The Creative Edge

Karla Pearce has been writing an arts column in varrious newspapers continusly since 1997.

The following is a collection of her current work that is published in Kamloops this Week. 
The Creative Edge by Karla Pearce

How to Paint Poppies

Now that the weather is warm it’s a good time to get out and have a look at the natural world. Flowers are one of the loveliest things to paint as they are very forgiving in terms of line and colour. One can abstract a flower quite a bit and still have it read as a flower.

Here are some step by step instructions on how to paint a poppy in acrylic paint.

We will be using acrylic paints, magenta, cyan blue, primary yellow, black and white. Have three brushes available, a mall medium and large. I painted this on a 16 x 20 canvas but you can paint it any size.

Using the smaller brush and watered down black paint, sketch out your painting design on the canvas. If you make a mistake use white to cover the line and paint over it. Continue sketching using black and white until you have a working drawing. I added a bit of watered down black to the background and a bit of magenta indicating foliage.

 Using a larger brush mix yellow and blue together making a bright green. Paint in background. Using black darken areas around the right poppy creating depth in the painting. Make sure you clean your brushes and water. Next we move onto the magenta.

Using magenta and white, paint in the petals. Make sure you don’t over blend. You should see different areas of light and dark.  Mix magenta and a smidge of yellow to create red. Paint red on the petals that need darkening. Mix magenta with blue and white creating a light violet. Paint in the centre of the flower. Carry some of the violet into the background.

Using similar technique paint in the petals of the second poppy. Paint in the centre of the third poppy that is starting to open at the bottom of the page with magenta and white (pink). Mix black and magenta together to create a dark space in the bottom poppy right next to the pink. Mix blue and magenta together making violet. Paint in the centre and bottom of the top two poppies. Carry some of the violet into the background. Mix blue and yellow to create green. Add a green centre in the large and small poppies. Touch up the third poppies opening pod. Carry the green into the background.

Using a small brush it’s time to add detail. Using green touch up the centre of the large poppy. Using watered down white, paint in tiny lines extending outward. Mix orange by adding yellow and magenta. Add tiny dots at the tips of the white stamens on the large poppy. Take a few minutes to look at your painting.  Correct anything that is bothering you. Voila you are finished!

If you are interested in learning more about painting or to register for a class go to or text 778-220-2032 we are currently running art classes every Sunday at McDonald Park under the gazebo from 3 to 5pm.