(painting by Deborah B Shaw)
Desert plants provide fascinating shapes and colors for artists. Opuntias are especially interesting because of their overall unique shapes, the repetition of the pads, the amazing spines, and the bright fruits.
Opuntia plants may be symmetrical or asymmetrical. And, their pads can repeat multiple times, the same shape over and over. One of the more subtle but wonderful aspects of Opuntia plants are their colors. They may be green, bluish, yellow-green, brownish, or even red-purple. The plants are picture worthy with or without flowers. The colors are a perfect foil for the desert landscape. As subjects, they lend themselves equally well to oils, acrylics, watercolors, and other media.
Related Reading: Botanical Illustration