Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The story of a painting.......

When I began my poppy painting, I decided to take photos along the way, to tell the story of how it progressed from the pencil marks to the final product. 

After I put on a purpley-blue underpainting, I drew the poppies and buds with a white charcoal pencil.  The buds I painted white, so I could show their fuzzy nature.

To give the buds their shapes, I added greens, leaving the edges white and soft.  Next I painted the poppies as flat shapes, in a dark cadmium red.  I had placed them carefully so they formed a rough circle shape, to keep an observer's eye moving around inside the painting.

It looks like I painted dark red shapes on the flowers, but actually I painted the light red on top of the dark!  I'm working from dark to light.  The original photo had three trees in the background, which I liked, so they went in to tie the background together.

Then a third layer of red, lighter than the last.............

..........and finally a fourth layer, lightest of all.  I wanted to show the luminosity of poppy petals.

Finally I added the background, and fiddled around with colours and values until I was pleased with the result.  I call it "Dancing Poppies".  The buds look quite comical to me, like heads doing a silly random dance. 

"Dancing Poppies" is 24" X 24", on a stretched gallery canvas.  You can see it at the Show and Sell, which happens this weekend in Hanover.  Check out the details by clicking on the top photo to the right. 


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