Did you see the beautiful digi that Marcy released a few weeks ago? It’s called Sunshine of my Life. What a gorgeous array of sunflowers in a vase. I was really looking forward to giving it some colour, and decided to print the image on a lighter poundage watercolour paper to watercolour for a larger piece. This took me several days to work on to get it finished.
I printed the image in a lighter rust-like ink to be about 5 x 7 inches. At first I was thinking I’d split the image and create a couple of cards with it, but as I was watercolouring I decided to make it into a frameable piece instead. I love sunflowers and it was worth all the time I spent colouring it to then be able to put it on a wall, or set it on the mantle.
You can see that my printer was starting to run low on ink so there are sections of the image that printed more rust and some that printed pink. It won’t matter because you’re really going for a no-line look and by the time it’s all coloured up you won’t be able to tell. I kept it a pretty loose watercolouring style to keep that rustic look.
The yellows and rusts of sunflowers go great with the contrast of darker blue so I washed in the background first using Inktense Pencils and my water brush. Normally I work from left to right so my hand doesn’t lay on finished work as I’m watercolouring, but for some reason on this day those flowers on the right were calling my name first! I really like Inktense pencils because once you’ve activated the colour fully and it dries, it’s permanent so it won’t reactivate again, so you can add layers of different colour without it getting muddy.
I was imagining the light coming from the top left so the background is deeper on the right side, and the highlights in the flowers are on more on the top left as well.
Here I’ve added some more colour to the leaves and a few more of the flowers as well as starting some blue and green shadowing around the vase and added some cast shadows for the lowest bloom on the right. I gave the flowers different shades of yellow, orange, rust and brown to keep the bouquet interesting.
Here’s the finished watercolouring, I added some warm tones for the vase, to tie in some of the colours in the flowers, and added some blues and browns in the shadows of the vase. Then I trimmed it down to be just a bit larger than 5 x 7 inches, finished size.
Today I found a simple navy frame at Michaels that was on sale, and thought the blue would pair nicely with the background...and the fake picture inside the frame when I bought it was a field of sunflowers, so it just called my name! Sorry for the bit of glare on the glass, no matter which way you go when you’re photographing glass its really hard not to have some glare.
A wee bit closer shot of the finished frame. I’m no Van Gogh...but these sunflowers make me smile.
The Bloom Brigade has more bits of lovely to show off to you today here:
Christine Okken (you are here)