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About a week or so before Christmas my parents stopped by unannounced, which is a big deal since they never do this. I had been at their house previously and said I loved their Christmas cactus, so my Dad told my Mom they needed to go buy one for me and drop it off. It is such a beautiful plant, and when they brought it there were so many blooms, nearly 2 on every little point!
I quickly took many photos from different angles, and with varying light. Later I spent time examing them all and cropping until I decided on this composition. Next I put the photo in Adobe Photoshop and experimented with some different filters. I wanted to create a slight abstraction of the image.
This filtered photo became a great reference from which to paint the different shapes and values, allowing me to capture the essence of the flower and blooms. For the green leaves I used a palette knife so that I could show the texture and color striations in them. I used thinned paint for the top layers of the blossom to capture the transparency of the leaves.
This was a really fun piece for me because I owned the project from inception to execution. Creating it really pushed me to stretch my abilities.
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