artwork. Many artworks with floral subjects do not have bold backgrounds so as to not draw attention away from the flower arrangement.

This will often mean a one-colour or a soft gradient background, likely in blue or green to represent the sky and grass. It can also be the same colour as your flower, but in a different, lighter shade, such as a lavender gradient to complement your violet floral subject.

This subtle approach to the background is the best route to go when it comes to your floral subject based artwork. If you want to have a more differentiated background, you may like to add subtle texture through painting a swirl pattern in your background, or if you are taking a photograph, placing an artificial green wall at the back of your subject. These allow for a more unique arrangement that does not look out of place and doesn’t detract from your floral subject.

A Floral Masterpiece In The Making
There you have it! These are our top tips for preparing a floral subject for your upcoming art projects. This is just the groundwork for your next project. Once you’ve got your subject, don’t forget to make a list of the materials you need and have a plan on how the artwork should look, so you go in creating with a vision.

We hope you feel inspired to bask in the wonder and beauty of Spring, and create timeless floral artworks to pay homage to the season.

Image: A floral masterpiece (supplied)