Poppies are one of my favourite flowers - I really love the texture of their petals - the papery quality and the bright colours of the petals. I also love how that is contrasted with the spindly stalks in dull green.. As I really liked how my previous poppy painting turned out, I decided to paint a close up version, focusing more on the petal texture. I used a reference photo that I had taken a few months ago of a bunch of poppies that I'd bought from the florist.
The first step was to decide on the composition and roughly draw a pencil sketch of the outline of the flower. I usually like to start with the middle, more detailed section of a flower, using a small brush for the detail work. I then turned my attention to the beautiful papery petals. As I needed a translucent quality with various colours showing through, the colours needed to be layered carefully. Lemon yellow and spectrum yellow (Art spectrum brand paints) were the base colours, with overlays of Australian leaf green, Australian red gold and Spectrum red. The base colours needed to be almost fully dry before the outer colours were applied on top.
It was important that certain sections dried fully before the next petal could be painted so as to avoid the colours blending into each other. Textural effects were created by using a small brush to lift paint in some areas (using water) and to create the veins or lines in other areas of the petals. The spindly green stalks were painted in layers of Australian dark leaf green and Pthalo green with Flinders red violet highlights. The background has been kept as a light beige / neutral colour so as to not draw attention from the feature attraction.
I'm happy with how it has turned out - I really like the colours !
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.