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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Painting an Impression of Poppies

'Poppy Impressions'             8x10            pastel            ©Karen Margulis
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I've painted many poppies. It is always my goal to use as few strokes as possible. My desire is to suggest the petals rather than paint them with detail. I want to paint my impression of the flowers. I have a few tips that help me achieve this.

  • I don't draw the flowers before painting them. If they will be larger than an inch I will lightly draw a circle where they will be placed. If I draw the flowers I tend to want to color in the lines rather than paint. The smaller flowers can be easily painted on top for the greenery.
  • I often use a wet underpainitng. Having a wet and drippy underpainting forces me to let go of the perfection. It gives me some interesting colors and shapes to respond to. A wet underpainting is perfect for flowers.
  • I paint the flowers last. I build up the layers of 'dirt' and grasses and then put in the flowers.
  • I paint the flowers with blocky marks using the side of the pastel. 
  • I begin with the darkest color I want in the flower and slowly add the lighter colors on top.
  • Sometimes I add some linear calligraphy to my flowers and grasses as I did in the painting.
I am not always successful with my goal of saying more with less but the more I practice the easier it has become. Painting an impression of wildflowers/poppies will continue to be my goal and I will keep experimenting with ways to achieve this goal.

***Note that I will be teaching a workshop next weekend in Pecos New Mexico. There will be spotty /limited wifi so I may not be able to blog! If I can then I will!

1 comment:

Lauraine said...

Karen...I love your blog...thank you so much for your generosity! I've learned a great deal from reading this and definitely hope to take a workshop with you one day. I look forward to seeing what you've sent every morning! Thanks!!