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Hello, I'm Nancy Kaminsky. Today we're going to paint pink poppies. It's a rather unusual painting and that the background and the vase are practically the same color and the pink poppies. In this case are quite dramatic against the blue of the background or purple the background of blue the vase. Now let's start as usual. Stay in your canvas. I can't say this too often but when you learn or are learning repetition is a thing and you remember it that way. I'll wipe it off. Lightly please so it doesn't create a lot of fuzz. Also it should be damp. Don't forget it's umber, burnt umber and kerosene. Not too much umber. It shouldn't be too dark either. There we are. Now let's put our grids in
and use this often. This is another thing you'll find that you'll have paint all over you. Why you didn't get it on my girdle? I'm not going to tell you how that happens. There. Be very careful when you're painting your kitchen. If you don't want polka dot walls. When you do this little this first stage because you can clip your brush from side to side and cause dots all over the place. Your painting is on the canvas not on the walls at least now. There we are. Now let's put in our vase. There again it's always less than half. Put your box in like this. Remember you have to save room for the flowers and especially in this case because the flowers are very dominant and it's quite a lot of
them. So be sure you leave room for your flowers like that. Let's cut this in. Make this a little different. We've had round ones, tall ones and this one is shaped just a little different like this. Oops. Try not to get it crooked or on one side like that. Fine. There we are. Now when we put our flowers in be sure that you do not delineate the petals just the general shape and the shape of the circle tells us in what position the flower is. We'll start from the center like this. Let's have one here like that and when we put this line to it means we can see the underside of it and of course that gives it a lot of interest anyway. Don't get them too large but they should also be pretty much the same size. There are small ones but they're actually in different positions. Let's say look smaller like that. We're getting too large because then by the time we put the paint on to get quite large there's one here like this. I'll be very careful that
your stems go into the vase. I'm getting a little runny and this can happen to you so be very careful that you don't put too much kerosene. We have one going this way. We also have some poppies facing the other way. They shouldn't all be facing the same way. Now you're not stuck with the drawing. You can always add a few flowers or buds or whatever the case may be. These are some that have fallen or about to go. They've bloomed and this is very very typical especially in poppies. This happens. So I have some few dead ones or those that are falling or have bloomed like that. It gives you a different size flower anyway and gets it more interest. We have one over here like this and one here like that.
I'm going to keep it loose. I'm going to shorten my vase just a wee bit. There we are. We have one here like this. The feeling I want to create in this composition is this. Either this way or that way. Never square or completely round. It's not normal. I think we can add another one here like that and another one here. That's way fine. Now let's put in our stems just so you know where these flowers are going and not out of the vase. So do this. Of course now there's one. You see turn it that way. That was the wrong position for that. Couldn't possibly go in that vase like that. These will go in because the stems are rather fragile and they do seem to bend after a while. Like that. I think that's let's
start with that in any case. Fine. Now the light is coming from the left so we're going to shade the painting on the right. Let's start with the vase like this. The flowers on the left are shaded on the underside because the light doesn't get under there. Remember the light is coming from the left. This is on the bottom and the right side like this. And we have this here like this. You can almost see the bones of the painting. This is terribly important. Keep you on the straightener when you're trying to figure out where the light is coming from. That can be a problem when you're trying to paint. In painting your tonal
values are terribly important. And remember one thing. In painting color is more important even more important than drawing. I should say most important. There we are. Now on the opposite side the light is hitting the underside of the petals. You see? So we're going to shade the top instead of the bottom like this. You see? Painting is so beautifully logical and once I show you how to see the logic of it you'll be able to do this in everything you paint. I promise you. Now we have a problem here. You see what I've done. This has gotten too runny and I'm starting to lose it. So be very careful that you don't get it too runny. I forgot one right here. Like that. There we are. Let's leave that for the moment. I actually would like to see them but let it go for the moment. Fine. Well that's
the drawing for now. All shaded and we're ready to paint. Now the thing I want to show you today is the palette because in itself this palette is a painting. As a matter of fact one of my students did frame one of my palettes that I let dry. We have here three tones of purple blue for the background. Three tones light minimum dark of aqua blue for the vase and three tones of pink plus an extra light tone. Now this extra light tone I took a half a teaspoon of the light tone. Put it aside and add it. Another half a teaspoon of white with Naples yellow. Never lighten a color with white unless you put it a bit of Naples yellow. If not the color is very very pale and very lifeless. So we're working today with four tones in the flowers. We don't do it often but at times it's very effect as today. But you can see what a related palette it is. Blues purples and then shading
to lavender pink. Let's get started. Start with the background. The dark tone on the right like this. One of the lovely things you'll discover in painting especially with this system is working with color and then being and mixing your color ahead of time. The reason we do this we mix it in batches because I can remember when I was learning to paint I would mix a small batch of paint and by accident I got it right. Then I started painting for example the sky. I got about a quarter of the way through and I didn't have enough paint but I didn't remember how I got that color. So I would spend three hours fooling around trying to get the same color to finish my sky and I practically ended up wanting to burn the painting because I had put all these colors on the canvas and I was pretty discouraged and frustrated. So we mix the color in batches. Now if you run
out we mix if you excuse the expression we mix a double batch. Of course this gives my colleagues qualms and the horrors. Let's go between the flowers. If you go over them don't worry about it just scratch it out like that. I like this. Go through the flowers with the dark tone. Keep it dark in the middle you must remember that the light does not get in between the flowers like that. It's impossible because the flowers are bunched together and light does not turn corners. Remember that. Now let's go to the middle tone like this. Don't get too fussy with it. Don't be painting scared now. We want to give you freedom.
It's freedom based on discipline and that's what life is all about isn't it? There we are. I think this is a scratching school of painting. I want to get this lovely lavender pink against this purple. It's absolutely beautiful. It's harmonious and the colors are related you see. It always looks so terrible in this beginning stage. But keep going. Don't stop and say it looks very strange and try to change it. Follow the directions and just keep going.
Let's bring some of the lighter tone over here like this. A little middle tone. We're going to use different strokes so I'm patting this in this way. It's what I call my fan stroke like that. Let's put in our shadows purple as usual. What else like that? And don't fuss with it just over and down, over and down. Let's put a little purple here. I like to keep the dark side very dark. It creates a marvelous contrast. Then score it like this horizontally to create a reflection. All right. Now I would like to take a little
of the flower color. In this case, the light tone. I'm going to work it in here like this. Just a bit in the light area. And when we're finished, you will see the wisdom of this. Fine. Now let's go to our vase. It's a beautiful shade of aquamarine blue. You can see how effective that color is against the purple. I remember if your color is not like my color, it doesn't matter, but you must have three tonal values. Light medium and dark for your paint to be effective. Now let's put our medium tone like this. And a light tone on the left side like that. Now this, I think, should take a little
paint, take pains with because it can get lopsided very shortly. I keep saying they're Italian pots. I would like to add a bit of purple because the flowers are really shading the pot. There's so many of them. I'm going to shade it a little bit underneath the flowers like this. I actually would like to bring this flower down. I'm going to add that line as a wee bit and clean it up. There we are. Let's put our highlight on
this. White with a tiny touch of Naples yellow. At the highest point like that. Now let's leave that for the moment. All right. Now let's start with our flowers. I've decided that I'm going to bring this center flower down a little further. So I'm going to paint it accordingly. I would like to bring it down there. There we are. Now I'm going to start in the center like that. Let's start with the dark tone. Excuse me. Let's start with the light tone like this. Always start with the back petals first. Then the front petals with the darker tone. This is medium and dark like that. And keep going that way. And don't worry that it doesn't look connected. It will. Of course, when we're finished we
can take our knife and just push them around like that. And they become related. There we are. We're going to add a little dark tone on the bottom. The flowers on the left are medium and light with a little dark. On the right they are dark and medium with a little light. If you want to do two or three light areas at one time like this. Medium tone. And they should all be shaped a little differently so don't worry about that. You see the strokes go towards the center. Now as we progress I will bring in at the last the extra light tone and the extra dark tone which will be the red right from the
palette like that. Now these little fellows turn down this way. It's very dark under there. We're going to add something extra. A little dark red straight from the palette like that. Medium tone on the right side like this. And light tone on the left side like that. We have another one here and it's the same procedure. Start with the dark tone underneath. Medium tone on the right side like that. And this tone here. Extra dark red like this. Picked up a little red there in this case just go right over there you are. This is why oil painting is so marvelous for a beginner. You can move it and change it
while you are working. You're not stuck with it. And when you're a beginner this is a real boon. And you don't lose the drawing. No you are able to retain the drawing and what's underneath. Fine now keep going. As we progress we go to this one. You'll find that the color or the light changes. So the dark tone in that case is here as per shading originally. And the light tone is in the front of that like this. I still have one with the light tone up here like this. A baby one. And the medium tone like that. I'm going to add a little purple to that in a moment. Let's go keep going. On the right side
here we have mostly dark and medium like this. Now this is permissible and this is a very good way to do it. This is rather a house-wise way of doing it. It's like washing all the dark clothes together and all the light clothes. It's the same thing with this painting. We're doing all the dark tones and all the medium tones. Very lightly hold the knife very lightly. I find the beginners have a terrific problem and that they tend to press on the knife and create ridges. It was hold the knife very lightly like that. And don't press. Most beginners tend to hold it like a pencil. And that's perfectly natural. My goodness. There's nothing natural about painting with a knife. Like that. There we are.
Now the little sad ones over here are dark with red underneath because these have our pastured bloom and they are rather faded. Be sure you outline them so they don't look like one huge dead flower. Let's put a little medium tone on the edge of that so we do know that they are separate flowers. Dark tone like that. Like this. Now I would like to add the extra light tone here like that. This gives a feeling of brilliant light on the left side and creates a dramatic contrast of your painting. I'm going to add light
tone on the bottom of this like that. And a little dark red in here like this. Now if you run over like I just did you won't have any problems. Let's put a dark red on some of these like that. Fine. Now let's leave that. We have a large area here that I did not cover so we're going to put a dark tone in there like this of purple. And you must keep this area very dark in the background. This is the darkest part of the whole thing right here where they all come together. Like that. Fine. Now we will put in our leaves and stems and buds. Internally this is a very particular bud. It goes like this. So let's put them
in dark like this. And light. Light on the left side like that. So we have a bud very quickly. They do have many, many buds and that's pretty much in character. Fine. Now let's put in our leaves. Start with the dark tone and work them in like this. Medium. Remember we do not delineate the leaves in the middle of the bouquet. Now we're going to put little bottoms on that so that it doesn't look as though they're floating in space. I'm going to put straight purple in there. This will give you qualms. But it really tells us that
this is quite dark in here and it gives the flowers a dramatic backdrop. Now we're going to put some light tone now and again in here. Now on the bottoms of the leaves like this. We're putting a little green because it has a fuzzy little green thing which is around the bud you see. And we don't lose that. Actually it's all part of this, of the flower and it stays on there. That goodness. Now we're going to create some marvelous leaves like this. And some darker leaves over here like that. And when you do your stems just drag that or rather around the buds. Don't draw the stems. Just drag down lines like this.
I think in a case like this where you have like that there we are. I'm going to put some leaves here. Just a few. When we do leaves here unless it's a distinctive leaf we give only impressions of leaves. Let's put a few fallen petals, most especially on a painting like this. Keep the petals, fallen petals lighter on the left side where the light is and darker on the other side. And let's put some little green droppings like that. Watch them shadows under there because they do cast a shadow and it also helps with the illusion of having a reflection on the table. That helps quite a lot. We have another reason for doing this. It tells us first that there's a flat surface there and secondly
it brings the color down to the bottom of the painting and it keeps the painting pretty much related. We have stamens which are just little purple dots like this. And only in the flowers that you can look into, not the ones that are turned down. There we are. A lot of them is a little bit dominant but I'll close that out. A few more light tones here. I think another bud here. Keep your buds out. And I said that you can add a bit of pink on your bud like this. Well, that's all for today. Now for our signature.
Goodbye for now. Bye. This program was made possible by a grant from commercial union assurance companies.
This program was made possible by a grant from commercial union assurance companies. This program was made possible by a grant from commercial union assurance companies.
Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky
Episode Number
Producing Organization
Connecticut Public Television
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Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
Nancy Kominsky teaches viewers how to paint poppies.
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Fine Arts
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Moving Image
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Host: Kominsky, Nancy
Producing Organization: Connecticut Public Television
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Library of Congress
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Chicago: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 121; Poppies,” 1976, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 19, 2024,
MLA: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 121; Poppies.” 1976. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 19, 2024. <>.
APA: Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 121; Poppies. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from