How to Paint California Poppies
California poppies explode into bloom all over the county in Spring. They are so abundant in places that it looks like fields of orange and what a sight it can be. The bright cheerful orange and yellow need to be painted!
You would think they would be easy but it took me awhile to get the method down to where beginner painters could master it in no time.
I confess, I gave up on the leaves. I need to practice those until I find a method that I like but in the interim we will be content with the flowers grabbing our attention so effectively that we won’t notice the leaves. Agreed?
At the end of this post I also have a video of me painting a few different ones so you can see how to mix it up to get a variety of flowers.
Start by double loading your brush with Pure Orange and School Bus Yellow. (if you need to know what I mean by double load your brush then CLICK HERE)
I start with making a V with the chisel edge of my brush then I make a long wiggle stroke along the top edge of my poppy. The yellow is on the top.
I fill in the lower section with the corner of my brush that has orange on it. If you get some of the yellow streaking in as well that is all good. Just as long as the orange is the dominant color.
I let that sit for just a moment, let it dry some as I want the next stroke to have some definite contrast. If I start my next petal too soon it may blend in too much.
Again with the yellow to the top do another long wiggle stroke lower on the flower and this will be your front petal or petals.
Alternately, instead of doing the petal stroke straight across you can make it come down in the center area (I just went right over the same one but pretend the second petal going across is not there)
Then do another coming down from the other side. This creates a more open poppy.
Now for the stems. Double load your brush (not on the corners just dip in both colors, I show you in the video exactly what I mean) with your lighter and darker green colors.
Press the chisel edge of your brush right at the base of your poppy to create a thickish line.
With the corner of your flat brush make a V shape under the thick line (more centered than mine) and fill it in.
Then drag your brush on the chisel edge to create a stem.
I added a few chisel strokes on a stem for a leaf type shape but am not satisfied with it. I am still practicing that and picked a poppy leaf set yesterday, photographed the heck out of it and now I am going to study it with paint brush in hand and see if I can mimic it better. I don’t go for complete reality but I would like it to actually resemble a real poppy leaf.
I know you will enjoy the video even more.
Brushes: One Stroke mixed package
Most of these supplies should also be available at your local hobby/craft store.
A traceable pattern is to come. Check back soon.
I wish you happy Painting!
For all of my painting tutorials please see my other website…FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com. I will be slowly transitioning them to this site but slowly!