Dreaming in the poppy fields

It’s poppy season, and they happen to be one of my favorite flowers. Mostly because of their intense red color, but also because their petals feel silky, and they’re so delicate they can’t survive in a vase. You can only admire them in their natural habitat.

Dreaming in the poppy fields - mixed media drawing by Nela Dunato

Poppies have been traditionally associated with dreaming, and they’re a symbol of the Greek god Morpheus. I experimented with a new mixed media technique by layering a transparent black and white portrait of a sleeping woman over the colorful field. It’s something I used to do a long time ago using digital art, but now I’m rediscovering this effect in drawing and painting.

Dreaming in the poppy fields - mixed media drawing - detail by Nela Dunato

What I love about this experiment: Derwent Inktense pencils (Poppy Red and Shiraz) which are super bright and saturated. Charcoal, which I almost never use, for it’s blending effects. I might start using it more often.

What I don’t like so much: The grassy background done in colored pencils. I had to put several layers to get a color this deep and the paper got so waxy it couldn’t hold the charcoal or gel pen. I’ll try something else next time – watercolor or soft pastels.