I am never sure how paintings are going to turn out as I sit in front of the blank piece of paper, but I never thought I would find it so difficult to paint something - poppies- that I have painted endlessly before!. It is not the shape but the colour which presented the problems.
I have this photo in my resource folder and have been promising myself a go at it for some time. The time seemed right.
They are glorious flowers, and I had already decided to wash in a background before doing the drawing and painting the blooms. I mixed up a puddle of colour using Quinachridone Magenta, Alizarine Crimson and Ultramarine Blue which I thought matched the flowers very well. I painted this onto wet Fabriano Artistico Extra white 300gm paper, covering the top half of the sheet, leaving some white areas and I added some greens for the foliage lower down the sheet.
As you can see, I placed the plum colour where I thought the flower heads would be and made sure the greens were placed in vaguely upright leaf shapes.
I then lightly drew in the flowers and foliage around the heads of the flowers, and even at this point, I began to have vague thoughts about painting in fresh greens on top of the plum coloured wash, as this type of poppy has leaves growing immediately out of the stem right under the flower head.
The problem with painting the flowers and leaves was that the original wash is quite a dull colour, as the title 'plum' would suggest and when it was mixed in the palette it is a tertiary (at least) colour, which makes the addition of other colours on top move towards the inevitable grey sludge!
I did use white acrylic gouache for the highlights, but couldn't get any exciting colour for the petals using it in combination with the pinks. Hence the petals have lost that lovely translucent colout that hey should have.
I had gone far enough not to give up, but the painting does seem a little sombre by comparison to last weeks 'Iris', but them maybe the flowers are like that. I don't know. I will leave you to decide.
Now I look at the end result, I wonder if I should have varied the levels of the front three flowers!
Also this week, the subject at AVA was Doors, Windows and Gates. I chose to paint a door of a cottage in Boughton-On-The-Water which was overhung with a Clematis.
Same paper as always and usual palette. Trying to get all that greenery looking real was fun!