So as the year turns and we mark special days and months I have realised that they also shape my painting life. Every year since I began my watercolour career I have painted a poppy for remembrance day. I feel it is important to remember those who have fought for us, those who have suffered for us and those still caught up today in the world's conflicts. Sitting in my cosy home, I have no idea of the terrors that people have been through or what they have seen but I can say thank you in my own small way and pause for a couple of minutes to remember.
I find myself reflecting a lot at the moment , and taking comfort in the beauty that surrounds me, nature has a way of healing . For me it is very powerful, I enjoyed a walk on Tuesday in glorious sunshine and boy that did me good.
Then on Saturday I set about my 2020 poppy, I have become more intrigued by backgrounds recently and I thought I would give this poppy a background for a change.
First I sketched a poppy,
I used an image from pixabay
Then I got out my biggest brush and sloshed the water around. leaving the poppy dry but not worrying about going over the edges.
I used a lot of water.
Then I dropped in yellow ochre.
Mop up any bits that start to puddle , unless you happen to like the puddles.
Next I dropped other colours in , greys, and reds.
I sprinkles a bit of salt on it and mopped up any bits I didn't like, play around while the paint is still wet then leave it....be patient , find something else to do. I filled up my bird feeder while it dried.
And had a cuppa.
Now it's dry you can begin on the poppy. I have some special palettes for specific paintings, I have a red one for poppies, that has all my reds on it.
Otherwise there wouldn't be enough room on my everyday palette.
I under paint in yellow, then drop bright reds into it, and let the colours run.
I have to allow bits to dry and work out where I want wet in wet. Soft edges and hard edges.
I also have to content with my studio companion ...Marty.
I sometimes dry things upside down, depending where I want the paint to run, and where the darkest area needs to be.
I am now working my way around the poppy, allowing some yellow to shine through. I also spay the edges so the poppy bleeds onto the paper. I love the way watercolour can do that.
Keep stepping back and adding darks where they need to go.
As you can see, I have avoided the centre till the very end, so now you can carefully paint that in with smaller brushes.
Leaving it all to dry and adding any finishing touches, my poppy is done for this year...
A happy day painting an important symbol and a hope for the future x