Saturday, 12 January 2013

Patty's Plum Poppies

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!

16 comments:

  1. Beautiful!
    they are more beautiful than the original.
    Caro

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  2. Wow! Many thanks, Caro, for such an encouraging comment.

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  3. Hi Yvonne,as usual your flower paintings are excellent, I would just like to see a little more definition to the flowers on the bottom right x

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    1. Thanks Brenda for looking and for your comments. I think the photo has taken a bit of colour out from the original, but I kept it pale as its the 'sunny side' of the painting.

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  4. Both paintings are very nice. Maybe Brenda is right about some more definition at lower right of the poppy painting to counteract the darker one at top left. Only a small point. The door looks pretty good.

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    1. Thanks, Peter for your comment on both paintings. glad you still enjoy looking.

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  5. Los dos son bonitos, el de las amapolas es espectacular...hermoso... increĆ­ble. Gracias por el paso a paso. Puedo utilizar tu foto para "intentar" aprender de tu minicurso?

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    1. Graciass, y si es posible usar mi imagen para tratar de aprender de ella pero: por favor, no vendemos una copia de mi trabajo.

      ( Thanks, and yes you may use my image to learn from, but please do not sell a direct copy of my painting!)

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  6. I tend to agree with you about the impact of the underpainting on the translucency of the blooms. It appears that the necessity you found to use quite a bit of gouache creates less subtlety than we are used to in your work. It still leaves us with an arresting image.

    The doorway shows all the things that we love about watercolour, transparency and vibrant colour.

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    1. Thanks Mick. I hope that by publishing things which work less well as well as those which are successful, readers find the blog more interesting and, for some, more helpful.

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  7. Your sharing of the process is always appreciated and whilst you may have preferred a more translucent result to my eye this is a very beautiful painting - much to aspire too

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  8. Thank you Lorraine, I am glad you like the result, but it is always useful to be aware of pitfalls before beginning, so I hope the posting of my 'mistakes' is helpful.

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  9. They are superb, Yvonne! I am amazed - to get such beauty from an inauspicious-looking beginning. Your colors and shapes are much lovelier than the photo, too.

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    1. Wow! Thanks for that lovely comment. Sorry I am unable to address you by name, but good luck with the painting career and hope you continue to enjoy looking at my blog.

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  10. It looks great! And thanks for sharing how you build this painting.

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  11. Thanks for the lovely comment, Brigitte, and you are welcome to share my processes.

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