Studying “Form” – Design 1

As a result of enjoying floral art for more than 15 years, I have, naturally, accumulated a lot of “stuff” – most of it for those “just in case” scenarios!

So, once a year, I have a look at what I haven’t used (forgot I had) as a kind of review of the principles and elements of design. In competition work, regardless of the judging system used, designs should always be based around the principles and elements of design – balance, dominance, contrast, rhythm, proportion, scale, unity/harmony.

In this design I am looking particularly at rhythm, in particular the “form” of the plant material. On a base that is actually one side of a rattan storage box which gives me a woven plant material form and “rough” texture, I have placed a section of tatamied palm inflorescence (click here for step by step technique) and some woven flax with craspedia centres. These repeat the pattern/form of the woven base but have slightly “smoother” textures.

Some driftwood is used as a support for a dried strelitzia leaf (click here for the super easy step by step technique). These give a new form whilst still remaining in the colour palette of the other placements.

Now I need some height for the design so have used some twisted vine that follows the line of the strelitzia leaf, stays in the colour palette and frames the design as well as providing some negative space within the design.

For a pop of colour I have placed a single strelitzia flower head with some manipulated agapanthus foliage. These both repeat the line of the vine. Once again, repetition of an element in the design, this time line and form rather than colour.

In a vial covered with jute there are some flower buds. These are wrong for this design because they are the wrong proportion (too small) and colour.

It’s always useful to have a practice. My suggestion is not to critique it as soon as you finish. Take a photo and leave it for at least a week before you revisit it to see what you can assess, then keep a record (I use an exercise book) of how the design was put together as well as your comments when reviewing it.

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