Red Poppies – The Watercolor Art Making Process

Spanish Poppies are one of my favorite wild flowers.  They are of a deep saturated cadmium red in the shade and bright orange in the transparency of the light. The wind blows the fragile petals back and forth, contrasting bright orange with ruby-red, flickering so vividly beautiful under the sun.

 Red Poppies in Blue Vase April 2015 - Watercolor on Arches 300 GSM - 15 in x 11 in - 38 cm x 28 cm

Red Poppies in Blue Vase April 2015 – Watercolor on Arches 300 GSM – 15 in x 11 in – 38 cm x 28 cm

First I started with the tallest area and measured the rest of the poppies to that one.

First I started with the tallest area and measured the rest of the poppies to that one.

I estimate the distance between the flowers and paint the color, shape and tone directly as a finished stroke of the paintbrush.  Painting into them again will make the flowers hard looking.

I estimate the distance between the flowers and paint the color, shape and tone directly as a finished stroke of the paintbrush. Painting into them again will make the flowers hard looking.

Once I paint the poppies in a direct manner, this conditions me to do the same with the vase.  In watercolor, I try to treat everything in the same way from start to finish.

Once I paint the poppies in a direct manner, this conditions me to do the same with the vase. In watercolor, I try to treat everything in the same way from start to finish.

I don't forget about the background, that's just as important as the foreground.  I also estimate where everything goes on the picture plane and try to get it in in one shot.

I don’t forget about the background, that’s just as important as the foreground. I also estimate where everything goes on the picture plane and try to get it in one shot.

I'm only painting in areas where I haven't painted yet, covering the white of the paper and respecting the light colors.

I’m only painting in areas where I haven’t painted yet, covering the white of the paper and respecting the light colors.

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