Egret in Flight - An oil painting

This artwork taken as a whole looks remarkably like an Egret (bird) in full flight! A gleaming white bloom appears exotic on its black canvas.

"Art is never finished, only abandoned." 
- Leonardo da Vinci

The White Egret Orchid (Habenaria radiata), an absolutely gorgeous Asian species is one of Japan's most famous orchids. It's Japanese name "Sagi-sou", is derived from its Egret-flying appearance. Egret flower comes in the form of small, pea sized tuber from which grass-like leaves are produced, alternatively on a single stem. It exhibits an extravagant lip as well as the impressive petals that are pristine white, whereas the sepals are simple, small and green. With no doubt, the bread heavily fringed lip steals the show.  

To achieve the luminous and balanced white a complementary color or colors is required for each of the opposing-color mixes to harmoniously glow as individual entities. A detailed and close study of the flower from botanical illustration helps in the intrigue composition of the uniqueness and the attractiveness of the flower to stand out. The flowers petals, stems, leaves along with its exact shape, color and texture must be learnt with keen observation. 

"Without great solitude, no serious work is possible." - Pablo Picasso

A blacked out canvas (Oil,16x20) for an eye-catching look of the subject, in this case the Egret flower adds more character to the luminous flower. On a prepared canvas, a layer of toner was applied to start with an undersurface painting. As I previously mentioned, I do not like to sketch my subject, I always prefer a free style painting to avoid marks. To add more value layers of paint colors is worked into the darks, mid-tones and lights. 

"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." - Pablo Picasso

As most of you must have known that white is not a primary, secondary or tertiary color. Its an achromatic color of maximum lightness. Its not an absence of color, but a combination of all colors in equal proportions. The white paint is also mixed with a tint of yellow, green, black (grey shades) to achieve different shades of white that adds more depth to the white subject. I like Titanium white for its high- coverage quality and it is perfect as a base to add the tints and highlights.

"Art must be an expression of love or it is nothing." - Marc Chagall

For a pictorial realism adding values like the deep shadows and brilliant light makes the painting more compelling. The details comes with the slow refinement of lights and darks. A subtle dark toned background of leaves creates a dramatic mood in contract with the gorgeous white flower and vibrant green stems. For the finishing touches, the shadows are strengthened with glazes and the whites with yellow tint is used as highlights.

Beauty is the illumination of the soul! Hope this artwork charms and inspires you! Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Definitely no questions on the exotic...Amazing art! I am so proud of you! I am just waiting for a day, imaging myself standing in the nice display of all your paintings...and I will be doing a opening speech and introduce you and talk great about your paintings...that will happen Amudha...for sure...with Baba's grace...Feeling very happy to see this painting and display of colors..I read somewhere painting is outcome of our emotions...and amazing way of portraying it. You amaze me with all your posts...its getting better better no questions....My all the best to you!!!!

  2. Exactly, painting is an outcome of our emotions and it brings immense pleasure and peace of mind. You are showing me with all praises and now, i have to live up to your expectations...quite challenging;) You have been motivating me from the day we met.Thank you so much dear. Feeling humbled and blessed!


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