Course: Floral and Decorative Illustration

Calea Victoriei Foundation

2017 – present

For plastic artists, flowers have been, and still are, one of the main sources of inspiration for their work. Each flower or plant is unique in appearance, and the Floral and Decorative Illustration course offers varied methods of reproducing them as faithfully as possible.

The workshop is dedicated for beginners and for more advanced in painting. In the first two meetings we try to acquire the basic knowledge of botanical painting, while in the next meetings, based on the lessons learned, we will make complex floral compositions.

In this regard, at the end of the Floral and Decorative Illustration course, we will have the knowledge and skills needed to make pencil sketches, draw them as realistically as possible, then shape them and incorporate them into compositions as harmonious as possible.

We also practice the most commonly used watercolor techniques: wet on wet, wet on land, negative painting, hard and soft edges, we use special effects by using masking fluid, salt, napkin or wax. The workshop is structured in five meetings.

  1. The course starts by learning to draw and paint leaves of various shapes and sizes. We learned different ways to accomplish them, from realist to abstract. We learn to recreate the shadows and lights of a leaf with ribbons inspired by the realistic botanical illustrations of artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Vincent van Gogh. Support is provided by the lecturer throughout the meeting.
  2. We learn to draw flowers in pencil and watercolor. In this session we made a series of practical exercises, pencil drawing and painting in watercolor of different flowers, in a realistic and abstract way. In the first case, we were learning to render the light and the shadow of the flowers and by practice to get as closer to reality, and in the second case we learned to synthesize the image and choose the most important elements of a plant. In order to acquire the work technique as quickly as possible, each exercise is also presented by the lecturer – through demonstrations.
  3. The series of exercises from the previous course should be continued in order to master and assimilate the acquired knowledge. The lecturer’s interventions and support are less and less pronounced.
  4. Together we make a complex flower arrangement. We learn to draw the sketch of a botanical composition. Then we transpose the sketch into a drawing and a watercolor painting. We learn to render flower petals in shadows and lights and ribbed leaves. We also learn the techniques of watercolor painting: wet on wet, wet on land, negative painting, hard and soft edges, etc. We use special effects by using masking fluid, salt, napkin or wax to make a realistic flower painting.
  5. Finalizing the work started in the previous session, we learn to put correctly the final touches of the finished composition.

The workshop ends with a session of questions and answers and future developing topics.