If you’ve ever visited a museum, you’ve probably noticed that artists seem to find a lot of inspiration in flowers. Famous artists like Georgia O’Keefe and Antoine Berjon used blooms frequently in their paintings, probably because flowers represent the natural beauty all around us. If you’re a burgeoning artist looking for a bit of inspiration, why not choose flowers as your subject matter?

Discounted flowers or blooming plants would be the perfect choice for setting up a still life. You won’t have to worry about the longevity of the blooms if they’re cheap enough to buy several of, and flowering plants will last quite a while, so there’s no rush to get your piece finished.

If you choose to do a painting, there are several things to keep in mind. The quality of your materials, lighting and subject matter are important. You want to make sure you have adequate lighting and plenty of different paint colors to choose from. A variety of brushes should also be available, so you can get varied levels of detail.

woman with potted orchid in foreground

You may want to start out by painting from a photograph, since you won’t have to worry about changing light. Just make sure the picture isn’t grainy, has plenty of light and is close up to the subject so you can see it clearly. When you’re painting, don’t be afraid to use bright colors right from the tube. Some of the hues found in nature are actually this saturated and bright, so there’s not always a need for mixed colors. If you do find that you need to make a color darker, avoid using black paint. Instead, opt for a color on the opposite side of the color wheel. This will ensure a more natural look.

If painting isn’t your thing and you’d rather engage in some flower photography, make sure you create a focal point by mixing contrasting colors or zooming in on a particular detail. Also, don’t forget to consider your background, as the viewer will notice if there’s anything strange or out of place in the picture. Keep in mind that your picture will be more unique if you place the flowers in an interesting place where they normally wouldn’t be seen.

As long as you take your time setting up your flower arrangement and have plenty of patience, you should end up with a nice piece that you could turn into a gift for someone’s birthday. A framed painting or photograph from a friend or family member is sure to be something that the recipient will want to prominently display.