When I came across “fresh frangipani” as a prompt for the 15-day floral challenge I recently did, I was stuck. I’d heard of frangipani before. In fact, I think I have a little frangipani essential oil in my collection. But, truth be told, I had no idea what a frangipani flower looked like.
A quick online search revealed that frangipani is also known as plumeria. Oh, great. Well, what’s plumeria? Again, I’d heard of it, but I didn’t know what it looked like.
So, I did more browsing, found a few photos and then set about with my oil pastels and watercolors and created this illustration.
This became one of my favorites from the 15-day challenge. As you can see, my art is becoming very loose and casual, and I like that. I’m taking a more intuitive approach, not necessarily drawing and painting things exactly as I see them, but putting down shapes and colors that represent some essential feeling I have.
Here, I loved the colors I was working with. I had fun playing with all those greens for the leaves, deliberately letting the lines show through rather than blending them all together. And I really loved using various yellow hues to create the watercolor background.
For me, this is a feel good painting. Every time I look at it, I feel good. I feel good because I’m learning to make art that’s truly my own. I’m no longer trying to copy an instructor’s work or replicate an illustration exactly. Instead, I’m looking at a subject and choosing how I want to make it into art.
Color is becoming more and more important in my art process, and knowing various techniques with both oil pastels and watercolors is leading me to be more experimental, to try more things, to take more chances in the art I’m doing.
And now, I know what frangipani — and plumeria — is.