The Painting of Cherry Blossom

I’d like to share the process of creating Cherry Blossom ( A Little) Demure. I love these little paintings because they seem to materialize before my eyes as rapidly as scrolling down these images – at least on a good day! Half the battle is won by starting with good reference material. In this case I’ve used one of my own photographs that I’ve cropped to isolate a great composition. The image has dramatic natural lighting, glorious color and a very sensuous subject matter. What could go wrong?

Marie Cameron Cherry Blossom in progress  A 2012

I sketched out the outline of the cherry blossom in thinned pink oil and painted out the background in dark tones to get a sense of composition.

Marie Cameron Cherry Blossom in progress B 2012

I loosely laid in general values and hues to develop a sense of volume.

Marie Cameron Cherry Blossom in progress 2012 C

I began to add stamen detail and some blues and purples, devloping depth in the shadows of the background.

Marie Cameron Cherry Blossom in progress 2012 D

I added some more impastos to the highlights and warmth to the shadows of the bloom.

Marie Cameron Cherry Blossom in progress 2012 E

Here I worked on refining shadows and highlights.

Marie Cameron Cherry Blossom In Progress 2012 F

Yes, it’s subtle but I deepened the shadow around the stamen and further refined them. The are the focal point in the flower as eyes to a face.

Marie Cameron Cherry Blossom in progress 2012 G

I continued to tweak the impasto highlights and the glazed shadows for volume and dimension as this is what is at core the character of the flower.

Marie Cameron Cherry Blossom (A Little) Demure 2012

Cherry Blossom (A Little) Demure
oil on canvas
8″ x 8″

And finally, my finished piece. I look for a certain sense of resolution and balance in the end. In this painting I’m enjoying the dramatic contrast between the deeply shadowed background and the light as it illuminates parts of the bloom. I like that there is little in the composition that that distracts from the focus on the flower. The brush strokes that can be seen in the impasto could have been blended out for a porcelain softness but I really love the immediate quality they brought to the painting and kept them in the end. 






  1. I love these “little gems” paintings. the closer-up more intimate look into the beginning promise of life for a fruit. The 5″ & these 8″ studies of the intricacies of the blossoms, brings us away the whole of a burgeoning blossoming tree to the smallest part of the whole, a little, vibrant, colorful, light-infused gem. In these gemful studies I admire contrast. I always am drawn to this in all things the abrupt change as light turns to dark & vice-versa, it may be the drama of it all. Drama in small things, it is a fine found quality. Please always paint these “studies”. Thanks for again sharing “creation”. Mom

  2. mariecameron says:

    Scale does affect your relationship with a painting. Monumental work tends to envelop and overwhelm the viewer. Life-sized work lends itself to a dialogue among equals. Medium-sized, mixed media assemblage pieces engage the audience with a puzzle to be decoded. These little ones offer intimate moments.

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