Some colorful poppies in various techniques

Some colorful poppies in various techniques - student project

Hi there!

I really enjoyed doing this class by Dylan Mierzwinski. It was a great opportunity to dig out some old and long forgotten art supplies and to just start creating and exploring.


So first of all, here is the list of all art SUPPLIES that I used in this project:

 - round dynasty brushes in different sizes: 10, 8, 6, 2, 0 and 3/0,

- white pilot pen (choose o7)

- some tape to create picture edges 

-  winsor & newton watercolours

- winsor & newton acrylic paint (instead of using acrylic gouache)

- royal talens gouache paint

winsor & newton black indian ink

- strathmore and canson cold pressed watercolour paper (300 g/m2)

Some colorful poppies in various techniques - image 1 - student project


And here is what I managed to paint:

Most of the time I'm using my watercolour paints, so I decided to start this project with them. Dylan really inspired me to create some colour swatches...well but I still haven't finished them completely...I just got that far:

Some colorful poppies in various techniques - image 2 - student project

1.) For the first experiment I drew some basic shapes with an ordinary pencil, just to define a starting composition and then started applying colours on a dry canson paper. This paper has a really rough structure, which creates more smeared lines. The right blossom has more layers and the left one has just one layer, but it has a more noticeable gradient (from very strong to lighter colour). I also tried to create the effect of small hairs (using a 3/0 sized brush) which came out really interesting. For the background I wasn't sure whether to use solid colour or little dots, so I tried out both. I preserved white edges with the use of some tape. At the end I used a white pen to draw some details on the right blossom.

Some colorful poppies in various techniques - image 3 - student project

2.) For the second picture I chose strathmore paper, which is a lot smoother than canson paper. This time I also drew some basic lines with a regular pencil. I started by putting water on the blossom area and only after that started adding a red pigment. I also tried to preserve some white areas. This time I added more layers to the three flower buds. I did not coloured the background, but just sprayed some colour on it. Because I love borders, I drew a frame with the help of some tape. This time I was able to drew smaller and thinner hairs on the stems, because of the greater smoothness of the paper.

Some colorful poppies in various techniques - image 4 - student project

3.) After experimenting with watercolours I decided to try out some black indian ink. At the beginning I was not sure if I want to draw some shapes and than colour them with watercolours (this would be possible since this type of indian ink is water resistant) or just leave it like this. I decided to use strathmore paper, because it is easier to draw on a smother paper and I found out that I don't really like this rougher type of canson paper (even though I'm in love with some other canson watercolour collections). I drew some basic shapes with a regular pencil. For an ink drawing I always use my black gold dynasty brush size 0, which is my favourite. With it I'm am able to create very precise lines as well as more thick ones. At the end I was very satisfied with the result, so I decided not to colour the poppies, but just the edges of the painting (using some tape for nice margins).

Some colorful poppies in various techniques - image 5 - student project

4.) Than I moved on to some gouache paints. I didn't have that many experience with them, but I wanted to give them a try. I decided to use the smoother watercolour paper. I started by drawing some composition  with a regular pencil. I found out that a gouache paint need to be applied in reasonably thicker layers in order to be able to really cower the pencil marks. I quite enjoyed painting with gouache for a change, especially because it enables you to draw details using a lighter paint on a darker background (like yellow stripes on green buds). From now on I will definitely paint with gouache more regularly. 

Some colorful poppies in various techniques - image 6 - student project

5.) For the last experiment I used my acrylic paints, since I don't have any acrylic gouache. Also now I decided that it is smarter to use smoother paper, since acrylics are thicker and don't flow that good on the rough paper. Again I used a pencil to draw some guidelines. This time it was not so important to draw them very lightly, while acrylics are really good covering colours. At the very end I draw some fine details on the poppy blossom using my white pen (when the colour was completely dry).

Some colorful poppies in various techniques - image 7 - student project



This is all from my project!! Until next time!! Bye!! Ana


Ana Vidergar
art enthusiast, mechanical engineer