For being a great lover of color, poppies are my ultimate muse!
I think I have mentioned this before, red and green is one of my favorite color combinations of all time.
A year ago I picked up a seed pack of poppies. I planted them and some fern like leaves came up, but no poppies. I sort of forgot about it.
A couple of weeks ago, I started I began to find these plants that looked like Venus fly traps:
I had forgotten that I had planted the poppies and thought to myself ” whatever that is, it’s a little creepy!”.
But lo and behold, the most joyous bolt of color sprang from that hairy pod!
Until I planted these beauties, I had no idea just how glorious these flowers truly are, especially their centers. They have shades of purple, black and periwinkle. Against the red and green, they are pure ecstasy! I just knew I had to paint them!
As I looked down at the ground beside my poppy, I was amazed to see the pod:
What a wild plant this is!
So here is today’s progression of my painting. I started with a very basic sketch of all different profiles of the poppies in my garden. I also loved the purple iris leaves in the background in my garden. The sun just pops through them, so I added them to as well as some of the poppy leaves:
I just love the effect of looking at a simple pencil contour drawing and seeing the richness of the paint begin to emerge and come to life. It’s like moving from NO-D to 3-D!
When you look close up, they are just dabs and swirls of color, yet they take on a life. A two-dimensional piece of paper begins to communicate something. I just love it. It truly brings me joy.
Well, enjoy the painting in its “white” form, because tomorrow I will be filling it in with darks. I want the bright yellows in the iris leaves and the reds of the poppy petals to glow and I think personally, this is best accomplished by having a dark background and allowing the light filled objects to be the brightest focal point in the painting.
This is an 18×24″ watercolor on 140 cold press paper.
Stay tuned to see the finished piece tomorrow!