View Full Version : California Poppies - needs help!

09-20-2004, 09:01 PM
Hi everyone - I need Help!!
I have just started trying to paint flowers, acrylic on canvas.
This attempt needs work but I don't quite know what to do with it. I feel it is lacking depth, and think I probably needs some background to it.
I was going to put it on the reject pile, but thought I would ask if any of you out there have any comments for improving this painting or at least for advice for further attempts!
Many thanks in advance for comments.

Lady Carol
09-20-2004, 10:41 PM
Hello shroom,
I like this a lot. I think the colours you have used go great together. The only problem I see is that the flowers still need some work. Add some more darks to the petals to help round them out and shade them better

09-21-2004, 01:54 AM
yup yup, gotta agree..comp is good, just need more work on the flowers as Carol said...nice to have another Kiwi on board, welcome to WC!! :clap:
take another look at your ref, or setup on those flowers, you'll be surprised how much more you see the longer you study them..don't be afraid to add other colours..you may see blues and reds and greens..make your focal flower stand out with brightest highlights and darkest darks on just that flower..

09-21-2004, 02:23 AM
Oh thanks Lady Carol and Gnu for your helpful comments...
I am going to try to do a bit more work on it now, heres hoping I can improve it a little and not make it even worse!!

09-21-2004, 03:27 AM
The colours are great ........... looking forward to seeing what you add to it. :clap: :clap:

Marty C
09-21-2004, 07:55 AM
Hi Shroom,
Nice mix of colours, the blue/yellow complements work well although I'd be tempted to drop the value of the blue background, the better to bring your lighter yellow flowers into focus.
The main thing this needs is a strong defined light source, from left or right. At the moment it is not really defined at all. With a definite light soruce you can then have defined areas of different values in your flowers, making them more detailed and dramatic and overall improving the effect of the work.

09-21-2004, 08:21 AM
I think the background is your weakest link. 2 problems I see. One, that shade of blue I think detracts from the flowers. Two, the brushstrokes, I think it shows better depth if the brushstrokes are all going in the same direction, and it might make the background more boring, that being a good thing. Keep at it! :clap:

09-21-2004, 11:45 AM
Shroom, first let me congratulate you on getting the color of the poppies right! I grew up in a wildflower area in California, and it bothers me to see paintings of "red" California poppies. Yours is right on the mark.

As others have said, the blue background is a bit too bright. I'm attaching one of my own poppy photos to suggest an easy alternative. I think just by dabbing some greyed greens over your blue, you could get a similar effect, if you wanted.


09-21-2004, 11:51 AM
The only thing that I can see that hasn't been mentioned yet is the halo painted around the flowers. If you do readjust the background, try to minimize this.

Charlie's Mum
09-21-2004, 12:14 PM
Beautiful colours shroom..and the sense of light through the petals is good too. The lack of texture and strength of the blue in the bk/gd tends to kill any sense of depth and space but you've been given some good advice above and I'm sure this is easily rectified.
If your ref is good, I'd suggest looking for more detail in the petals - otherwise, Noma's photo is beautiful and a good source for the textures of the petals........but please try not to lose that beautiful-light-through-petals that you've already achieved! :D

09-21-2004, 01:52 PM
Wonderful mix of colors happening here! Like it a lot so far. :clap: :clap: Would love to see the background on the left a little darker going toward the middle. But that's just one man's opinion!! :)

09-21-2004, 06:41 PM
Thanks so much everyone for your wonderfully helpful comments, and for your poppy photo Noma - it will definitley help.
I feel very inspired by all of your comments - so encouraging - makes me want to "do better!" :rolleyes: rather than just thinking a painting hasn't worked and leave it.
If only I can put your ideas into good practice....back to the canvas...