Nature Journaling: How to paint sunflowers

Nature Journaling: How to paint sunflowers

I love being outside in nature.

And what better way to continue my nature journaling journey than being surrounded by bright and beautiful sunflowers. A true sign of summer, I love capturing their bold form on my paper with my watery paints.

The softly textured bright yellow petal edges, which encapsulate the bold heart of the flower, really are a joy to paint.

One of the things I love about being outside, is that you can really focus on your surroundings and let your thoughts flow on to the paper. It really captures the moment.

 This time I took myself, paper and paints out of the studio to a local sunflower garden, which was just so fantastic for so many reasons.

I JUST loved losing myself amongst the sunflowers, and their harmonious forms, all the while acknowledging the blue horizon above.

You can read more about my sunflower observations at the sunflower garden in this journal entry I’m sharing with you.

My paint kit: What you’ll need:

Some spares pieces of watercolour paper, or a sketchbook. A small selection of paints. I always encourage you to use the materials you have to hand.

Water in a container and a little bowl.

 I wanted to make sure I captured what was in front of me, and work from real life. Making notes on your paintings can help bring back the experience when back at home.

1. I began by first creating the centre with a light wash of brown paint so my petals had a good base to extend out from.

2. I then used my bright winsor lemon colour to create the pointed petal shapes. I left areas of white to show how much the sun was reflecting on them. It also gave an indication of the shadows. Some of my yellow colour from the petals gently moved to the centre too, – it created unexpected beautiful textures  – exactly how my real life sunflower looks!

3. Returning back to the large brown centre which was still wet, I dropped in some of my purple colour (rose of ultramarine) to enhance and compliment the yellow petals. As my paint was so watery it was exciting to see the three colours mix and settle together.

4. Introducing the stem next increased further life to my sunflowers form. Thick and firm, and with rather big leaves attached, I noticed their simplistic jagged edges and hints of yellow within the green. So much to observe and admire.

I worked quickly as I felt I could see so much all at once!

Lastly, when the paints had dried and settled, I included a few additional layers to bring my sunflower to life on my paper. Adding pops of colour further reinforced the shapes and details I could see. What do you think?

Have I inspired you to paint some sunflowers from real life too?

Looking at my natural surroundings awakens further inspiration within me, I cannot recommend getting out in nature enough.

If you do paint your own Nature Journal Sunflower, I’d love to see! You can tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #jenniferrosegallery so I can see how you got on. You can also find me on Facebook.

Love Jennifer Rose xx

 

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