How to drag a painting kicking and screaming from the page.....

How to drag a painting kicking and screaming from the page.....

Today has been one of those days that starts so well and then all goes a bit .....well you can judge for yourselves.

After the success of showing you my loose foxglove painting last week I thought I would move onto poppies this week. I love flowers and and my garden a wealth of inspiration for me. I don't 'garden' as much as I should but flowers still bloom and bees still buzz around.

I began with a quick sketch



Then onto spraying the paper with water 



Then dropping in colours onto the paper, reds and yellows



Letting the colours merge and swim around 



This part is all about adding layers , remembering where the light and darks are



At this point in the day I am still in control..... , trying to let the reds and yellows merge and the watercolour do it's thing



But now things started to go wrong, I wasn't happy with my painting and I was getting frustrated with it. I don't have many photographs as at this point I was fighting with the painting, and deciding whether it was a lost cause or not.

Firstly I left it alone and did something else for a while. then on return I debated ditching it and starting again tomorrow, but I decided to spray most of the colour away and see what happened. I was left with a ghostly image of the poppy and I dropped some more colour in  ( like at the beginning ) to see what would happen.

Then I left it to dry and started to work on the poppy again, highlighting areas and leaving some more wishy washy. I added some darks in the background  , and messed around with splats and splashes. I nearly threw it i the bin again.

I left it again and came back adding greens and grasses,  turned the whole thing upside down and threw some more paint at it.This part was the real battle, and I still didn't know if  was winning....



Finally I added my little bee, a moment of calm in a frenzied painting day. I added some white acrylic splashes to add some light and movement , and threw the painting on the studio floor... I couldn't 'see' it any more ,I couldn't decide if I had ruined it or saved it ?



So my plan of showing you how to paint a poppy in a loose style went by the wayside, but I hope I have shown you how to wrestle a painting back from the brink ....




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Thank you for sharing — love your blog — I’m a beginner — your tips are so helpful and paintings beautiful.


Such a fickle medium but you are able to tame it beautifully.


What a great blog. It’s a lot like cooking isn’t it. I like the result, especially knowing the challenges you had taming it.


Trying to order some of your cards and possibly a print. Unfortunately I do not have Paypal.
Do you or can you ship to the USA? Thank you


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