“Poppy, No. 1” - Learning from my Mistakes

Poppy, No. 1

Title: Poppy, No. 1

I need to produce lots of small artworks for the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts (by the way, I'm finally on their website) so I started a new series on poppies. With each piece I will post something interesting about how I made it.

I had never painted a small poppy before, only medium or large ones, and decided to make this a 5" x 5" project. After priming the paper with a thin coat of regular Colourfix Primer, I began to draw. It didn't take me very long to realize that this was not going to work.

A sanded pastel surface like Colourfix is perfect for pebbles and rocks and it helps to emphasize their natural texture. However it's not the best choice for smooth, flowing, transparent flowers. Stonehenge is much more suitable especially for fine details and sleek color gradations.

I resized my project to a 6" x 6" Stonehenge paper, still small but big enough for the intricate poppy. I  worked on the Icarus board at medium-low temperature and burnished all the way through the end. This time I didn't use any tools, just the pencils themselves. I blended no more than two layers and selected only colorfast colored pencils, hence the use of Polychromos when certain colors weren't available in the other brands. Oil based colored pencils like Polychromos are affected by heat if layered on top of wax-based colored pencils.

Well, this was definitely a learning experience!