I love painting poppies and have completed several smaller poppy paintings in this method but up to this point had not tackled a larger canvas. There are lots of ways to approach painting and this particular method is one of my favorites. BUT...it can be frustrating as well. I only know at this point that I want to paint poppies. I have not preplanned my composition...all I know is that I want them large and going off the page....and I want them to have the bright, strong colors of red poppies. I also am trying to reach beyond only a realistic representation and try to convey emotion and energy.
This is the fun and unedited part! I threw down lots of poppy color....reds, yellows, oranges and some darker and lighter tones. I even threw in some metallic gold. This is acrylic and I wasn't worried about making mistakes.
After I was happy with all my colors I stepped back to take a look. I turned the canvas in different directions to see how it looked and felt. (this stage actually took place a few weeks or months later after letting it sit there for awhile). Once comfortable with the orientation of the canvas I took a piece of chalk and imagined where I saw the poppies in the image. I actually respond to the paint on the image and think..."hmm, that looks like a petal"...or " that kind of looks like a bud". Using chalk I could experiment with these shapes and begin to "see" the images emerge.
Here you can see my chalk lines as well as I've started to put in some teal, complementary color in the background. I use the teal to "carve" out the poppies, stems and buds.
I continued to add more teal and blue in a loose manner. I began to add the dark centers to the flowers and figure out the forms of the flowers. I did step back on occasion to evaluate with some elements of design in mind.........are the stems all evenly spaced...maybe make some closer and others further apart? All my buds are the same size...maybe that needs to change.
I turned my attention to the flowers and started to create form in the petals by glazing. I used a small amount of paint mixed with matte medium. This light coat of paint allowed me to adjust the lights and darks of the petals and make them look shaped and curved.
Once I had my poppies looking shaped and formed I now went back in with a lighter teal background. The darker and complementary colors of the background can be seen in places around the image and close to the edges of the poppies. The use of the complementary colors beneath allows the poppies to really pop!
I am pleased with the final result!