We attended a ‘celebration of life’ today. It was sad for those who knew the man that died, one of Joy’s cousin’s exes. Everyone was supposed to come in casual attire; he was a surfer – until the very end. His last heart attack was on his surf board. I met the man once or twice and he seemed a very nice fellow. I learned a lot about him from the tributes as well as a Skyped eulogy from an aunt in Australia.
The house was way out in the country. I had almost forgotten what the countryside was like. But the best thing were the orange poppies. They are called California poppies and are the state flower.
They were all over the place, but I took a photograph of these two:
When we got home I started today’s study.
I had planned to make my orange color through stages of glazing (yellows and reds). Below is the first stage. The first paint I applied was cadmium yellow pale. I felt comfortable with this. Although it is an opaque color, there was no layer below it to obscure. After it was dry, I applied Winsor red for the shadow area and Alizarine crimson for rest of the petal.
I applied more Alizarine crimson to both images. After it dried, I noticed that all the petals were too dark. I used my ‘elephant ear’ sponge to lightened the appropriate areas on the petals. I used cadmium orange and Van Dyke brown for the center parts of each flower. I probably should have masked these out with the latex resist so they would have stood out more from the petals in the background.
I wanted at least one more glazed layer, so I used my beloved lemon yellow as the final glaze for the flowers.
Since I found the poppies in the grass, I thought it would be nice to place a green background behind them. I started with sap green, with which I had such good luck in yesterday’s experiment. I overpainted that with Hooker’s green and dabbed away at it with paper towels to get a texture. I found that was easier than drawing grass – practically anything would be easier than that.
The poppies in the final study seem a little disembodied, but I like them.