Thursday, May 23, 2013

Painting Poppies

We have the most amazing poppies that bloom each May in our backyard that I bought from Shreiner's Iris Garden several years ago. They're a gorgeous red that's almost impossible to capture with photography. I try every year to do just that, knowing they're only going to bloom for a couple of weeks, but the best way to catch that red is by painting it. I still take tons of reference photos of poppies to draw from (ha, pun intended) but I love painting them from life, especially on a lovely sunny afternoon. The rain has returned, and they're looking sad out back, with their ragged and bruised petals, but I'm hoping they'll produce a few more buds for me to paint when it dries out again. Here are two of the four paintings I created - they're pastel on canvas with a watercolor painted background that was dry and finished before I applied the pastel. 


This shows the watercolored background with my pastel pencil drawing. 

Day two - finishing the first poppy pastel. 

The canvas has been primed with a water based primer that helps fill in the rough texture of the canvas so that it won't eat up my pastels too quickly. I seal the pastel as I progress on the painting as needed with diluted PVA size.  

Here's the canvas with just the watercolor, dry and ready for pastel.

Drawing the flower with a charcoal pencil.

First layer of pastel after it's been sprayed with the diluted PVA. 

Probably finished!