Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Californian Poppies

I came across a unsung photo of some lovely yellow and orange Californian Poppies which I thought might make an exciting painting.
The decision this time was to do the flowers first and the background later. Partly due, I think, to a disappointing painting of Foxgloves where I had tried to paint the flowers over a green and pale pink wash.
So I started with the usual drawing, having 3 large flowers in the middle of the picture, and some seed heads with them.
As I wanted the flowers to look as if they were part of a wider bunch. I also lightly pencilled in the under shapes of half a dozen more.




I painted the main flowers first using mostly Transluscent Orange and a variety of yellows. Working as I usually do by painting as close to the pencil line as possible and then erasing it when the paint is dry. In this instance, I did not try to mix a shadow colour, but simply used stronger pigment for the darker areas created by parts of the petals overlapping.  I used Serpentine Green, Sap Green and a little Yellow Ochre for the stems and seed heads.
At this stage I lightly suggested the background poppies with a very pale mix of the same colours used in the front flowers.
I then started in the middle of the painting with the darkest greens, mostly Apatite Green with some Indigo added and I also dropped in tiny amounts of the orange and Quinachridone Gold to link flowers and background together,


As I progressed with the background, I washed colour around the background poppies and strengthened their colour slightly in places, but was very careful to keep lots of soft and lost edges.
As usual the darkest parts were in the bottom LH corner and the lightest parts in the top RH corner.
As I painted the background in, I added granulating fluid to add interest and texture.


 
 
When the painting was complete, the hardest part was taking the photos and getting them to look as near the real colours as possible. My camera did not seem to like this combination of green and orange. Maybe I need to be a bit more imaginative with my camera settings. If anyone has any ideas, I would be grateful for a few tips.

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Yvonne, it´s so nice to read.
    :) It´s lovely flowers, and you did the background very good. I have forgotten about my granulationmedium since I bought it. Thanks for remembering. I think I will try too, i looks so good.

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    1. Thank you Catharina for your lovely comments. Granulation fluid is great but works better on some pigments than others. Need to experiment a bit!

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  2. Beautiful!!! I like the way you started first with the flowers and then the background!

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    1. Thank you Otilia. You get cleaner colours this way, but is less spontaneous!

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  3. It's lovely, I find backgrounds a challenge, infact they often cause me to give up on a painting that was going well! Your background is full of interest, thanks for sharing your technique.

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    1. Thanks and welcome Fairy Wood. Never give up .....lots of paintings can improve with persistence. I always try to finish just in case it becomes a masterpiece!

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment Sheri. Glad you enjoyed looking.

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  5. It's inspiring and helpful to see your painting process. Thank you for sharing! What a beautiful painting! Some cameras have a hard time with certain colors, for instance my particular Canon cannot seem to focus on yellow flowers. ;) If your camera has variable scene setting, look for an icon of leaves, this is a plant setting and sometimes helps. Beautiful ornamental poppies.

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  6. Thanks for the lovely comments, Katie and for the advice about the camera. Think it might be a good idea to get the instruction book out again .....or download the info......as my camera is new and should be able to cope. We will see what happens. Thanks again for responding.

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  7. Beautiful as ever , your florals are always worth the wait :) more please

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    1. Thank you for your comment. It is so nice to hear that you enjoy the posts. I would love to do more......but sometimes it just doesn't happen, but I keep trying!!

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  8. Thank you Jan glad you like it.

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