I love adding unique little extra details to my paintings.
Nibble holes, strong cast shadows, crispy edges to leaves, and even the odd raindrop have all made their way into my pieces, and I find these really satisfying to paint. They can also make you feel really good about your painting, as these little bits are often really easy to do.
When I first started painting in the botanical style I went along with the idea that the subjects I was trying to portray had to be perfect, and life-sized. As a student or a beginner, this is often the best way to go as it’s hard enough just trying to paint the thing, let alone start trying to over think it.
Once you’ve got going a bit, that’s the time to start playing, and really enjoying the painting process. Have fun and practice a few new things in your sketchbook. perhaps a technique you’ve seen another artist using, or perhaps a new element to add to your work.
Why not have a go at painting a simple cast shadow beneath a petal or leaf that you have painted. Usually as botanical artists we wouldn’t paint in a shadow beneath our subjects as this grounds them to the surface, and creates a still life. That said, it’s just fun to do, and also gives you a bit of practice on how to get a hard and a soft edge. Often a tricky thing to get right. In this video I show you how to achieve a subtle shadow beneath a simple rose petal study. Give it a go