I had originally modeled the lotus flower using procedural rendering to create a “ramp” color or gradient for the flowers, but it didn’t look realistic enough.
To make the petals look more realistic, I used Maya’s UV Planar tool to get a good UV snapshot of the flower petals. I brought the UV snapshot into Photoshop and used some photos I found on the web, along with some of Photoshop’s painting and editing tools to create a much more detailed flower petal.
I duplicated a petal from the previous flower and applied the texture I had created in Photoshop. I used Maya’s Edit/Duplicate Special feature to create an array of petals in a circle. Below you can see the flower of the left was colored using Procedural Rendering and lacks detail. The one on the right is about half-way finished, but already looking better.
Below is the finished flower using the painted texture.