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Friday, February 14, 2020

A Few Tips for Painting Poppies

'Joyful Garden'               11x14       pastel               ©Karen Margulis
available $175

It is Valentine's Day! How about a garden instead of a bouquet of flowers? I had another piece of paper that I used for a demo/lesson and I didn't want it to go to waste. I brushed off the pastel and lightly wet it with alcohol. It was Canson Mi-tientes so I couldn't get it too wet. I was left with a gray underpainting. It was now ready for a beautiful garden of flowers! My reference photo had pink poppies but I made mine red.....because I could!  Here are a few more tips for painting poppies. 

  • I don't draw the flower first. I simply draw a circle shape where I want the flower to go. Then I use the SIDE of my pastel to paint large shapes that make up the petals. If I draw my flowers I tend to want to color them in and they look stiff.
  • I use three or four values of the poppy color to develop the flower. Even if I don't see it in the photo I like to begin with a dark, brick red shape (for red poppies). I add middle values to create the form.
  • I avoid using a pale or very light value red to paint the highlights. I find light pastels with too much white in their makeup lead to washed out flowers rather than vibrant flowers.
  • If I want my poppies to appear sunlit I will use a warm color such as red-orange for the light areas.

Wiped out a demo for this painting 

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