Photo-realism via Impressionism: Glowing flower of the Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  designed by Peter Inglis.
Achieve photo-realistic effects as we capture the intimacy of the sunset illuminating these tiny purple flowers.

About this session

The Crepe Myrtle's flower is so small (1-2 cm) you can't even see it from a few metres away.

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  designed by Peter Inglis.
My mother's garden, looking west. The Crepe Myrtle is the central bush at the far end.

As I walked toward this bush I could see tiny flickering red lights. What was this? Magic? Solar powered LEDs?

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  designed by Peter Inglis.
The source image from my photograph.

No, amazingly it turned out to be the sunset lighting up these delicate purple flowers from behind. As the sun's rays hit these dancing flowers they would momentarily glow a brilliant pink!

Isn't nature full of miracles?

What will we learn in this painting?

We will learn that photo-realism in a painting is NOT achieved by a pedantic transcription of what you see in a photograph.

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  designed by Peter Inglis.

Rather, as the impressionists showed us, there is a specific language of applying paint to canvas, which enables our brain to construct 'reality'.

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  designed by Peter Inglis.

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  designed by Peter Inglis.

  • Depth
  • Focal Point
  • Hard and soft edges
  • Impasto
  • Impressionist style
  • Painting from a Photograph
  • Palette knife
  • Photo-realism
  • Texture

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  designed by Peter Inglis.
Stage 2: Blocking in the colours

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  designed by Peter Inglis.
Stage 3: Developing the textures

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  designed by Peter Inglis.
Stage 4: Detail

In another painting we will capture the sunset hitting the leaves of the Crepe Myrtle.

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  designed by Peter Inglis.
Leaf of the Crepe Myrtle

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