Welcome to TIPS ON TUESDAYS…..

But first, feast your eyes on this pot of gold!TT916-8

From IRELAND come Irish note cards, tea towel, luggage tags, lavender (yes, there is lavender in Ireland, too), a fabulous scarf AND TWO paintings from my own Ireland journal pages!

We’re splitting the LOOT between four lucky winners…..and they are:

  • Rosita Henley
  • Von Reeder
  • Janet Payne
  • Kim Schmidt Borneman

Congratulations to all of ye! Thanks to everyone for reading and for taking the time to comment. I’ve read every one of them! We wanted to give a little something to everyone of you who commented, so we’re giving you each a coupon for a free packet from my website….which doesn’t seem like a good deal to me when you have to pay the shipping. So, we aren’t putting an expiration date on the coupon, so you could use it anytime you’re placing an order and just add on the free packet. Your coupon will be coming to you by Friday. Keep an eye open for it!

And now for the lesson….POPPIES!

This is a fun technique that looks good every time. So, I hope that you’ll paint along.

Here’ what you’ll need:

SURFACE TO PAINT ON: 8 x 10 piece of watercolor paper – any brand will do, but I’ve used 140 lb. cold pressed & Newton

BRUSHES: Large Flat watercolor brush, smaller flat or round and a liner brush. Don’t go out and buy new brushes…use what you have. Brushes you use for acrylic paint will work, too!

COLORS: I use W&N paint, but use whatever brand you have. You’ll need a red, orange, yellow and blue. I’ve used: Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Orange, New Gamboge, Ultramarine Blue. You’ll also need a bit of white gesso, or other fluid white acrylic paint – the kind that comes in a bottle already thinned. There are many companies that carry this type of paint….Golden fluid, Delta, etc.

NEEDLE BOTTLE: Here are a couple of different bottles that you could use for this and photos of each of them.

TT916-1      TT916-2

1.  Cut your watercolor paper to 8 x 10″ and draw your poppies onto it lightly with a pencil. Poppies come in all shapes and sizes, Yours do NOT have to be perfectly drawn to look great. So, give it a try and don’t be so hard on yourself about your drawing (yes, I can read your mind)!

2.  Fill the needle bottle with the fluid acrylic or gesso, staight from the bottle. Then test it. See if you can actually squeeze out a little of the paint. If it doesn’t come out, it’s too thick…add A LITTLE BIT of water and try again. Got it? You’re ready to move on……

3.  This first photo is a bit difficult to see, but if you look very close at the white watercolor paper, you’ll notice that I’ve used the needle bottle to trace the white acrylic over all of my poppy drawing. Just in case you can’t see it, I’ve done a small bit onto black paper, too. This shows what the drawing will look like. You can see, it’s a bit raised – but it’s definitey not perfect. Some places may be thinner and others thicker. Such is the needle bottle. Don’t worry….let it dry completely…..then move on…..


4.  Now mix up piles of three of four (medium value) color: a red mix, an orange mix and also a bit of green (mix your blue and yellow together). When you have all colors mixed, wet your paper thoroughly. Look for an even shine.

5.  This next part will seem scary, because we’re going to put all of these wet colors onto the paper at the same time! Relax. Use your large flat brush (perhaps a one inched?) and pick up a brush full of the red mix and completely cover the top of the wet paper and the poppies, too. Then pull a bit of it down below the poppies. Now quickly, before the paper loses it’s shine, pick up the orange and drop some into a couple of places on the background and a poppy or two….then also below the poppies.


Finally, pick up just a small bit of the green and place a stroke or two at the bottom of the paper.

Because these colors are all wet, they will run together and edges will soften. THAT’S OKAY!

Take a breathe and notice that the poppy design that you drew in with the needle bottle is now showing up – and looks mighty great! As a matter of fact, the darker your background color the better the poppies will look! STOP painting before the paper loses the shine. I bet you’ll want to play, but don’t do it! Just let it all stay as is and dry thoroughly.

6. Now we’ll begin to put in a bit of detail and make the piece more interesting. Be sure the paper is dry. Then use a pencil and draw a square (or rectangle, or circle) around a portion of the poppies. I’ve drawn a square around the poppies at the left, from the top of the paper down over about three of them.


7. Now, take some of that fluid white acrylic paint and a small brush and fill in that square. Paint the white in AROUND any of the poppies or stems that cross into that square (or rectangle or circle). Let it all dry.


PHEW! I think that’s it for today. If you can complete this in the next few days, then come back on Tuesday for the remainder of this lesson. Also, in the meantime, feel free to ask any questions that you might have about this first portion.

See you on Tuesday!



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