Painting flowers can be an incredibly challenging visual problem to solve for a painter. They exhibit such delicacy and a mix of subtle and saturated colour, that capturing their essence can be elusive.
In the work above, a copy of a beautiful painting by amazing artist Micheal Klein, the student has done a great job of using free and fluid brushwork to give the subject a wonderful sense of atmosphere and delicacy. Notice how the representation of the flowers borders almost on the abstract. Nothing too picky or fussy about the rendering of the forms of the flower petals.
Also notice how loosely the paint is handled. The edges of the objects have a great almost luminous softness to them. The flowers themselves seem to be radiating their colour into their surroundings.
An important element present in this picture that helps to draw our focus to the flowers is the fact that there is a great deal of neutral, or greyish colour throughout the work. Remember, colour can look more vivid if it is localised within an environment where there isn’t too much competing chroma, or saturation of colours. Too much saturated colour in a picture is akin to hearing an orchestra play where every instrument is being played as loudly as possible. It’s simply too much. There needs to be an order and subordination of one instrument to the other or it’s simply a cacophony rather than music. Colour is exactly the same. Want your colours to look brighter? Be selective in the amount that you use and learn to love greys, browns, beiges, and all the other understated colours of the spectrum.