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Sunday, July 3, 2011


Painting Demos/Lessons
Contemporary Art

Oil Painting Demo 
by Beatriz Socorro

Oil Painting Demo - Yellow Poppy

Note: If this is your first visit, please go to the June archives and read "Painting Tips", "Art Notes" and the "Pink Tulip Demo" before you proceed with this demo.

STEP 1 - After transferring the drawing to the canvas, block in  the colors using the same medium for the first layer as we did in the Pink Tulip Demo.

I suggest you copy the medium mixtures used for each layer so that you don´t waste time going back and forth (they are posted in the June archives under Painting Tips) .
The colors I used for this painting are:

Background:  different shades of:  ultramarine + carmin + violet + white

Flower: cadmium yellow pale + white

Leaves: viridian green + yellow ochre.

STEP 1 - Oil Painting Demo Yellow Poppy
Now let it dry and go to work on another painting.

STEP 2 - Once the first layer is dry, fill in the dark and light shades of the flower. Now do the leaves. At this stage, it will look a lot like a "paint-by-numbers".

For the three different shades of color in the flower, I used:

Light: cadmium yellow pale + white

Medium: cadmium yellow pale + yellow ochre

Dark: cadmium yellow deep + yellow ochre.

If you don´t have these colors in your palette, experiment with the colors you do have and see what you can come up with. Mix your test colors in waxy paper, write down the colors you are mixing (preferably with a permanent ink marker) and save for future reference.

Remember that, after you allow a layer of paint to dry, the next layer requires additional oil medium to prevent cracking.

Next, gently and softly blend in the colors.

STEP 2 - Oil Painting Demo Yellow Poppy
Now, you could either let the painting dry or you can proceed to the next step.

STEP 3 -  I felt that the background was too bland so  I added some pure orange to the dry background. I also darkened the center of the flower with pure violet.

By "pure" I mean that I did not mix the color with any other.

STEP 3 - Oil Painting Demo Yellow Tulip

Now allow to dry.

STEP 4:  Using almost pure white (barely add some cadmium yellow to the white) outline the edges of the petals.

Using the same colors (greens, yellows and white), add the stamens to the center of the flower.

STEP 4 - Oil Painting Demo Yellow Poppy

I felt that the orange touching the yellow was distracting from the flower. As you can see,  I made some changes to the background.

STEP 4 - Yellow Poppy

Being the Virgo that I am, now I feel that the stamens in the center are too light and pop out at me. I have to fix that but first I have to wait for it to dry, otherwise, I know for sure that I´ll end up making a mess.

STEP 5 - The painting is now dry and  I can fix the center. To subdue the colors, I glazed over it with pure violet. To make the glaze, I added linseed oil to the violet paint until it became almost transparent. This will take a long time to dry. So hang your painting somewhere and forget about it for a few days.

Look at the above picture and notice that your eyes stick to the center of the flower...even if you try to look somewhere else. Now, look at the picture below and notice that your eyes are now free to move around.

STEP 5 - Yellow Poppy Oil Painting
9x12 Canvas Board

I don´t know which of the two backgrounds I prefer. Which one do you like best?

If you find spelling mistakes, it's because Blogger wants to do my spell checks in spanish even though I have instructed it repeatedly to use the english language. It obviously has a mind of its own and has decided that, since I am in Mexico, my spell check should be in spanish.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check the archives.

God Bless!!

Beatriz Socorro

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