Poppies in Oil! A Beginner Tutorial

Hi friends! Today we are going to paint this poppy painting in oil paints:


It is very easy to do if you follow along with my step by step tutorial. Feel free to try it in acrylics or pastels if that is what you have. I will be using the Lukas 1862 oil paints for the first time and I like them!


When I checked the painting 18 hours later the paint was almost dry except for the green areas. That is fast for oils. I like not having a wet canvas sitting on the easel for a week because in my studio who knows what could get stuck to it!

The colors I am using are:
Permanent yellow light
Cobalt blue
Yellow ochre
Titanium white
Alizarin Crimson

12″x16″ canvas

Brushes: a random variety of brushes you like, honestly it does not matter as long as they are brushes you use for oil:)

Reference photo

I hope you feel confident enough to try this painting, it was so fun!

And now for something completely different….

My daughter Lila and I were working on a fun kids craft video segment last night when we heard a horrible crash behind us…


Luckily we did not get hurt but a few stretched canvases got punched through, a pot broke and one Pan Pastel shattered (I am hoping to be able to fix it though and post a DIY later! The shelf was on the wall with a French cleat and the cleat on the shelf was nailed (not screwed) in and the nails pulled out. What a scare! I went through the rubble last night and tried to find new homes for what I could but I still have piles of canvasses to climb over downstairs this morning, oh well, it’s an adventure LOL! So much for my “Super Strong Shelf” I though my stamp binder shelf would be the first to collapse, wait, why did I just say that and tempt fate? If you are having a rough Monday think of my predicament and have a good laugh, it’s OK, I don’t mind! Happy crafting!


8 Responses

  1. no way would I laugh about that! I am so glad you were not hurt. Now a challenge: how to use a busted canvas! I would be so willing to actually bet money that you could come up with 10 creative solutions!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I’m so sorry about the damage 😦 That said, post-crash that looks pretty much how my studio looks at the best of times ;o) Necessity is the mother of creation though, so I’m sure you’ll managed to find an even better solution.

    I *was* going to try this painting this weekend – I have California poppies in my garden (and Flanders poppies, of course) and on of my Ph.D students uses them in his experiments so we have them growing all over the place at work too – I love them! I had nearly all the right colours and I bought some Viridian to complete the set – I’m not a fan of oils, there’s something complex-seeming about them that my mind cannot seem to get past. So I was doing to try and paint just the lefthand poppy on a canvas panel as I have a few around I should use up, but I somehow spent nearly the whole long-weekend (it’s a bank holiday in the UK today, Monday) in bed – I’ve had strep throat and a fever and so on and that’s almost gone, but think I’m just exhausted now. I guess I can at least try this in bits (with it being oil) over the next week.

    Could you do (or do you already have?) a video or post on the different oils one can use and why and how they compare in practice? Linseed (drying, boiled, thickened…), poppyseed, linseed stand, safflower…can you see why I find it so intimidating? How does “artist’s white spirit” differ (in practice) from DIY store “white spirit” (not the substitute, the real thing)? Ditto turpentine – can one get away with switching to the DIY store version for just practising to save money?

    Many thanks and keep up the amazing work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rich! I was sick too this weekend, just a sore throat and tired but I could tell I was fighting something! I keep it simple: Linseed oil and mineral spirits but I have uses Turpentine and turpanoid. The mineral spirits (paint thinner) from the hardware store is fine but the boiled linseed oil will yellow so opt for a non yellowing one at the art supplier if you wish to use it. You don’t have to, it just helps flow if the paint is stiff. Honestly it is way less complicated than acrylics:) I hope you fell better Rich!


      • Thanks so much, Lyndsay – I have a colleague who paints in oils and she was shocked when I said I used “just acrylics” as they were harder in her mind that oils – I find acrylics easy – ditto watercolours – but oils intimidate me so much. I need to get beyond my fear, really ;o)
        PS: I’m feeling loads better, thanks – the new Game of Thrones just buoyed me up nicely ;o) Hope you’re also feeling better.


  3. No laughing…just an OH NO! This kind of adventure no one needs! Wish I could be there to help you put it all back together again….guess it is time to call hubby for a screwed in shelf!
    Paper Hugs,


  4. Lindsay I am so happy that you and Lila did not get hurt. Hope you are feeling better hugs to you


    • thanks Bev, we laughed about it after the surprise! I am feeling better but now hubby has a sore throat:(


  5. Beautiful poppy painting.


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