1. Pick a flower and a reference image.
Everyone knows what a flower looks like. But how it looks out in the world is different from how it looks in a still photo. For example, “One thing I’ve noticed is that often the stem has a bright highlight in photos. But when people draw flower stems, they often draw them as one big, dark line,” says Getsinger. Don’t trust your memory too much, since factors such as light and shadow can surprise you. That’s where reference images come into play.
Whether you draw a peony or a Queen Anne’s lace, you’ll need to start with a reference photo. But don’t stop with just one image. “Consider the different life cycles of the plant, the way it’s facing the sun, or how the light is coming into play,” says Getsinger. Gather multiple images, so you better understand your subject, but also don’t be afraid to create a composition all your own.