Flower Power

  • Software:Photoshop CS6  ·

Rules of the Exercise

  • 1
    Download and open the practice worksheet for this exercise
  • 2
    Observe and analyze each of the flowers up for study. Follow the guides of the instructor notes and execute to the best of your understanding.
  • 3
    Submit your work under the "Submissions" tab for grading!

- Overview

  Last exercise (E39: Sliced Fruit) we focused on isolated highlights and how those can make such an empowering difference in your final result. This week we are flipping it upside down and focusing on creating just as powerful of a result with little to NO highlights. For this exercise, I want you to find your own references of each flower and look at how each has a distinct shape and transition of color from petal to petal. And you can work with a light and sun direction but I would recommend working more with a neutral lit flower and how the colors of each flower are the focus. You can read my other tips for each under the practice sheet but the overall focus on gradients, transitioning and edging. The six flowers to look up are as follows: Pansy, Orchid, Daisy, Chrysanthemum, Rose, and Marigold. You can choose your own colors for each flower and play with how those colors work with each other and how gradients can add a subtle yet important detail. Below is the practice worksheet that you can download! You can find this on the "Downloads" tab under the header image near the top of this exercise! E40_PracticeSheet

- Tips

  • REFERENCE. Please use reference and find ones that inspire you.
  • Be Bold, start with a bold foundation of a specific hue for that flower!
  • Gradients can add interest and a subtle change in the monotony of each color without being drastic
  • Focus where one color ends and the next begins. This hard edge contrast will separate the forms.
  • Don't rush the details. What makes each flower unique takes some time to recreate, but it's worth it.
  • Be Patient. Especially when layering or doing repetition.
These observation exercises can definitely transition into character work or environment work once you can see how adding subtle gradients can have such an interesting effect on the overall look of what you're working on. This can also be seen as a lesson in patience as doing repetitious forms and details can take time, but the effort pays off with the final result!

- Instructor Notes

  This one is a challenge, not only are there 6 flowers to draw and detail but I didn't give out any reference images this time around either. So big congrats to those that gave the attempt and continue testing building values without the need for highlights. Below is my example and step by step chart for those that are looking to try out this exercise for themselves. I also used some of the Concept Cookie basic brushes to produce the results as well as a couple of the Citizen texture brushes (Rust Texture and Freckles Brushes). It's instances like this when you can use a brush meant for to produce a "rust" effect and it works really well in creating the imperfectness of the petal texture.
  1. Outline – Begin with the overall look and shape to each flower, and remember that petals are NOT perfect on the edges and remember to overlap when necessary.
  2. Solid Base – Choose a solid base color from a reference and work more neutral or even closer to a darker value to build upon.
  3. Softer Color Transitions – Apply the secondary color softly and quickly but with purpose! And don't worry about going outside the edges, focus on the color.
  4. "Edging" – Before removing the outline, push the colors right up against the line art of each petal. This will create an illusion of depth from the edge contrast.
  5. Remove Outlines and Refine – When you hide the line art layer, you should see the forms created through the contrast. Then from there you can start to refine and clean up the overall "look" of the flower.
  6. Add Interest and Final Toches – Depending on how you want your final look, you could add some touches of overlay, add some texture brush, or maybe soften the edges. It's up to you to add whatever final detail you would like to push the detailing of each flower!
E40_FlowerPowerResults When you finish the exercise, remember to submit the result to the "Submissions" tab near the top of this exercise. You can see other submissions alongside your own!