Succulent garden painting: behind the scenes

11 Feb

Did you know I’m a painter? I am. It’s one of the things I love most in the world, despite the fact that I only get to produce a few a year. The last oil painting that I did was commissioned for a friend’s living room, which was being remodeled in a glamorous yet relaxed coastal style. Scrumptious!


This painting was inspired by a trio of white ceramic hanging planters that the interior designer installed in the family’s entry way. There’s always been something about the texture of succulent leaves that I just adore. If I’m going to be looking at any subject for 40-60 hours the only prerequisite is that it’s somethin’ pretty, yo!

Throughout the painting process I took a few snapshots to illustrate the painting methods I use, and to show the progression over the course of about 2 weeks. I always tell my students that a painting should develop like a Polariod picture. You know how it all starts as a medium gray then slowly comes into focus, darker tones first, followed by the definition of shadow and highlight? That’s what I’m going for, and this technique necessitates many thin layers of oil which give the finished painting a luminous, glowing quality.

If you squint at the six pictures below you can get a good sense of the painting coming into focus. I obviously omitted most of the early work, including gridding out the canvas and drawing the succulents and blocking in the background with a mid-tone color. The pictures below illustrate the real meat of the project – the hours that pay off after layers and layers of thin glazing pull through to create depth and richness. Gah, I love this!

This painting took around 50 hours to complete because of the crazy amount of detail. The canvas is 30″ x 48″, and sells for $3000. A piece of the same size with less detail would sell for about $2000, and smaller canvases start at $1000. As you can tell there are about 22 succulents on this canvas, with smaller leaves and details in the background.


If you’re interesting in commissioning a custom oil painting, visit for more portfolio pieces and pricing. Lead time is about 8 weeks, and well worth the wait, I tell ya! All commissions are one-of-a-kind, and can be painted based on a requested color palette or theme.

Happy Monday, all! Be inspired this week!

Anjale signature

18 Responses to “Succulent garden painting: behind the scenes”

  1. Kevin Barnett February 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    That’s a whole lot of awesome!

    • FreeTheMom February 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      Quick on the draw there buddy! And thanks 😉

      • Lisa February 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

        Why do all the best things in life make me cry? you’re amazing

  2. Trina McElroy February 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Wow, that’s truly beautiful! Thank you!

  3. Rose Armand February 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Anjalé…I’m so happy you posted this. I saw the painting several times as a work in progress but didn’t see the finished product before it was delivered. It’s absolutely beautiful! Of course I treasure the field of lupines you painted for me. Everyone can check it out at

    • FreeTheMom February 11, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      Thank-you!!! I’m glad you finally got to see it too 🙂

  4. Portia February 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    So amazingly beautiful. I adore this piece and your gorgeous style!!

    • FreeTheMom February 11, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      Thank-you! It feels good to be back to doing what I know best. Realism is the place for me 😉

  5. Becca February 11, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    I can say firsthand that its stunning in person! Full of detail and life, just like the painter herself

    • FreeTheMom February 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

      This from the beautiful and talented interior designer. Thank-you, Becca!

  6. Aryan February 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    What a way to bring a garden in and forever fresh! love it

  7. cleanse4lifeblog February 12, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    Anjale, you have such a beautiful eye that shows up in your paintings!

  8. Kim February 15, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Holy cow Anjale!!! That is absolutely gorgeous. I can’t believe that is a painting, it looks so perfect and real. You are truly talented!!

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