I recently had the privilege of attending a painting class with a very talented artist. Her name is Helen Dealtry, she lives and works in New York and is mostly known for her floral paintings.
When I first came across Helens work her style really appealed to me. I love the modern approach to her paintings, it is loose and free, it just gives the right amount of detail to give the impression of a flower or a leaf. Although this looks effortless I know it takes a lot of practice and a lot of skill to achieve this kind of look. I thought it would be nice to share a bit behind her painting class so that her fabulous florals can inspire you too.
It was Nov 8th on a Sat afternoon where I was greeted by Helens assistant and was taken to her studio that is located in Brooklyn, NY. All the paints and papers were laid out for her 8 students along with a gorgeous assortment of fresh blooming flowers from a local flower market.
The class was altogether four hours and after a brief introduction Helen took us through her first demonstration. We used a large sable brush and were shown how to use this simple tool to create such a variety of strokes and marks. We then did the same process using different brushes. These marks were then given slightly more definition so that it can give the impression of a flower or a leaf.
After working in only a black paint we then started to introduce colour. The medium we used was a mixture of gouache and inks and after sponging our paper down with water we were encouraged to be free and let the colours run. After letting it dry for a little while we could then go back in and introduce some details.
Helen then took us through her last demo which involved painting a particular flower that was shown in front of us. It was great to start thinking about all the brush strokes we had previously used and then create an image. Below are a few photos of the class: