Watercolour Sunshine

Watercolour Sunshine

Even though it is such a long time since I have been at school, August feels like the time for long lazy summer holiday days. My son is home from university and I am just adjusting to the immense amount of food a 19 year old boy seems able to consume ( without putting on an once of weight) , just getting used to tripping over him on his way to the bathroom, washing his clothes etc, before it will be time for him to return ( and I will miss his presence around the place again). My daughter too on the long holidays from college, parenting duties only needed sporadically , trying to teach her to drive, new stresses replacing the old ones.


My thoughts are with any kids collecting exam results today, we all say exams don't define you, but boy does it hurt if you don't get the grades. It still hurts ( although a lot less ) that I didn't pass my art 'o' level over 40 years ago now. So I am sending virtual hugs to the kids and the parents of kids who are wondering what life holds for them as they move forward into the world.


Last evening though I did manage a beautiful outdoor swim , in a friend's garden, a real treat.

Here in the Uk late August is a time for hot colours, rudbekias, dahlias , and of course sunflowers. In all their hot, orangey, yellow sunshiney glory. This summer has been a strange one a very hot June then a damp and drizzly July , but even so it is as if these flowers soak up any sunshine there is and explode it out into the world at this time of year.So how to describe that on paper...

First I draw a rough sunflower shape.

Then I spay it with a lot of water.

Then I dip my brush into lots of yummy yellow, Indian yellow, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow. Not too thick, nice and watery and tap it onto the wet paper where I expect the petals to be and beyond.

Then I leave that to dry.

I am trying to pull the sunflower ( kicking and screaming ) out of the yellow paint.

Ok here is my first photo, the yellow has dried and I am beginning to define petals, and the centre of the flower, still very loose, but I am working from light to dark. Let your brush dance, look where the darker parts are.

There can you see I am working my way around. and also working on the centre.

Leaving some of the lighter colours to shine through.

Next I can add some of the leaves, using sap green, hookers green light , and blues to darken the greens.

Keeping things nice and loose and expressive.

Now to step back and see what needs some more definition.

I think it's about done, but I might add some gold to the centre, I do like a bit of bling.

Oh and a bumble bee, well you wouldn't expect anything less would you?


Have a great day x



Back to blog

1 comment

Very much appreciated your step by step tutorial. I enjoyed painting the sunflower immensely and feel I’ve progressed a lot in a short space of time. I love keeping it loose, you have inspired me not to be such a perfectionist and the outcome is beautiful. Thank you. Nicola


Leave a comment