I have done display work for a long time. I also worked in a florist wholesalers for a while. Over the years I started using this technique to make faux flowers and plants look much more realistic, it will also make the plants appear fuller. I use this technique with any wired plants or flowers that I incorporate into my sculptures. Nature is a great source of inspiration for my work. My first step is to make things look as realistic as possible and then proceed from there. Working this way for me helps to keep the fantasy believable.
Now let's get on with this mini tutorial.
I bought three stems of poppies at Salvation Army the other day to use in an Autumn window display. The poppy on your left is what it would look like directly from the store. It is ram rod straight. The poppies on the right have just had the head of the open poppy bent forward. It doesn't look bad but it doesn't look realistic.
I figure if you are going to use artificial plants and flowers to trick the eye go all the way. Here is a way of getting those plants to look more realistic.
No plant grows ramrod straight. Take the flower stem, bend it in different directions and then straighten it. I had to show you what I meant so I bent the entire stem, normally I work from the bottom of the stem bending and straightening as I work my way up the stem to the flower head.
The stem has a more relaxed look to it. It looks like it grew and wasn't extruded from the ground! Don't forget to bend the leaves as well.
All of the heads are positioned at slightly different angles as well. The three poppies grouped together look more realistic.
The next time you use your flowers they are ready to go with just a slight adjustment in your arrangement.
I love working with faux flowers in display as well as incorporating them into my holiday art work. The following are some examples of work that I have used faux plant material in.
I built the bush head dress that Black Cat is wearing from vintage fabric millinery leaves. The branches and leaves were bent the same way as the poppies to achieve a natural look.
I love Edna. Her cluster of blackberries and leaves was created from vintage fabric millinery leaves and vintage flower pips. The pips were a pale yellow that have been sprayed with several different coats florist spray paints to achieve a realistic looking blackberry. Each berry is different, some have a touch of yellow showing, some are a little more red, and finally some are the luscious deep purple of a ripe juicy blackberry.
Short stems of berries and leaves were created and then wired together to create this haute couture confection for her to wear. Go to my Etsy shop to purchase "Edna came as a Parisian runway model".
The vine like branches that wind up to the top of this cake/display stand have been bent and twisted as well to achieve a natural effect. They are attached to the underside of the next layer of the stand. The individual branches that are able to hold ornaments have been bent multiple times in order to accommodate different ornaments. They look more relaxed each new time that they are bent.
The wreath that Bernie is wearing was created with vintage glass leaves that were wrapped at the base with wire. I tried to get the look of vine like stems twisted when making the crown for "The King of the Patch". Go to my Etsy shop to purchase Bernie.
I had better get back to work, have a great day! Take time and go for a walk, even if it is raining, it is so beautiful.
Ingenious tip, Len...and one that I will use from now on. Love your examples...especially those berries.
Happy Weekend to ya,
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