Life has not been easy, with regards to family, of late. I felt a real need to immerse myself into a painting to try to get back my equilibrium. It has been such a joy to be able to forget for a little while all that is happening in my real world at the moment.
Looking for something really lovely to paint, well within my comfort zone, I found this photo of a beautiful clump of Patty's Plum poppies. They were just what I was looking for.
I decided to do the drawing first, as I needed to know where I was going to put the two separate washes. It is not something I like doing as the pencil lines cannot be totally removed once they are covered with paint.
Once the drawing was complete, I put on the top flower wash using Quinachridone Magenta and Anthraquinone Blue. I also added some Opera Pink to lighten the mixture. I let this dry completely before adding the green/blue wash so that the two sets of colours did not run into each other to give that slightly muddy colour you can get when mixing greens and pinks or reds together.
Working from the top, I painted in the flowers using the same colour range as the background wash, adding leaves and stems as I went along to make sure they would read correctly in the finished painting. I also tried to produce some lost edges in the top LH corner.
At this stage I began to be a bit concerned about the arrangement of the poppies as I could see that the RH one was going to be at the same height as the other two lower flowers. There was nothing I could do about it as the pencil lines could not be completely removed (a reason to do the washes first!) so I just had to go along with it and hope it worked ok.
I completed the flowers, and being careful not to hide too much of the original lower wash, which I really liked, I painted in the leaves using the same palette as the underlying wash. A few veins on the poppy petals and the lightest of splatters and I think it is finished.
Maybe the composition is a little top heavy, but I think I like it like that and for once I can honestly say that I am very pleased with the result.