More than 2000 types of orchids currently make studying and dealing with orchids a very engaging and fulfilling activity.
It’s a privilege to see the curves on their leaves, the color shades and textures of the flowers, and the strokes on the orchid stems.
It is furthermore an excellent hobby to delve into orchid painting while combining it with planting.
How To Paint An Orchid
To paint an orchid, start by determining the type of orchid you want to plant, which acts as a muse. This is followed by selecting the components needed for the painting. Then paint the orchid and let the painting dry before preserving it in a frame at home.
Steps In Painting An Orchid
I use these steps to come up with a beautiful orchid painting:
Step 1 — Obtain a Muse
An orchid muse is a picture or portrait or real-life representation of the orchid to be painted. It serves as an inspiration to an artist.
Selecting an orchid muse is an entertaining activity. Some tips help me settle on a muse.
I could even use one of my actual orchids from my garden as a muse. It’s essential to be decisive as there are lots of orchid types to choose from and paint.
Sometimes I decide to be spontaneous and combine different orchid types in one painting.
I have found out that it’s best to start with plain colored and regular shaped orchids, and with time, it gets easier to handle complex shapes and patterns. Some of my favorites are:
- Cattleya- One stem of this particular orchid can bear up to 8 color combinations.
- Cycnoches- Have fun-shaped petals
- Phalaenopsis– Have unique leaf patterns
- Dendrobium- Has a lot of flower color combinations and has pendant-like stems. Florists use it for bouquets.
Step 2 — Select Components for Painting
From experience, I have found it best to determine what I will use or what I may need for painting before I start painting.
This is to avoid situations whereby paint runs out as I paint or space (canvas or paper) to paint on runs out.
The following are some important considerations before beginning to paint:
How Big The Painting Size Is
This will help determine the size of the final painting frame. It’s good to decide on this since I sometimes have painted something too small for my wall or too big for my office desk.
Suppose I am making a gift that may have to be shipped.
In that case, I will also consider painting a small-sized painting to help me save on shipping costs or even reduce the chances of damage during transport.
The size dictates the final price of the material that you’ll paint on.
I Select Material to Paint On, Paint and Brushes
There are many materials available in most art supply shops. I prefer primarily working on canvas.
There are surface and paint combinations recommended for best results.
For example, suppose I am using acrylic paints. In that case, I’d go for paper specifically hardened and designed for use with acrylic paints.
The brush types will determine the general texture of your painting. I have a paintbrush set which gives me the flexibility to switch brushes for different textures.
Other materials may include acrylic gesso used to preserve acrylic paintings for years.
I have also tried out using plant-based watercolor dyes, which helps me support green artistry.
Which Protective Gear To Use
Painting can be a messy activity, and it’s good to prepare for the paint. I usually cover my hair, clothes, and work area to avoid having a hard time cleaning the surface when I am done.
It’s also good to use a face mask since some paints can activate body allergies.
Step 3 — Painting the Orchid
With the correct components and a keen mind, it’s now time to paint my orchid. I normally follow these steps:
I Select an appropriate work area
It is beneficial to use a well-ventilated room with fewer interruptions from other people and fewer items lying around, not accidentally to paint them.
When using spray paint, I use my living room fan to improve air circulation.
I then cover most surfaces with old newspapers or magazine pages to prevent paint from sticking on the surfaces
This is usually followed by a full dressing in safety gear to protect my skin and clothes from paint that could stick.
I then assemble the paints and paintbrushes to use on top of my work area
I place the muse at my front right side, where I will observe it while painting. I then mount the paper on the table to avoid movements that could disrupt the brush flow as I paint.
To begin painting the orchid, I start by using a pencil to sketch the drawing of a large circle where the flower of the orchid will be located
The ring does not have to be perfect, and an irregular one produces better results.
I then draw a smaller circle inside the large one and place it as close to the bottom of the circle as possible.
Depending on the petal shape, I draw the lines as curvy-wise as possible and trim off the circular guidelines using an eraser.
To add more detail, I draw a few lines on the petals towards the center.
I then add more lines to the petiole where the flower connects to the stem
I add more flowers to my satisfaction and draw the main stem. I finish off with a flower pot.
Once I am done with this sketch, I mix the paints and paint slowly on top of the drawing I drew earlier.
The final step is to manually allow the painting to dry out or use a blow-drier
This painting can be framed using wooden or metal frames.
Why Paint An Orchid
The following are reasons why I love painting orchids:
- It’s pretty easy to paint one. The painting process is one that can be used by newbies and professionals.
- Paintings can immortalize a favorite orchid plant
- Helps gauge creativity
- Increases our ability to concentrate and observe
- Painting has been known to have therapeutic effects such as relieving stress. While painting, I focus more on what I am developing and let go of any troubling thoughts.
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Paint An Orchid
Where’s the best place to put my painting?
You could hang the painting in your living room. I find It better to hang it close to my orchid plants.
What’s the best paint to use?
I prefer using acrylic paints which are more popular and can be found anywhere in art shops. Acrylic painting is also a bit cheaper than other types. Watercolors are also a good option for beginners.
Painting an orchid is an engaging and fulfilling pastime activity.
There are many uses of orchid paintings; for instance, you can use them as a personalized gift, home décor, or even sell them for profit.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.