How to Paint a Mural- Step Nine- Orange Poppies- Complete!



Well, I finally finished the mural the other day.  In total, about 80 hours of learning, repainting, head-against-wall hammering, joy, and frustration.  The wall is 8' tall and 12' wide, and it wraps around 4' on the left and 4' on top.  So, I guess that makes it a 12' x 16' mural-- easily double (or more) the size of the last one (7' x 10' or so).  Not really sure I would have stepped into it if I'd known I was going to plod along for 10 months with paint tarps and whatnot in my bedroom.  But the project is done, I'm pretty happy with it, and I learned a lot that applies to acrylics, color theory, how we view color in the world, etc.  A lot of artistic growth, so that's a good thing.

My daughter did some paper art projects to add to the mural-- that butterfly going around!  And there's a couple of lady bugs too.  Fun!  :)

For the orange poppies, I learned a lot about glazing.  I did an original version-- this one here--


The form was ok to me, but found them too yellow and the technique used too dry-brush.  I then  glazed yellow over them- better, and more chromatic, but still too yellow, not enough orange.  I tried mixing an orange, but I only had red and yellow, and the chroma was too muted.  So I actually went out and got some orange, and glazed that over them again.  Slowly, things became more California poppie-like.


This is actually more orangey than  it looks in real life.  Either way, in the end I've been happy with the changes.  Helpful too that they're actually in bloom right now too!  I took a few pics for reference.

I had a couple of particularly troublesome poppies that I was quite unhappy with.  I re-blocked them with an opaque application of yellow-white paint, keeping the too-brown shadows, then went back over it with a thinned application of orange.  Amazing how the colors shifted, and became appropriate!  The underpainting really was there just for value!

All those YouTube videos and books weren't lying!  LOL.

In the end, the most pleasurable thing is just to heave a sigh of relief.  It doesn't suck.  It's fun.  And it's done.  I can move onto other artistic projects with a nod of contentment and job well done.  !  Phew!  Speaking of which, I'll be posting more of my other work too.  I've been very active the last few months, doing a lot of watercolor painting.