Back in February, I was dreaming of our summer days to come. Our garden was still frozen under ice and snow, so I was sketching from my favorite vintage botanical book, The Most Beautiful Flowers, with illustrations by Pierre Joseph Redoute. The illustrations in this book are stunning in their rich detail and vivid coloring.
Thumbing through the pages of this book, the unique leaf shapes of the chrysanthemums caught my eye. My first few sketches played with these forms.
I loved the flow of the leaves and stems in my early sketches. Still, the flower petals weren’t exactly right and the image felt a touch flat. I continued sketching and layering, but eventually set this project aside.
Fast forward a few months, and the garden was starting to bloom and spring was breaking through. One afternoon, a friend dropped off marigolds she'd grown from seeds. Without their blooms they were just leaves and the shape reminded me of the Chrysanthemums. With the marigolds as my new inspiration, I started sketching and revising those original drawings again.
After several rounds of sketches and digital revisions, I ended up with a rough composition that I liked. The flow and leaf-shapes from my original sketches combined with the round, layered buds of a marigold flower. Adding their subtle shifts in color, created a dimension I was missing earlier. They felt closer.
I thought about the overall composition and I wondered if it was too restricted or boxy. I saw a photo on a friend’s Instagram of their bridal bouquet and the shape felt more interesting. I combined these ideas of arrangement and proportion with some additional research into marigold florals and coloring. At last, they felt right.
The images above show a glimpse of my research set beside the final version. Finally, I was excited by the result. From here, it was time to translate the art into new products! Follow this link to view The Marigold Collection and all of its products.
Share your thoughts on the collection, or this post, by commenting below or emailing me. Thank you as always for your continued support!