The color of poppies is outrageous—so bright and red you can scarcely believe it. But there it is, once a year, a showstopper in the early June garden. When other flowers are just contemplating what kind of tune they might sing, the poppies belt out their solo. Confidently, they command center stage—knowing, perhaps, that a good rain will soon end their performance.

Tips and Techniques– Because I work during the day, I am often snatching time for sketching and painting in the evenings. I made several trips to the garden this week, fighting biting insects and fading sunlight each time, and that’s why this page looks as it does. I worked very quickly in the drawing stages, adding a few flowers, seed capsules, buds, and leaves over several evenings. I also added some of the values in ink and then I painted inside. This approach is quite different from setting up a single composition or completing an entire painting in one sitting. Doing a little at a time gives me a chance to watch how my subject changes, while building the composition. But it can be a bit of a race against the clock too, especially this week when I was one storm or windy day away from losing my subject altogether.

Registration is open for SAVORING SUMMER SKETCHBOOK SERIES, Tuesdays: June 21, July 19, August 2, August 23, 3-5pm Pacific/6-8pm Eastern at Winslow Art Center – OnlineYou can sign up for one or take all four of these watercolor workshops to capture the beauty and bounty of summer in your sketchbook. Class size is not be limited for this series. Hope to see you there!

21 Comments on “Showstopper

  1. Jean, not only are you an amazing artist, but your command of language description is just another wonderful aspect of your full artistic package – what a delight!

  2. I love the riotous tangle of this, all of them rushing to Experience this short ecstasy of Living.

    Wholeheartedly nurturing the next right tiny step


    • Hi Mary Ellen– Nice to hear from you. It was a quite a tangle out there. By next weekend the leaves will be dying back too, making way for the beebalm. Hope you are doing well.

  3. You certainly know your poppies! Looks like it was fun to paint, even if it was “work”!

  4. Your words are as colorful, descriptive and inviting as your poppies!

  5. Sensational Jean! I’ve shared via twitter along with a quote from your text.. thanks for sharing brightness and beauty 🙂

  6. Love the colors and composition. And the facts that it takes more than sitting makes it inspiring since I can’t get a drawing done all at once.

    • It’s good to know that you can come back as much as you need to to finish. I do try to get as much information as I can in the initial sketch, but I often go back to add more. There’s also a real bias for being fast in the sketching community, but I think there is a real value in working slowly. The main thing is to find what works for you!

  7. As with all of your posts/work, this is stunning, calming, pleasing to the eyes and soul. You are so very talented! Thank you for allowing us to peer over your shoulder! Lisa

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