Thursday, July 29, 2021

Grunge Looks Good on Flower Still Lifes!

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by! 

Today I would like to share a flower still life video tutorial with you that I've made in my new home close to the lake. Once my flower still life was done and the filming finished and I started taking pictures of it for the write up, I realised what had subconsciously also influenced the design! My original plan with this painting was to demonstrate how well a weathered and grungy style goes with the tender topic of wild flowers, but when I found out how much of the new home and environment I am in had gone into the painting as well, I wanted to share that too. 

In my last column I've shared a first tour around my new studio in our new house, so you might already know that it is a wood house I am living in. Wood on the outside AND the inside - no white I have decorated the rooms with hints of turquoise and blues here and there as that looks best against the warm brown wooden walls. And obviously I have picked the same colour scheme for my painting (which was an unconscious choice)! Wooden walls and blue-green vases! I really realised the visual parallels when I came down from my upstairs studio after having finished the painting and looked at the dinner table with the flowers on it: 

...and also my studio has the grey tones against the warm brown from the wooden walls that obviously
have influenced my choices for the painting's background colours and substrate...

It's funny how the mind works, isn't it? ;)

But on to the original theme of today's column: texture and a grungy and weathered style are not only suitable for industrial or steampunk style topics! Fragile and tender flowers get a visual boost by these too! 
Working on a substrate and background that already provide texture and depth from different layers always adds a lot of interest and liveliness to paintings - especially when it comes to still lifes which - as their name indicates - are quite...still! So bringing in movement and texture for the eye to behold and follow is a good thing - and if you do it at a subtle dosage it doesn't take anything off the main stars - the flowers. As with so many things it is all about the right measure. 

My video takes you through the whole process and shows how I did the background, which stencils, media and tools I have used and it also gives some hints on composition. 

StencilGirl® stencils used: 

- Playful Petals by Jennifer Evans
- Wild Daisies by Jennifer Evans
- Wildflowers by Jennifer Evans
- Retro Vases and Blooms by Lucie Duclos
- Herbs stencil by Jessica Sporn

As you will find, I didn't bother whether my still life looks realistic or not. I focused on playing with transparency and opaqueness of the acrylic paints to create even more layers (and thus colour tones) and depth. 
You may wonder why I didn't paint the flowers' stems in the vases as these obviously are meant to look transparent...well, I didn't add the stems because they would have caused too much visual "noise" - lots of lines crossing each other in three different spots in the painting. But I wanted to have my still life look calm and not have anything distract any attention from the blossoms, the vases' decor and the background textures and layers. So stems would have just been too much! And the freedom of the painter is that she can create her own "reality" and does not have to follow the rules of physics blindly, right? ;)

I hope you like my painting and the tutorial and that it has encouraged you to try your own weathered and grungy flower still lifes! I promise it will be great fun and so rewarding to indulge in creating texture on your backgrounds and then go over these with your favourite colours and flowers stencils! 

Hugs and happy painting,


  1. I love what you did here. Thanks for the video showing how you did it!

    1. Thank YOU, Terry! So glad you like the project and the video! xxx


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