How to Paint Poppies (Part Three: The Stems and Paper Plane)

I’m excited to share the final part of my Poppy-painting tutorial! I hope you’ve seen my Remembrance Day post, which includes a tribute to my amazing Grand Daddy who died in World War II.

If you want to see part one of my How to Paint Poppies tutorial (the background), click here. 

For part two (the flowers), click here.

Okay! Lets finish this painting! We left off with a nice background and some floating poppy heads:

These definitely need some greenery!

Fill your paintbrush with some of your earthy green paint.

Paint yourself a nice green peduncle/ sepal (Also known as a green chunk) on the bottom of your petals. Remember agaiiiiinnn, this shouldn’t be perfect, we will add some more to it later. Patience, young one.

Here are a few examples of the different types of green chunks you can paint on your poppies.

Next, add a touch of brown to your green to darken it up a bit, and dab it along the area closest to the petals a lil something like this:

Perfect! Now we can get to the stems!

Get yourself a nice small paintbrush to paint the stems, or just use the same flat brush you were using before and use the other side like that. ^^^ Make sure to use the first lighter green color that you first painted the green chunks with 😉

When you are done painting all your stems, you can start adding some dimension to them!

With this stem, my paint wasn’t watered down enough, plus I was rushing, so it wound up looking like this, but that’s okay!

I just got my darker green paint, and went over it like this, making sure to keep some of the lighter paint showing through.

Now we have to shade, and that means I have to get technical, and by ‘technical’ I mean this:

Did anyone else watch or read any of Mark Kistler’s stuff? Apart from my sweet artistic parents, he was the one who taught me most of what I know about drawing! He is a freaking superhero I tell ya! Just youtube ‘Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station’ and be prepared to learn so much awesome stuff… in such a fun way haha. He teaches all about perspective, and 3-D drawing, foreshortened flapping flags, and SHADING. Here is a sweet clip so you can experience some of this awesomeness for yourself!

Long story short, what you wanna do with these stems is paint one side darker than the other side (cuz the light source is shining on everything in the same direction- get it?) Even if you don’t get it, it is pretty easy to do! Chose which area you want to be darker, and keep it that way on all the poppies. Also keep the bottom sides of the bending stems darker too.

Like soooo:

Pretty nifty, but it looks a little too unrealistic with those stark lines!

So grab a different shade of green (one in between the lighter and darker ones you have been using) and mess it up a bit.

Much better!

Now these poppies are missing some extra greenery- how bout some simple grassy bits like this:

And work your new-found shading skills again!

There! Wow~ that is the end of the poppy painting! Except that I needed to add a special touch:

A paper airplane.

Looks like the poppies approve!

Fini! After this painting has it’s short stint on the walls of my church for Remembrance Day, I’m shipping it off to an amazing care-home for people living with dementia. My sweet friend, Jacqui (who works there) let me know about it. It is such a cool place, and there needs to be more care-homes like this! Check out their website here. Their mission is to “greatly improve the lives of dementia sufferers by combating the three plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. NTL’s enriched, safe environment helps to provide residents and day program participants with full and abundant lives.” So awesome!!!

These paintings make me want to lie amongst the poppies and stare up at the paper airplane in the sky like this:

Well that was such a fun (long!) painting tutorial!!

But how could I forget about Mr. Slug? (Did you see his fate in this part of the tutorial?)

He’s not doing too well…

He didn’t even get to take a bite of his apple 😦

Well on that sad note,

Happy poppy-painting and… slug-slaughtering.


About Busted Button

Where Creativity and A.D.D. meet…on a blind date…under a bridge…and make a baby.
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3 Responses to How to Paint Poppies (Part Three: The Stems and Paper Plane)

  1. Cathy Barzo says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. I plan to follow it for one of my paintings. I especially like the workshop on painting the background. Initially you might not think the background is so important, but it is and getting it right makes a big difference. I plan to check out your site on Etsy. I found you because of your button art, but happy to see this side. I’m a relative new painter starting out in acrylics but in the last two years I’ve have dabbled a bit in watercolours. .

  2. Andrea says:

    OMG! I LOVED Mark Kistler!!!! I loved that show! It was awesome! I think that’s what pointed me more towards a creative venture. Great Tutorial!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I loved It thank you

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