Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Micro-Sunflowers, sketchbook watercolor, 4x7" DMannion

Day 12 of 30/30 Challenge

These sunflowers were grown in my micro-greens planter a few months ago.  The seeds sprout very fast and the baby shoots can be eaten days later.  If they're not harvested young, sunflower greens get hairy and not fun to eat.  Had no idea the leftover plants would thrive and bloom!   Strong and hardy, they grew to about fifteen inches.  They survived the summer heat, our salads, and my tremendous neglect.   Wanted to immortalize their perseverance and paint their sunny faces!  Next time I'll plant them in the ground where they should grow five or six feet high!

They look gorgeous in the sun contrasted with the dark hedge behind them.  For day 12 of the two 30/30 challenges, I decided to paint them from life.  Not an easy task, the slightest breeze sent them dancing.  Sketched rapidly in pencil, took many breaks while the paint layers dried, and realized I was in trouble.  Lesson learned... choose easier, less complex subjects for quick watercolor sketches!
 Rapid pencil sketch of their dance routine
 Locked in faces, stems, and leaves with waterbrush
 Painted leaves, first pass of flowers, background with DS burnt orange (should have left it at this stage.  Urgh.)
 Painted background with DS Moonglow (love it) mixed with a bit of ultramarine blue.  Thought the dark value would make the flowers look brighter.  Added more oranges and cad yellows to petals.  It's ok, I don't love or and don't hate it too much.  Fine for sketchbook work.  Moleskine NON-watercolor paper is not very forgiving.  But tomorrow is the LAST page!  Have real watercolor paper sketchbooks waiting!

Day 12 of Strada Easel 30 Day Painting from Life Challenge, and Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days 9/18 Challenge

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