The source photo for this painting was a photo I took of this striking flower in my backyard a couple of years ago. I'd always meant to get around to painting it, but kept getting side tracked by other projects. The official name for this flower is a Strelitzia.
The first step was to do a pencil sketch of the outline of the distinctive shapes that make this flower seem bird like. The orange and blue parts of the petals needed to be very bright and striking, as it is in real life - the type of flower that really needs to stand out and be noticed !
It didn't take long to paint the main central flower, but in this painting, the negative space, or background was also quite important, as it actually takes up about half of the space on the page. The actual photo has a dark, dull green background, but I preferred to bring out more blues and purples as well as the main green leaf, as I thought the blue would really make the orange stand out vividly. The shade of bright electric blue in the background gives it a more surreal quality and I think makes the painting look more flat or abstract, as the background is almost as bright as the foreground - almost like a stained glass art painting. I painted the background in segments, which is what a glass painter would presumably do.
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.