I loved painting this cactus bloom for Toby and Jay's home. I'm so happy they chose me to create this focal point for their living room. This is a large 32"x 38" acrylic on canvas. 
I'm really happy with how this painting turned out.  It was fun to paint a larger canvas and I plan on doing more like this. 
I start painting by using a light yellow to sketch out the basic layout. I used a photo that I took of a cactus bloom in Tucson for reference. Then I used some organge to start defining the flower a bit more.
I tend to fill the canvas with a layer of the colors I'll be using.
I work quickly and love getting in the zone!
Timelapse video of adding depth to the flower petals. 
Creating more motion and interest to the background of the painting. 
Here's the last "in progress" photo I remembered to take. I spent about 3 more hours after this to create the final painting below!
The final painting, "Toby's Cactus Flower" by Julie Rustad is 32" x38" acrylic on canvas. Adding the details inside the flower really brought it to life! I also increased the size of the prickly pear pads on the left and decided not to show the unopened blooms. 
The best part was bringing the finished painting to Toby and Jay's house and seeing their reaction! 
THEY LOVED IT and immediately placed it on the mantel!
The finished painting looked even more amazing in their beautiful living room. The perfect home for "Toby's Cactus Flower"!
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