This started as an acrylic study from a photo of a public garden in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It evolved into something that combined that garden and one of my favorite sunrise scenes.
As usual, the scan does not capture the range of colors in this painting. The foreground is more green and purple than this image shows.
This is an acrylic sketch, meaning that it's not a formal painting... it's more a color study, experimenting with vivid and muted shades as well as light and dark.
I love how bright the poppies look, capturing how intense the red-orange is in the actual flowers. And, I like the way that the various areas of light & dark, as well as color, keep the viewer's eyes wandering around the canvas, similar to a good abstract.
As an artist, this reinforced my fondness for mixing Hookers Green (honestly, that's the standard name for the color!) and a good dark purple, to capture the light and shadows in a slightly overgrown garden.
I also like how the area of white flowers (suggested in the center of the canvas) reflects the yellow of the sunrise. I chose not to articulate any of the individual flowers in this area, but suggest them with broad brushstrokes and a general mass of color.
For me, this was a successful canvas because it compares vivid colors (the poppies) with lighter, darker, and same-tone areas in the study. For the poppies to seem to stand out against a same-tone color, it was important to make the contrasting color a near opposite on the color wheel.
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