White Matilija Poppies
Here is a small negative painting study I did a few years back. I painted several of these studies before moving on to a larger painting.
When designing this composition, I placed the large flowers in a circular pattern in order to move the viewer’s eye around the painting.
After sketching out my composition, I prepared three puddles of paint on my palette: Hansa Yellow Light, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, and Royal Blue.
Next, I wet the surface of my painting and floated in the colors trying to keep most of the main flowers white. I wasn’t too concerned if a little of the background color floated over the edge of the petals.
After the first layer was completely dry, I began painting around my main flowers, leaves, and buds in order to make them stand out. I used the same colors as my under painting.
I knew I needed to keep the value light as I had several more layers to go.
As I continued working around the painting, I added some more darker values and introduced some Winsor Violet.
In this final layer, in addition to continuing to darken some of my values, I painted my stems and leaves using a light blue glaze over the yellow layer.
I also began to describe the petals on the flowers. To do this, I painted a thin blue line next to the fold. Next, I softened one side of the color I just laid down with water and left a hard edge next to the fold. You need to skip around and paint every other fold in the petal. If you were to paint a fold next to one that wasn’t dry, the colors would run from one fold to the next.
This was a fun little study to try. To learn more about negative paintings, see these previous posts: