In our backyard I have an amazing red poppy plant that blooms every May. It is my favorite flower because of the rich red blooms which can’t be captured by photography. This year the first poppy popped open on Mother’s Day, and after a fabulous luncheon feast put on by my oldest daughter and her friend, I returned home and immediately started painting since it’s the only way I can capture the deep, varied reds of these flowers. Every May I try to paint these poppies daily until they’re through blooming. I painted in watercolor on Yupo paper, instead of using pastels over watercolor like I’ve used in past years.
Because erasing often messes up the paper, I don’t start with a pencil sketch, but just begin painting, using my brush to draw an outline of the flower. I then begin adding more color.
Here’s a photo of the poppy I was painting:
The next day we were out of town, helping my in-laws pack since they’re moving this week, but today I was ready to go to work and paint more poppies. Instead of the nice sunshine we enjoyed over the weekend, today was rainy, not just showers, but solid rain, all day long. That didn’t stop me, since I know the poppies are only out for a short while, so I set up under our picnic table umbrella, put on my down jacket, scarf, wool hat and went to work!
To warm up (figuratively, not actually…) I painted a small 2 3/4 inch x 2 3/4 inch thumbnail, then started on my Yupo paper with a watercolor outline again. Today’s model:
I decided to paint a background this time and put that in first.
I then began to slowly paint the flower. Unlike Mother’s Day when it was sunny out, my paint didn’t dry at all with the humidity, so I kept having to go inside and use a blow dryer. I decided to start another painting, hoping I could take turns with each, and let them dry inside while I was working on the other.
My outdoor studio—it was quite chilly out after our 80º weekend! The board helped keep me from turning our lawn into a mud puddle…
The finished poppy!
Rain our shine, I’ll be out there again tomorrow!