I have painted poppies before, and some might say too often, but spotting the setting sun on the oriental poppies in my garden drove me to having another go. It was only towards the end of the painting that I realised that the stars of the show aren’t the gaudy flowers but the tousled mass of spikey leaves that snatch the attention away from the flowerheads.
In the past I have been taken by the sculptural forms of leaves in strong light but have felt that they wouln’t make a good painting – clearly I must take another look.
I am still persisting and struggling with floral paintings. At present one of my borders is covered in Oriental Poppies, so I thought it was an opportune time to have a go at them. I also wanted to include the barbed leaves which can be a real feature when the light is right. I must admit it got a bit messy at the end on the left hand side, but I did manage to keep the initial washes on the flowers and some of the leaves on the right and am pleased with the result there.
Before this I had a less successful battle with my forsythia which is a real harbinger of spring here. I wanted the contrast against the clear sky. The mass of tiny flowers and leaves was a difficult ask, and in hindsight I think I need to blow up the small flowers even larger for the thing to work and not resemble a blobby mass.
So one out of two is an improvement on my endeavours of late. There may be some repeats coming this way if I start to find ways to resolve some of my issues. Only time will tell.
I saw one of my floral paintings when I visited someone yesterday. I had forgotten about the painting and looking at it afresh was very pleasing. It was a floral like this one. I am a sucker for light on flowers and when I saw this in my garden I had to paint it, even though this must be the fourth time I have painted poppies. I may even have a go at redoing the painting on the client’s wall, but this time a little looser.