Sunflower Sketching

My husband found several old seed packets in a box when we moved. He took these seeds and sprinkled them all outside in a small patch of dirt. Among these were sunflower seeds. Last week I went outside and beautiful flowers had bloomed at the tops of tall stems. I was elated by the bright colors every morning. Inspiration came from these flowers and I decided to take my field sketchbook outside and do some paintings.

I am happy to share these sketches with you on the journey of one of the sunflowers. As it bloomed it started out green and closed in. A peek of yellow petals met me one morning and the next more yellow petals. The green was a very lovely yellow green with a hint of olive. I felt like I was welcoming this flower into the world by drawing, then painting, its progress. I like to use a regular Bic black pen when I do my initial sketching in a book. Other ink pens are darker, and great when in the field, but I do like my everyday Bic pen for doodling. Adding watercolor at the end of a sketch gives the drawing an extra zest of perception to the viewer.

Thoroughly enjoying the experience from the day before, I wanted to go draw in the garden again the next morning. The subject had changed into a fully bloomed yellow sunflower stretching upward to the sky. The center was still green with dew drops from the early morning. The middle of the flower started bleeding out to lighter green, and transitioning to a yellow orange at the end of the inner circle. The petals were a remarkable golden yellow even in the early light.

The past three mornings, the sunflower has greeted me with some new friends. There was a bee, then 2 bees, and finally 3 regular honey bees. A buzzing black bee said hello as well on the fourth day of this glorious flower’s opening. I chose to paint a series showing these interactions of life in our garden. I hope you enjoy the preliminary sketches as well as what is to come! Let me know what you think about the photographs, sketches, paintings, and the new series idea, by sending me an email from the Contact page. CLICK HERE ->

-Karen Hilliard