Learn to Paint Flowers in Oil! Quick & Easy Painting Lessons for Beginners

  • By: Michael Smith
  • Date: September 26, 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Today we are going to paint poppies – very beautiful and exciting flowers.

We will use a kind of unusual oil painting technique. We will use only the palette knife, cloth and finger.
It is not difficult to paint poppies, even if it is your first experience in the oil painting. It is quite simple and easy to paint flowers with the oil paints using a palette knife.
You may have the question – how to draw in all the neat details of these dainty flowers without the thin brushes? Now you we learn how to do it.

How to paint poppies art lessons:

But first I would like to say that it is better to start painting flower or any other pictures using some kind of visual material: a photo or a life model (for example, a bunch of flowers placed on a table). There is also an important moment that you should like the object you are going to paint because you will have to spend some time with your chosen model observing, exploring and feasting your eyes on it…

This oil painting lesson video will show you how to paint the poppy flowers. This oil painting technique can be used with any background but in our case we will use the previously prepared canvas (art-lesson video «how to create a beautiful background with the oil paints»).

This short video shows you veryeffective techniques of drawing flowers with the oil paints.

Free video art lesson, techniques of oil painting:

Take a cloth and clean the places where poppy flowers and buds are going to be painted. If it is difficult to rub the paint, you can dip your cloth into the paint thinner. Cleaning and removing of the paint from the background resembles sketching out. Now at this stage of our oil painting class you should mark the basic elements of your composition.

After you have removed the excess layer of the paint and marked the flowers, it is time to take a palette knife and apply the paint. For this purpose the following set of paints will be enough:

  • Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Umber, White and Viridian Green.

A poppy flower resembles a cup. When you are painting these «poppy cups», try to imagine how the light falls on the each of them and where the more shadowed and the most lightened parts will be.

The basic color for each of our flowers is Cadmium Red light. Consequently when painting the shadow part of the flower, you should add a little brown to the Cadmium Red – everything depends on the level of «darkness» you want to show. When painting the petals lightened by the sun, you should add the White or the Cadmium Yellow or even both of them.

In order to show the rounded shape of the flowers, use a palette knife and make the «rounded» movements following the shape of flowers and petals.

After you have outlined the flowers and their shadow and lightened sides, you can move to the next stage of our free oil painting lesson. Begin improving the details of these fragile and dainty poppy flowers.
Sketch out the thin edges of petals with the pointed tip of a palette knife.

You can use the rib of a palette knife in order to remove the paint which has run outside of the flower, its stem and petals and so on.
It is very convenient to smooth the paint with the rounded palette knife which helps to make the applied layer very smooth and clean.

Sketch out the middles of the poppy flowers with a brown paint – the Burnt Umber. Apply the paint with a palette knife or a finger making the dipping movements. This oil painting technique helps to draw in an irregular structure of the middles in a matter of seconds.

Apply the droplets of white over the dark burnt umber making very light movements in order to show the white flecks of dust over the flower stamen.

During the whole working process you can improve the outlines of the flowers, stems and leaves, remove something you have not liked, emphasize the most auspicious moments and add more shadow or light.

This technique for painting poppy flowers is very beautiful and quite simple at the same time. If you practice a bit more, you will be able to create the wonderful flowers at one palette sweep and manage to paint the picture with poppy flowers in several hours or even a single hour.
I wish all of you good luck and new success in your creative work!

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