Burning Twice as Bright
I have been waiting for my Oriental poppies to bloom for two years. I am not disappointed. Their papery thin, flaming orange-red petals are outrageous in the garden. Still, some of the blossoms lasted only days. A few were knocked out by heat. Others by heavy rain. Only two of eight remain. Alas, I’ll content myself with these, plant more perhaps, and paint them again next June.
Tips and Techniques– For the strong warm reds and depth of color poppies demand, I tapped the intense colors of Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus Fine Art Watercolors. I have a small set that I rarely use but were perfect for this. I chose permanent red, Hansa deep yellow, and alizarin crimson along with two yellows that are in my regular watercolor set, Hansa yellow and aureolin. I love aureolin because it is highly transparent and you can layer it easily to add warmth to reds or greens. I suspect cadmium red would also work well for poppies, though I don’t own it because it is more opaque than I like.