The Arroyo Lupine is a beautiful California native flower that can be found along coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats. They belong to the pea family and can grow 2 to 4 feet tall. It’s also a very fun flower to paint. Check out my painting process of the Lupinus succulentus…


Above is a picture I took of an actual Arroyo Lupine in Abolone Cove. I remember trying to identify it and thinking it was Chinese houses. It had the closest resemblance to that flower in my book of California flora. It was with this experience I realized I really need a more extensive book to travel with because It wasn’t until later, at the aquarium gift shop, that I saw some information on local flowers. In a pamphlet, I saw the Arroyo Lupine. It’s a beauty isn’t it?

I had a lot of fun painting this small piece. It was one of those paintings that just goes so quick because the paint is being very agreeable. I just mixed the blues and violets without too much trouble and let the paint layer and blend. Then adding those white and cream tips finished it off nicely. I think I will paint a bigger piece without the circle motif. This one will work just fine for the flower series I have going on at the moment. But I’d love to make the Arroyo Lupine the star of it’s own, large painting. I would also like to paint with more attention to detail and on a larger canvas.

The color of the circle in the background is where I’m starting to stumble a bit. At first, I just chose colors as I came to that point in the painting. Now, I think I’ll have to start being a better planner. I need to get out that Photoshop and play around with color swatches so I don’t run into problems later. I definitely use Photoshop in the post-painting, post-scanning editing process. I go over that circle with the shape tool because It’s so difficult painting a perfect circle! I knew someone who had such steady hands, they did pin-striping so beautifully. That is an amazing skill. It’s a skill I do not have, so Photoshop to the rescue!

Anyway, with these small illustrations, I hope to capture the essence of the flower and the basic identifiable features. On to the next!