Wishful Thinking, March

I could have titled this post: Ready for Color, or Envious of Those Experiencing the Desert Wildflower Bloom, or simply Tired of Brown. Rather than painting what’s outside this week, I decided to create my own poppy field. This piece is bigger and bolder than I typically paint. I’m still not sure what I think of it, but it has been nice to experiment with some brighter colors and assuage my wishful thinking.

Tips and Techniques– I created this piece using negative painting techniques, starting with a wet-in-wet wash of QoR Nickel Yellow Azo, Quinacridone Magenta, and Transparent Pyrrole Orange. I let the colors merge on the wet paper and, when dry, began adding graded washes of sap green (sometimes with Ultramarine Blue), painting around the flowers and picking out stems, buds, and seed pods. There are a number of layers here, each one adding depth. I could have kept going, adding more darks, but at some point, it was best to quit, rather than risk the piece getting too fussy and overworked. (The paper is Fabriano Artistico, extra white, cold press, 300lb/640 GSM, 11×14”)


44 Comments on “Wishful Thinking, March

    • Thanks Evelyn. They are in QoR’s “high chroma” set and they are pretty intense. I like them for their transparency, which you really need for this type of painting.

  1. Beautiful art! Thank you so much for sharing a breath of spring on a blustery day in the Midwest.

  2. One of my favorite paintings, which you have shared. It gives us in New England
    a sense of hope that spring will emerge in all its glory as it does every year – eventually.

    • Hi Louanne- New England is looking awfully brown these days. But for a few glimmers of spring, we might be feeling worse. I guess this what gives us fortitude. Glad to bring you some good cheers on another overcast Sunday.

    • Beauty!! I have a poppy watercolor painting that I never finished! You inspire me to go back and do it!! I love the diversity of colors. How you have both warm and cool tones and good range of values! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Really love this painting…..fresh and colorful! 👏👏🎨

  4. I really love how you were able to achieve this depth of color. The painting draws you in as you follow the light to dark gradations. Really beautiful!!

  5. Stunning Jean. I felt like I was looking through an early morning meadow of delicious color!

  6. This is so lovely. Thank you for sharing the process which is so helpful. Here in North Wales UK Spring has come and bursting out everywhere,you feel you want to put the brakes on so you can enjoy each change.

    • Hi Holly- I worked on this over the course of a week, mainly evenings after work, so I’m guessing it took me about 6 hours. It’s really hard to figure, since I get up and do other things during the drying time. Does that sound like a lot? I wish I could work more quickly, but I tend to be a slow painter.

      • no, it sounds just right. and you have given me hope. i get so impatient to be able to paint fast when i know good things can come of moving slowly and thoughtfully. Your work is beautiful.

  7. Gorgeous! The poppies and pods are beautiful, so light and airy. I noted that you used 300lb paper allowing you lots of layers of washes. I have not done a negative painting in a long time. Your painting has inspired me to try again. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I wonder if you planned out this entire layout or was your first washes of spontaneous colors what prompted where your flowers would go? It is exquisite!

  9. It’s beautiful, and I love “Wishful Thinking – March” – that’s so perfect. I like the way everything seem to radiate upwards, more and more airy towards the top, like the flowers could take off and fly. It takes a true pro to do that!

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